My most vivid wine memories are pleasant ones of bottles I’ve shared with friends and family. I still remember a vintage Amarone that I drank with a close friend of mine some 11 years ago. It smelled just like the black truffle risotto and grilled lamb I had made to accompany it. It was a spontaneous and wonderful meal, and when I smell a wine from the Veneto region now, I feel a bit of its refracted warmth.
It is this intersection of aroma, memory and pleasure that gives wine its enduring appeal. Despite everything else, it should be the best reason for sniffing your wine. If paying attention to aroma helps to find, drink and remember wines that we enjoy, then that should be reason enough to pause before drinking. And breathe deeply.