New ‘Nez du Vigneron’ training range kicks up a stink

Graphic: Rob 'genie' Johnson

A new range of ‘nose training’ aids is leaving an unpleasant smell across the drinks world.

French company, Arome Sans Gout, says that its new Nez du Vigneron is designed to help people ‘differentiate the many different aromas found in winemakers’.

But critics have described the new training aid as ‘simplistic’, ‘unpleasant’ and ‘far too accurate for comfort.’

Gitanes or Gold Blend?

The aid is made up of 24 miniature vials, with each one containing the condensed essence of a scent commonly found in the world’s vat botherers.

Smells range from ‘coffee breath’, ‘old cigs’ and ‘sampler’s mouth’ to ‘winery dog’, ‘muddy boots’ and ‘second-week-of-vintage overalls’.

The company says elements can be mixed to create complex character blends, such as ‘60-a-day man with labrador’ or ‘unkempt divorcee with chorizo and espresso habit’.

Heaven scent

‘Obviously, we’re expecting most of the sales to be to professionals,’ said founder Ol Factory. ‘But really it’s for anyone who’s ever had a conversation with a winemaker and found themselves wondering just what it was that had them holding their breath for the last five minutes.’

Arome Sans Gout has already created a special study pack for the Institute of Masters of Wine, who introduced a Cellar Smells element to the tasting exam last year. Though Factory says that the packs are proving popular with existing MWs as well.

‘I think they just like to put a few drops on their pillow at night, to help them sleep,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘But since a lot of MWs also wish they were winemakers I believe some wear it as after-shave as well.’

C’est pas bon

Arome Sans Gout’s creation, however, has got up the nose of the French wine establishment.

‘This whole thing is simplistic and reductive,’ said French super critic Michel Bettanomyces. ‘Winemakers smell different depending on the terroir where they are working – that’s what makes them so fascinating.

‘And of course, tasting is subjective too – so my ‘wet retriever’ could be your ‘soggy dachshund’.

‘Though we’d probably all agree on the coffee breath.’

The Nez’s have it

Ol Factory and his team are already looking to extend the range with a Nez du Distillateur. But plans for a Nez du Journaliste have had to be put on hold.

‘It was just too challenging,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘Drinks journalists don’t really smell of anything apart from ego, desperation and last night’s samples.

‘They’re just a lot less interesting than they think they are.’

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