Sensory Perspective

Not long after I got started making wine I realized I was relying more than I had expected on core sensory concepts like sight, smell and taste to guide my winemaking activities. I say that it was more than I had expected, but in fairness I hadn’t thought much about it. I’ve been cooking passionately since I was a kid, so aromas, flavors and textures are sensations I don’t take for granted. In fact, the appreciation of these cues in food and beverages has become a considerable asset to me in my winemaking and it has also become my primary guide. A few years ago I started getting a lot more information from observing and tasting my homemade wines at every stage: from pre-inoculated juice to fermenting must to clearing and stable wines. I asked myself questions like, “what aromas are being expressed?,” “is there more H2S than I would expect?” “what flavors are coming through and are they typical to the style?” “is the color light, dark or shifted?” “how much acidity do I taste?” “is there residual CO2