Wine,Wine Etiquette,Wine tasting

Wine tasting + perfume = disaster

Although there’s a lot of “romance” associated with the “wine experience,” additional aromas like perfume, when tasting wine, don’t really add anything. In fact, perfume takes a lot away from a really pleasant experience.

I’m no saint with this one. I’ll admit it… I learned this the hard way.

It was when I began my wine career in a tasting room. What did I know? I honestly knew so little about wine, that I didn’t know this really basic rule. I was gently told, and life moved on to a more enjoyable place.

Once one’s wearing perfume – this applies to both men and women for the aromas – the pure enjoyment of tasting wine’s been drastically altered. It’s impossible to pick up all the nuances, if any perfume’s included in the experience.

It’s been years since I’ve worn perfume, as a result. What that’s done to my senses has allowed for me to smell even more delicate aromas than before I dropped the love potions. My sniffer’s so sensitive that this past week, I was able to smell cigarette smoke from another car, while we waited for the light to turn green… and all my windows were up. (I’ve also got a tank of a car for tight closure.) I honestly should have never smelled the other person’s cigarette smoke. Imagine, then, the person who just bathed in cologne standing next to me at a tasting. I’m over the edge before I even begin… And so are many, many others.

Consider, when you’re going to be wine tasting, that the more aromas you’re wearing, the less you’re really going to smell and taste wine. You’ll greatly benefit, as will those around you, if you hold off the perfume for the most romantic part of your day… An evening soiree with someone you love… after you’ve had your candlelight food and wine dinner.

And, many of those around you know that you should have left the Channel No. 5 perfume at home… They won’t appreciate you… Just watch their eyebrows.

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4 Responses to “Wine tasting + perfume = disaster”

  1. Joanne Saliby says:

    I avoid perfume as much as possible and don’t walk through cosmetic and perfume aisles in dept. stores, or even detergent and cleaning products aisles in stores as some of it gives me headaches. In a tasting room, perfume is a real downer. I have several times mentioned to servers that they should not wear perfume. This column needs to get highly publicized and perhaps emailed to every winery you know. At times I have noticed perfume on winery owners and tasting room managers in the tasting room!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Me, too, Joanne. I’ll share on Facebook right now.

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