New Scratch and Sniff Book Helps You Become a Wine Expert

By Leah Bourne, The Vivant

Wine

It is not easy to be a wine connoisseur-the type of person who can pick out aromas in wine ranging from chocolate to oak, and to distinguish between a good bottle and a bad bottle. A new book, "The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert" by Richard Betts wants to help the average Joe become a wine expert.

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In his book, Betts breaks down the hundred or so aromas that are most often used to describe wine into four categories: fruit, wood, earth, and "other." It also looks at the typical scent components of whites and reds, and examines how to distinguish between them.

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What makes this book so unusual is that it allows you to scratch and sniff these aromas as you go. "It's not about saying that this smell is the most faithful recreation of peach in a glass of wine," Betts told NPR. "But, the book gets you thinking about what you like and don't like-and talking about them in terms of vocabulary [readers] already have, not in 'wine speak.'"

"The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That" by Richard Betts, $11.99, amazon.com.

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