Q. I can’t make out half the things people say they taste in their wine, like dark cherries, leather or whatever. Is there any way to get better at this, or am I doomed to forever being a lousy taster?
A. While it’s true that some people are naturally superior sniffers and tasters, that doesn’t mean most wine lovers can’t become much better after some well-targeted practice. One great way to improve is to be very systematic about it, and a novel tool called the Wine Aroma Wheel can be a huge help with this. Developed by Ann C. Noble, retired professor at the University of California, Davis, the aroma wheel organizes tons of different aromas commonly found in wine into separate categories, making it far easier to identify and describe the scents you’re sniffing. It’s almost sure to improve your tasting chops. Check it out at: winearomawheel.com.