Discover how to describe wine with confidence to write memorable wine tasting notes

Wine Aroma Description Made Easy

Intermediate Level | The foundation to master aroma description and enhance your wine knowledge and enjoyment

 "This course is an excellent introduction to wine tasting. It complements the Wine Aroma Wheel I created. It will help you articulate with specific and meaningful words what you smell in a glass of wine. Highly recommended."

Dr. Ann C. Noble
Professor Emeritus - University of California at Davis

Describing wine is a tall order when you start your wine education

  • You're afraid to be wrong
  • You don't know the wine lingo
  • You often wonder if you're drinking a different wine from the one described on the bottle back label
  • It's frustrating
  • and you feel you'll never learn!

And you’ll never learn at a traditional wine appreciation class


The sad truth:

Getting a wine certification won’t help you appreciate wine more or become a more discerning taster.

These courses are geared towards people wanting to join the hospitality industry as beverage directors in a hotel or sommeliers in a restaurant.

Their jobs require a deep knowledge of wine regions, wine styles, and an ability to assess wine quality.

How about tasting?

These courses teach how to use a rigid tasting framework to determine if the wine is sound. 

  • They don’t teach you how to use your senses to maximize the tasting experience and enhance your ability to identify aromas and tastes.
  • These courses are not for consumers who want to improve their wine enjoyment through wine education. 
  • And they don’t help wine professionals sharpen their tasting skills in preparation for the tasting exams and wine competitions.

The WSET is an excellent organisation and the systematic approach to tasting wine is a useful tool for unpacking a wine, but it’s not a tool that can be used to describe it.”  Nick Ryan - Wine Business Monthly

To learn how to describe wine, you need to use proven sensory science principles.


Unlike traditional wine educators, sensory scientists like me teach wine enthusiasts how to use their five senses to detect and describe the various sensations they perceive in wine.

Professors Kathryn and Michael Latour at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, published two studies to understand how wine enthusiasts learn from their tasting experience.

  1.  Their experiments showed the benefits for beginners to use the Wine Aroma Wheel and its sensory science framework to strengthen their experiential memory and learn the multi-faceted tasting experience more effectively.  
  2. People beginning their wine tasting journey realize how an analytical approach to wine tasting helped them "better understand the framework" and "know what to look for in wine evaluation."  
  • LaTour, K. A., & LaTour, M. S. (2010), Journal of Consumer Research, 37 (4), 688-697 
  • LaTour, K., & Deighton, J. (2018). Learning to become a taste expert. Harvard Business School Research Paper Series #18-107.

Effective and fun!

Sensory science assesses wine characteristics through the human senses. We apply unbiased methods to minimize unconscious biases and enhance people's ability to detect and describe what they smell and taste with more confidence.

The truth is there’s no right or wrong wine flavor description.

Humans vary immensely in their smell and taste abilities due to our genetics and different cultural background. That’s why we speak a different flavor language. As a sensory scientist, I use simple but effective techniques to train you to develop a wine language that others can understand.

Smell training is a daily practice like playing scales every day

I use on purpose the word train, because, like in any skill you want to master, you need to practice over and over again, like a piano student playing scales every day.

It’s a sensory training, and more precisely a smell training that you need to follow. And it doesn’t require to taste wine everyday, but to listen to your nose every day.

Imagine attending a wine tasting and confidently sharing your tasting notes with the sommelier and winemaker.

You will be happy to share, and the wine pros will appreciate you.

So many people are afraid to speak up in front of these pros. But they love when you relate your experience with their wine selection.

And if they disagree, you’ll have the tools and knowledge to have a constructive conversation about your tasting experience. 

Introducing Wine Aroma Description Made Easy, a self-paced program with online support and weekly office hours

This program is for all wine enthusiasts and professionals in training wishing to go from confused to confident when writing their tasting notes.

Isabelle Lesschaeve, PhD

Principal, InnoVinum Academy and Lead instructor

Hi, I'm Isabelle Lesschaeve
the Founder and Principal of InnoVinum Academy, an online education platform created to demystify wine-tasting rituals.

I teach and coach serious wine lovers worldwide and help them sharpen their tasting skills using a sensory science framework.

