Is there a word for "tastes like it smells"?
June 17, 2008 5:33 PM   Subscribe

I've just started a wine tasting course, and someone asked whether there was an adjective that described a wine that tastes like it smells. The closest we could get was onomatopoeic, which obviously isn't the right word, but is similar in concept. If not in English, is there a word in any language? (I'm thinking that maybe there's a German word, as they're really good at creating new words by putting other words together) Or is "tastes like it smells" as good as it gets?
posted by finding.perdita to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
gustatory-olfactory harmony. ok, i just made that up.
posted by Brian James at 5:52 PM on June 17, 2008

taking a page from gender studies, how about "Cis-wine"?
posted by rmless at 5:54 PM on June 17, 2008


You might also be interested in this article about wine tasting and smells from the New Yorker a few months ago.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 6:04 PM on June 17, 2008

If you wanted to coin one, autogeuous would be fake-Greek for "self-tasting" or "tastes like itself"; autosmous would be "self-smelling."

Neither sounds real appetizing, though.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:23 PM on June 17, 2008

Shouldn't that be oenomatopoetic?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:10 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of course, we're talking about particles and physics is, in this case, talking about waves: "More generally, coherence describes all correlation properties between physical quantities of a wave."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:46 PM on June 17, 2008

I'd be curious to ind a wine that tastes like it smells. Considering all the smells in an average wine, how many of those individual smells would taste like they smell? Sure we associate the smell of cherry to its taste but how would you equate the taste of leather to its smell? Sure I've smelled leather but can honestly say I've never tasted it. Coffee doesn't smell bitter. I'd define it as an oily roasted smell but the bitterness only comes through on tasting.

Maybe my sense of smell is much keener than my sense of taste because I can typically smell many distinct odors in wines but I'll be damned if I can similarly taste the equivalent flavors. And does wine even work that way?
posted by JJ86 at 8:08 PM on June 17, 2008

Sure I've smelled leather but can honestly say I've never tasted it.

I have had beers that taste like a flower shop smells and that taste like a campfire smells, both in a good way. I have not eaten a flower shop or a campfire. (I have eaten a flower, but it didn't taste like much.) A lot of the "taste" sensation in fact involves the smell receptors, to address this by my understanding.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:31 PM on June 17, 2008

JJ86, I think this is referring more to the case of the taste matching the smell, not the taste and smell also corresponding to some third thing. That is, I've eaten a fruit that tasted like roses smell (a Malay apple), but roses themselves don't taste like the smell of roses at all (they're very bitter, in fact). So if something both smelled like roses, and tasted like the smell of roses, it would taste like it smelled.

I do not think there's a special word for this phenomenon, though.
posted by Lady Li at 8:48 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sure I've smelled leather but can honestly say I've never tasted it.

What a shame! Tastes quite a lot like it smells, too. Me, I'm one of those folks who never outgrew the childlike habit of tasting (and smelling) all kinds of odd stuff. And to be honest, it's a habit that's served me well.

I might add that, while I write about taste and smell quite a lot, I've never run across a word that describes the question at-hand, but oenomatopoetic works for me, and I'll be borrowing it real soon now.
posted by deCadmus at 9:01 PM on June 17, 2008

Shouldn't that be oenomatopoetic?

posted by flabdablet at 9:42 PM on June 17, 2008

flabdablet, an oenophile is a lover of wine. An aficionado, a connoisseur, a wino.
posted by stavrogin at 10:27 PM on June 17, 2008

Which has nothing at all to do with an oenomatopoeic word being one that sounds like its meaning, and "oenomatopoetic" being a misspelling.
posted by flabdablet at 11:02 PM on June 17, 2008

Also, taste and smell overlap. Most of the subtlety in what's generally thought of as taste is, in fact, smelt.

If most of what you experience when a given wine is in your mouth is what you also experience when your nose is in the glass, I'd call that wine "heady" and/or "perfumed".
posted by flabdablet at 11:23 PM on June 17, 2008's a pun.
posted by munchbunch at 2:10 AM on June 18, 2008

My bad. I thought "...poetic" for "...poeic" was broken, managed to ignore the fact that the original word is spelt "ono...", and completely missed the poeint.
posted by flabdablet at 2:53 AM on June 18, 2008

cute recovery, flabdablet. :)
posted by GardenGal at 5:09 PM on June 18, 2008

Thanks guys! In the absence of a real word, I'm happy to take an invented one, and oenomatopoetic is simply genius...
posted by finding.perdita at 7:23 PM on June 19, 2008

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