The Le Nez du Vin wine aroma kit is the original of all wine aroma kits on the market. Nobody does it better… It’s the Bentley of wine aromas, discovered by Jean Lenoir, some 30 years ago… Often imitated, it can’t possibly be duplicated.

Nor can there exist anything quite like it for a luxurious experience, for anyone serious about wine and discovering all that’s possible to explore.

I was reminded of this recently, as I was reading “Cork Dork,” by Bianca Bosker. In her book, she takes on how Master Sommeliers train their palates by science; not by reading, not by repeating what others have described. I am so thankful for having sent this kit for evaluation. It’s a constant treasure. In fact, I’m going on a refresher course… For my wine loving friends, who wonder, “Huh?” This is the best investment for your understanding of wine you can ever make…

ABOUT THE ORIGINATOR ~ Jean Lenoir ~ From his Le Nez du Vin book

I was born in Burgundy, a “son of the vine,” into a family that has always nurtured a passion for wine. Our everyday red was deep-hued and unforgettably fruity. As it was often my job to draw off the wine, plunging the pipe into the cask to fill the pitcher, I began to perceive its flavour at a very young age. I learned to taste as I learned to walk!

… I began to introduce wine into cultural centers as a work of art, in the same way as music or painting. In 1978, I started the first wine-tasting classes for beginners at the Maison de la Culture in Chalon-sur-Saône. These meetings fueled our enthusiasm and raised many questions about taste and the sense of smell.

Libre Objet

I was recently called by Anton Reznik of Wine Aromas, asking if I’d be interested in blogging about his company’s kits. I could hardly breathe… I’ve lusted for this product f-o-r-e-v-e-r… If you don’t know, I spent time at Robert Mondavi Winery as a wine educator. My favorite educational program was The Essence of Wine. In this program, we’d not only learn, but then we’d also teach about the essence of wine’s many aromas and those mysterious flavors.

All I know is that I’m now off into the wondrous world of wine aromas, brought to me by a aroma genius Jean Lenoir.

You know, the aroma adjectives that writers use when they’re writing about wine; or, how about your friends who can easily wax poetic about the aromas and flavors of wine? They easily come up with all the descriptors for flavors, because they’ve spent a few years exploring and loving wine. And, as Anton explained and I discussed, there are those among us – my children included – who have grown up with parents who love wine and they’ve just been inclusive with their children about wine as a simple way of life. These people have an advantage over people who are still wondering and asking, like so many people at Mondavi asked me, “Does the winemaker add grapefruit to the Sauvignon Blanc to make it taste like grapefruit?” It’s an honest and innocent question, and always allowed for me to explain that wine has the same chemical compounds for flavors that are found in those other objects… that they weren’t infused with flavors. The flavors exist naturally.

The exploration of wine is a sensual journey that begins with sight and hearing…

  • Perhaps seeing and hearing a cork being pulled (or a twist off, not so romantic by any stretch of the imagination)
  • Then, seeing and hearing wine being poured into a glass
  • The most engaging part of wine comes when we swirl and sniff, before we sip
    • To miss this step means that we’re on a singular journey of drinking and enjoying wine; which I equate with being in a room with a Renoir and enjoying it from afar, but missing the delicately layered brush stokes that you discover when you get up really closely, like in a museum of art.

When I was at Robert Mondavi, we only knew that there were a few hundred aromas available for exploration; but in my 54 Master Kit, I’ve just learned the following in Jean Lenoir’s book, which accompanies the kit:

Aromas: origin and classification

“More than one thousand aroma molecules have been identified in wines to date: who knows how many more remain to be discovered? These molecules, in varying mixes and quantities, create a whole array of different aromas, though they only account for one part of wine to a thousand, or 0.1%, i.e., 1.2g per litre on average. Some of these aroma compounds are mere traces, and are hardly detectable by our powerful analytical tools.”

I’m astounded, curious, and now on a new journey.

I highly recommend these kits for those of you who know someone very passionate and inquisitive about wine.

  • Your father, mother, brother or sisters, and close friends
    • Do they love wine?
    • Do they love talking about it to you, taking time to swirl, sniff, and enjoy?
  • Do you know someone who seems to have everything related to wine, perhaps even a wine cellar?
  • Do you know someone studying for his or her Master Sommelier or Master of Wine degree?
  • Do you know someone just starting out, who’s learning about wine and has an insatiable appetite for learning?
  • Do you have a boss who is passionate about wine and worth the investment?

Every single instance qualifies for someone who would love this gift.

The 54 Master Kit that I have received has a book included in the set. Books are my passion, and now I can begin to get deeper into these aromas with more understanding, more clarity, and more certainty. Jean Lenoir’s words inspire me.

With my kit, I now have 54 aromas with which I’ll become much more familiar, as I explore the aromas (ergo flavors) of wine. I don’t and won’t pretend to have this swirling, sniffing, and identifying thing down the way I’d like it to be. And, this kit for me is just going to be the beginning. Besides the tiny bottles with the essence of wine aromas, this kit has flash cards, too; beginning with fruits and berries, nuts and flowers, honey and vegetables, lees and trees, hay and spices, leather and musk…. it continues with coffee, chocolate, and smoke.

There are many kits available; the one that I have is the best of the best for what I’d like to experience. If your budget doesn’t yet allow for one this extravagant, don’t despair. It’s better to start with a smaller one, just to get started, and then graduate as you go along for one that’s more comprehensive.

I’m also thinking about the faults kit. It’s one thing to talk about wine being corked, oxidized, or with brettanomyces, etc.; it’s another to have a handy example, if teaching others is in your future. What a great kit for a sommelier who’s training his or her staff. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to disclose to a wait server that my wine is corked. I’ve also made the staff member, when he or she looks at me with glazed-over eye when I say the wine is corked, smell the wine in question. My question? Why wasn’t that wait server trained before serving the wine to me… Better yet, why wasn’t the bartender who poured it better informed?

Le Nez Du Vin an easy solution…

I highly recommend Le Nez Du Vin at for anyone who’s wanted to expand on and expound about wine. There’s nothing better in the world of wine… period… If you want to explore with me and you live close by, let’s get together!

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