Types of

Wine mistakes & defects

Empty wine bottles
IIn this section is dedicated tot wine defects and how to recognise a faulty or even inedible wine. It should be noted that not every wine that is not palatable has a flaw. Often these mistakes can be misplaced with special aromas which irritate wine drinkers. We will try to distinguish nuances from the actual wine defects such as a cork flaw.
Match stick bexaus of sulfur dioxide
In the case of wine mistakes, a distinction can generally be made between a permanent or temporary defect. The sulfur dioxide for example, is one of the permanent wine defects and can be recognised by a pungent and match-stick-like scent. In the case the wine was usually treated with too much sulfur.
Yeast can convert sulphites into hydrogen sulphide smelling like burnt rubber or rotten eggs. If the sulphites are not removed after the fermentation process, there is a missing tone, which in technical jargon is called Mercaptans.
Geruch nach verbranntem Gummi oder faulen Eiern
Smell and tast like wet earth
If the wine smells musty and tastes like wet earth, the causes are mostly moulds. The moulds can influence in inadequately cleaned wine barrels and make the wine undrinkable. However, in some cases, this defect can disappear due to the supply of air making the wine drinkable again.
Alcoholic wines can develop a pungent smelling like nail polisher or glue. This is due to a too high concentration of vinegar bacteria, which are formed by the acetic acid produced in the wine.
Smell like nail polisher
Geruch von Stall und Fekalien
If the wine smells like a stable or urine it is called "Mice" or "Ladybird (pyrazine) tain". This extremely unpleasant smell is caused by special yeasts. This defect occurs mainly in red wines with low acid values, which were pressed in hot years. People can still drink it bearable.
By decomposing sorbic acid with the help of bacteria during and after the fermentation process, a wine can also develop the scent of geranium. However, this defect can only occur when preservatives are used.
Geruch von nasser Karton
If a wine smells like moist cardboard and mothballs, it has an "untypical age mark" (hereinafter: UTA). This UTA occurs, for example, when the grapes are harvested prematurely, when yields are too high or when there is drought stress.
A rancid smell is caused by insufficient sulphur. The lack of sulphur leads to oxidation of the oxygen in the bottle, which develops an unpleasant.
rancid smell
Botrytis cinerea
The acid taste and smell such as Vinegar also known as volatile acid, which is the result of the acetic acid bacteria Gluconobacter oxydans, Acetobacter pasteurianus and Acetobacter aceti. They develop when the berries are damaged by birds and subsequently infected by insects with the Botrytis cinerea.
In general, if you suspect one of these wine defects, you should first let the wine breath air for a few minutes. In rare cases, the air supply may eliminate the wine defect or reduces it to a minimum.
The Signs

of a cork defect

Both white and red wines can be equally affected by a cork defect. In rare cases, the notorious cork defect can occur on bottles with a modern screw cap or in high-priced champagnes. Experts assume that between five and eight percent of all wines are subject to a cork defect.
cork defect
Smell and taste a cork defect
A "corked" wine cannot be determined by an optical observation, since the cork does not change in size, colour or texture. However, through the bouquet of the wine one can identified the unpleasant smell or taste such as a musty aroma. If the drinker is not sure whether the wine is really corky or not, he has the ability to find out by pouring some carbonated water into the wine. The water causes an additional reinforcement of the cork defect, which clearly covers the actual wine taste. This is a simple and efficient solution for consumers to be certain.
The corky taste in wine is triggered by the trichloranisole (TCA). TCA compounds are formed by chemical reactions of the phenol in the natural cork with chorus-containing substances. Chlorine-containing substances include pesticides, cleaning agents, bleaching agents, wood preservatives or pallets. The chemical reactions cause moulds to form, which settle on the cork. These are not recognizable with the naked eye do not have a connection with the mold, which in rare cases can found on the upper side of the cork of particularly old bottles. Tribromanisole is responsible for the corked taste of wine in bottles with a screw cap.
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