Wine Faults

At our 2010 Sip & Study, one are areas of study was the identification of wine faults. We purchased doctoring kits so that participants were able to smell the fault in wine. These kits are used for aroma evaluation only.


Sensory Evaluation of Faults in Wine

Have you ever come across a wine where you don’t know whether you like it or

Fearless leader Tim Wright

not? Or maybe the question comes to mind as to whether you should like the wine or not? So, safely you describe the wine as “interesting” (the bane of enological vernacular). It’s a common occurrence, but this evaluation of wine faults and their aromas will help clarify what truly is the ” bad” in bad wine.

Here is a list of the 10 most common defects and the aromatic descriptions. Do you know your wine faults?

  1. Cork Taint – must, moldy, pond water, basement, dank cellar, wet paper, wet cardboard, earthy
  2. Brettanomyces 1 – Barnyard, horse, wet dog, band-aid, leather, smoky, tar
  3. Oxidation – Bruised apples, sherry, nutty
  4. VA – Acetic Acid – vinegar, pungent
  5. VA – Ethyl Acetate – Fingernail Polish Remover
  6. Lactic Taint (Buttery) – Butter, buttered popcorn
  7. Methoxypyrazine – Green bell peppers, fresh leaves, vegetative
  8. Brettanomyces 2 – Sweaty saddle, cheese, rancid
  9. Microbial – Muddy, earthy, musty, beets, turnip
  10. Hydrogen Sulfide – rotten eggs
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1 Response to Wine Faults

  1. Mark Mecord says:

    So what is the difference between Brett 1 and 2? As a homebrewer (beer) we only reference Brett (not 1 & 2). Also is Lactic Taint similar to diacetyl (aroma and taste)?



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