While being born and raised in a French culture gave me multiple opportunities to learn about wine, it doesn’t give me the required credentials to be your instructor.

So here’s more.

  • I earned my Ph.D. in Sensory Science from the University of Burgundy, France. 
  • I have worked in the wine industry for over 20 years and taught wine sensory evaluation to graduate students at Brock University and other colleges. 
  • My research work appeared in more than 50 peer-reviewed academic publications and several book chapters. 
  • I had the privilege to be a keynote speaker at several conferences over my career the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, the Australian Wine Technical Conference, The Pangborn Sensory Symposium, and the Sense Asia Conference to name a few. 

That’s why I feel confident I can guide you on the path to wine description proficiency when you join Wine Aroma Description Made Easy.

  • Wine Aroma Description Made Easy is for serious wine lovers who want to improve their wine description skills and write memorable tasting notes. 
  •  This course is designed for people struggling to find words when they want to share their tasting experience with others.  
  • The framework and tutorials provide a solid and science-based foundation to learn, memorize, and identify what smells and tastes are perceived in wine.

Wine Aroma Description Made Easy

Your first step on the PATH to aroma description proficiency to help improve your wine knowledge and enjoyment.

 "Isabelle is extremely knowledgeable, patient, pragmatic, and helpful. Thank you for the course content and for putting me on a solid path as I continue my journey to enhance my wine tasting skills.

Steve Snow
Wine enthusiast and Founding Member of this course

What will you get out of this program?

  • You’ll learn how to use your senses at best to assess the aromatic nuances you smell and taste in wine so that you can write precise tasting notes and memorize each tasting experience. 
  •  This program will take you from feeling confused and out of words to feeling confident and articulate when describing a wine.  

Get a sneak peak inside the curriculum

Module 1

Principles of Aroma Perception

Tasting wine is confusing; a lot is happening.
By the end of this module, you'll stop wondering what are all these sensations on your palate when you taste wine!

Highlights
  • Build a solid foundation to understand what's happening when you taste wine.
  • Discover why describing wine aroma is so challenging.
  • Understand why you're never wrong when sharing what you smell or taste.
module 2

Aroma education


You didn't learn to identify aromas at school. Your teachers made sure you recognized shapes, colors, and objects correctly. No one taught you how to identify your food by smell only, without any visual cues.

Highlights
  • Realize why you should trust your senses .
  • Learn the obstacles to speak a common aroma language and why the context matters.
  • Discover how the Wine Aroma Wheel classification system helps put words onto what you smell.
module 3

Tasting best practices


Forget what you learned in wine appreciation classes. In fact, you learned there what each wine style should taste and not how to use your senses to taste wine.

Highlights
  • Implement the framework and practical steps to your tasting process.
  • Identify possible biases and ways to counter them.
  • Understand the basics of learning wine aroma at home and testing your identification skills.
module 4

Home practice implementation

At this stage of the program, you'll be ready to start your wine aroma training at home.



Highlights
  • Learn about the nature and origin of six familiar wine aromas.
  • Discover the value of preparing and learning with homemade aroma standards.
  • Practice by describing two white wines.
  • Experience first hand the smell training process.

PLUS connect with me during weekly office half-hours or ask me questions online.

By the end of this program, you'll have...


  • Become a pro at differentiating the 3 key sensory perceptions to focus your attention on wine aroma description.
  •  Realized there are no wrong or correct answers to sensory detection.
  • Understood how learning by association and describing by categorization makes the identification task so much easier.

and...

  • Adopted consistent tasting practices to minimize biases that trick your senses and become more objective in your tasting notes.
  • Put in practice the PATH framework with 6 typical wine aromas, and you'll be ready to practice by yourself or in our membership program.

 "I took the WSET Level 1 and Level 2 courses in which I learned the wine lexicon and discovered 40 aromas. However, I was not taught about the potential aroma sources or how to practice aroma identification at home. I now feel more confident to train myself and to describe wine aroma."  

Dariusz Dudziak
Wine sales consultant, UK

 ""Isabelle has put together a different wine appreciation course focused on the aroma of wine, and she even shows you how to make the aroma at home. This course is very relevant for the wine enthusiast. 

