Maria Liberati, chef and author of Basic Art of Italian Cooking, is often invited to give seminars on wine and food pairing and leads culinary and wine tours to Italy. She often uses Le Nez du Vin in her classes because, in her words, “it brings a description to reality.” Maria says you can tell someone they are tasting a fruity wine, or that it has a taste of cherries, but it’s not something you can thoroughly describe.
“People have to experience what you are talking about,” she says, explaining Le Nez du Vin’s value. “When I teach food and wine pairing, I am also training their senses to pair different wine with foods. They must understand the flavor profiles of a wine to pair it with certain foods. Not everyone is on the same page as far as flavors are concerned. Telling someone that a wine has a nutty flavor is meaningless unless you can share the aroma and discuss its traits as a group.”
Tracy Ellen Kamens, Ed.D, CSW, wine educator and co-owner of Grand Cru Classes, enjoys using Le Nez du Vin in her classes. Typically, she’ll select several wines, taste them to identify their flavor components, and then take these vials for the students to smell. “As an educator,” she says, “you always want to make things as interactive and hands-on as possible.”
Jennie Thorton-Dean, a wine educator in the process of getting her Masters of Wine, often uses Le Nez du Vin in her classes and makes something of a game of it. She distributes a handout called “Can You Smell that Smell” which has two columns, one containing the glass number (1 – 10) and a corresponding column for aroma. “Many students, novices and expert tasters alike, find the aroma challenge to be the best part of the wine class,” Jennie reports. “Many students specifically request that I include this activity for private events and parties. Le Nez du Vin makes my job of wine education more interactive and exploratory than traditional wine tastings.”
Dilek Caner, Director of Tasting World (TastingWorld.com) based in Manhattan, says she uses the faults kit quite a bit. “I actually relied on it when I was describing corkiness. It is pretty much impossible to describe it in words to a person who has never experienced it. You can say mouldy, wet cardboard, old attic, and all other terms that we use for it, but none of them is as good as passing that vial around the class. Among similar products, it’s the one that imitates the natural aromas the best.”