Champagne Tasting – What to Smell


Just like with regular wine, the scents you often encounter have been given beautiful names. It may seem a little exaggerated, but the names make talking and writing about Champagne a lot easier. When I have a tasting note that mentions “mowed grass“, a true champagne lover can easily imagine the exact smell. Although it may seem like some of these terms have been made up, I’ll leave it to you to learn and enjoy the experience.

Champagne purists often limit their language to the following basic scents (which you can also often find in a scent box):

Flowers: hawthorn, lime blossom, orange blossom, violet

Fruit: citrus fruits, pome fruits, yellow fruit, exotic fruit, red fruit (cherries, strawberries, etc.)

Vegetable: fresh almonds, mowed grass, ferns, undergrowth, truffle

Dried fruits: nuts, raisins, dried figs

Miscellaneous: fresh butter, brioche, toast, honey, candied fruit, vanilla spices

Read more about Champagne tasting in the book “Christie’s Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine