Smell, and taste, are the senses least researched by scientists and due to this reason we know less about it. What we do know is that our noses and palates are incredible things. They are capable of detecting and recognising thousands of aromas – which are a very important thing as a good wine, like perfume, has literally thousands of different aromatic particles. Now of course you can’t expect even the world’s greatest tasters to jot down all of those aromas…can you?
A wines aromatic profile (what you smell) is a combination of the thousands of aromatic particles present in the wine. For example: Aroma Particle (AP1) + Aroma Particle (AP2) = Aroma (A1). Aroma (A1) may smell like blackcurrants but (AP1) + (AP3) + (AP4) may make (A2) which may smell like redcurrants. So what we smell, and taste, is actually a complex jigsaw of aromatic particles combining in the glass, and air, to produce aromatic molecules that we smell. Different people may not recognise a certain aroma or call it something different to someone else, but it is present. This diversity of labels we give to aromas is what makes wine tasting so complex, and fun.