Rob Hodge
Wine Enthusiast, Australia

 "This course takes the wine tasting experience to specific ways of learning I have never had before. It's a foundation class that will help me take this skill, keep practicing, and get better and better. I need to continue to practice like with a musical instrument.

Tasha Standridge
Winemaking Intern, US

Wine Aroma Description Made Easy

Course access at your finger tip

Watch the video on your desktop or access to the InnoVinum Academy App to watch the course materials on the go. 

Lessons on a private podcast

Access to a private podcast and listen to again the course lessons while tending to other activities.

Supporting community

Access to a private student community to share experiences and ask questions

Supporting instructor

Sign up for the weekly office half-hour to speak live with me

Wine aroma description made easy

$299.00

One-time fee, USD


  • 4 Modules with pre-recorded videos, workbooks, transcripts, and PDF guides
  •  Weekly office half-hours to connect with your instructor 
  • 12 months of online support to ask questions and clarifications 
  • Immediate access to the program and enjoy for 365 days

My 30-day Money Back Guarantee

If you’re not 100% satisfied with the program or the support after going through the lessons and exercises in the first 30 days, I will offer you a refund. It’s my 30 day money-back guarantee.

Still thinking about it?

If you're still wondering if this program is worth your time and investment, let me add this. Poor tasting skills limit your ability to expand your wine knowledge, whether it's a passion or a profession of yours.

Do you want to continue to rely on the guy behind the tasting bar to tell you what you're supposed to taste and smell? 

After 20+ years of experience in the wine industry, I can tell you that knowing how to taste wine is essential for becoming a successful certified wine professional or sommelier.

It's also a critical skill if you want to build your own cellar and buy wines you will enjoy now or in 5 years.

Learn at your OWN pace.
You decide how fast or slow you want to go through the materials. However, I advise going through the materials following the Modules' order. Don't skip a lesson to go faster. It won't help you achieve your goal.

Ongoing support 
I will be there for you in many ways.
>> You can contact me and ask questions using the lessons "Discussion space" inside the course.
>> I also host office half-hours every week so you can join the live session and chat with me.
>> I review your assignments once a week and give personal feedback and suggestions.  
Former students with busy professional schedules and weekly family commitments carried out each module requirement and completed the program within four weeks. I have no doubt that you can too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This is a self-paced learning program. You start when convenient,

Yes, absolutely. You can watch the lessons and do the assignments on your own terms. You have access to the materials for 365 days after you enrolled. You can do it!

Other courses teach you what a wine style should taste, ask you to memorize it, and to repeat it during the exams.
I teach you how to use your senses and describe wine aroma with confidence. No need to become a parrot. 

I'll hold a live class twice a week to give you options to fit it in your busy schedule. Option 1: Fridays at 8 AM EDT (New York time) and Option 2: Fridays at 5 PM EDT (New York time) .

I encourage you to attend the live office half-hours if you need clarifications on the concepts I teach or the tutorials, or the assignments. The sessions are not recorded and I'm available online to address any questions you have.

I give you assignments every week to monitor your progress and send you a certificate once you complete ALL the assignments and lessons.

The course enrollment is open all year round, however watch for special offers that are time sensitive. I like to bundle and create special offers for you.

No, the last module includes a tasting recording I conducted with a former class. You can follow along as you listen and taste with us. Use the office half-hour to practice aroma description with me.

I invite you to become an InnoVinum Academy VIP and join our membership. Starting in January 2023, members will enjoy monthly tutored tasting with me, access to exclusive wine aroma courses, quarterly masterclasses, and more. Ask me for more information.

I cannot wait to guide and coach you over these 4 modules.

Wine, sensory science, and education are my 3 passions. I develop each lesson with these 3 ingredients to help you enhance your tasting skills one module at a time.  

It's so rewarding for me to see the impact this first program has on students' abilities.  Like them, I assure you that you'll go from hesitant and may be shy to speak up in a tasting into a confident and empathic wine taster.

It doesn't happen overnight, and will require some work. But you'll be free you from the fear of being wrong, once you complete the whole program.  

You'll discover aspects of your senses and abilities to use them that you didn't realize before.  

Should you choose to accept this invitation, I promise you that you will experience a profound transformation in your tasting practices. It will start changing your appreciation of wine.  

 I look forward to meeting you personally inside this program.