Maximizing Wine Aroma

Many wine writers draw a distinction between “aroma” and “bouquet.” Typical is the discussion by Yair Margalit in his excellent book Concepts in Wine Chemistry. He says aroma “is the term for smell derived from the grape . . . Some varietal aromas are very powerful and recognized easily, and others are very weak and unspecific.” In contrast, he defines bouquet as “smell derived from the processing of the wine, which includes fermentation conditions, cellar operations and aging.” I have always found these distinctions awkward and not very helpful in wine appreciation. If a wine smells good, it smells good, and if it stinks, it stinks. Where that comes from doesn’t change my pleasure or disappointment.  I tend to use “aroma” and “smell” interchangeably and rarely mention “bouquet.” In considering the word usage somewhat ambiguous, I note the writing of Jancis Robinson in her excellent The Oxford Companion to Wine. She says aroma is an “imprecise tasting term for a relatively simple smell such as that of a grape, fermenting must, or young wine.” After noting that wine professionals differ