In the world of wine, there is "what it smells like" and then, there is the nose. Oenophiles use nose as a noun to describe the total olfactory experience of a wine.

Nose is more than taking a sniff of your wine. I'll walk you through it, with this glass of 2001 Fetzer Echo Ridge Gewurtztraminer. Nose is pouring the wine carefully, swirl it very gently, just enough to waft the odor off the surface. Inhale. Don't snuffle at it, breathe it in. Fill your lungs through your nasal passages and your mouth. Taste the air. Smell the sun on the grapes, the faint tang of alcohol, the wind blowing off the ocean, the hints of pineapple and cloves?

Feel the aroma blossom in your mind. The scent receptors are the most intimately connected to the brain, the most evocative and primal sense. Most of taste is really in the nose, not the mouth. Want proof? Cut a slice of potato and a slice of apple, plug your nose completely (or wait for a nasty head cold) and have someone feed you one of them. You won't be able to tell which one it is by taste alone. Let it carry you away.

Take a healthy sip. Let it pool at the front of your mouth. Purse your lips slightly and draw air in, bubbling through the wine. If it dribbles out, take a smaller sip, and don't be embarassed, it happens to the best of us. Taste the sweet pear sprinkled with cardamom. You aren't tasting that with your tongue. It's going right into the back of your nose. When you swallow, breathe out through your nose and you'll be treated to another olfactory journey, more subtle, a lingering taste of the exotic.

This is why we drink wine, not because it makes us tipsy, not because it tastes good. Because wine speaks to the nose, and the nose is the seat of the soul.

Mucho grande thanks for C-Dawg for correcting my egregious tpyos.