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Wine Spectator School

Class 3: International Varieties

sinff: aroma intensity, indentification

  1. Swirl your Pinot Noir, this time to release its aromas, and sniff.

  2. Note on your Tasting Worksheet whether the aromas are faint, medium or powerful.

  3. Repeat with the Merlot.


Pinot Noir

  1. Swirl, sniff and begin identifying the Pinor Noir's aromas.

  2. Look for strawberry, raspberry, red cherry, earth and mushroom - the aromas most commonly associated with Pinot Noir (but use your Tasting Worksheet as a guide to many more possible aromas).

  3. When you identify an aroma, circle it on the worksheet.

  4. If you can't specifically name an aroma, it's fine to identify it by its general family (i.e., "Tree fruit" rather than "cherry").

  5. Limit yourself to three or four sniffs.


  1. Swirl, sniff and begin identifying the Merlot's aromas.

  2. Like Pinot Noir, Merlot has a set of...

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