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Wine Spectator School

Class 1: Intro to Tasting: White Wine

your sense of smell

This module is a brief owner's manual for your sniffing and tasting apparatus. Once you know how your senses of smell and taste work, you'll have an easier time evaluating wine.  
Smelling Scents

Contrary to popular belief, your nose doesn't actually sense smells -- it's merely a great conduit for airborne scents. Here's how your sense of smell works:

Each time you inhale through your nose or your mouth, you pull air into your retronasal passage, which connects your nose and mouth.

Incoming scents are picked up by the olfactory epithelium, a dime-sized patch of nerve endings located deep within the retronasal passage. The olfactory epithelium then transmits the scent signals to the olfactory bulb in the brain, where...

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