Learn It Through the Grapevine

Submitted on Thursday, 2/28/2013, at 12:38 PM

Article by Katherine Duke ’05
Photos by Rob Mattson

Plum. Vanilla. Licorice. Leather. Oak. Old Band-Aid.

These were just a few of the scents that students were challenged to identify at a recent meeting of their seminar on “Wine, History and the Environment.” Working in small groups, the students moved around the Environmental Geology Lab of the Beneski Earth Sciences building and took turns sniffing small vials of the chemical compounds that create these aromas in wine, trying to locate each smell on an aroma wheel. Later, they sipped water subtly flavored with other compounds—as well as some actual 2009 Malbec from Argentina—and attempted to describe the tastes.