I recently purchased a kit called “Le Nez Du Vin” that professes to teach me how to identify various aromas in a glass of wine. The kit, which is imported from France, comes in a dictionary-sized case covered in red fabric so that it resembles an old book. Inside are a dozen tiny glass vials, each of which is redolent of a specific, essential red-wine scent when uncapped. These vials are cosseted in crushed velvet (or likely velour). It was purchased at Williams-Sonoma. It cost $130.

Go ahead: Roll your eyes; chuckle derisively; whatever you have to do. I’ll wait until you finish. OK, finished?

The “Le Nez Du Vin” kit contains two slim manuals both written by Jean Lenoir, a French wine critic who over 25 years ago developed this method of wine education by way… More…