Top 10 ludicrous but true wine descriptors

9 – Kerosene

KeroseneThis is one of the oh so alluring aromas associated with Riesling. It may not sound pleasant but in combination with Rieslings characteristic citrus, honey and musky notes, it’s wonderful.

The compound in question here is 1,6 trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphalene (or TDN) and develops in the skins of the Riesling grape at a certain level of ripeness. The kerosene smell is generally amplified with age.

3 Responses to “Top 10 ludicrous but true wine descriptors”

  1. Anthony Rose says:

    This comment was deleted from the revised version as Anthony Hanson realised that what he’d been describing was brett and so, not surprisingly didn’t want to perpetuate the misleading association. Much the same occurred in Australia when luminaries such as James Halliday discovered that the leathery character of Hunter Valley Shiraz previously described as ‘sweaty saddles’ was in fact closer to blazing saddles than umami.

  2. Rita Erlich says:

    Thanks for all of that. But I’d question one thing, under point 10 : horsiness is not really the same as horse manure. Horsiness is the smell of clean horses, animal, but not manure. It’s a smell that also appears in violets. Some violets (not all) have horsy notes, so do some black truffles. I’d love to know what the chemical compound is.

  3. Pamela says:

    Of note, the term on slide 6 should be ‘Foxy’, not Foxes. Its a wild, musky odor that is prevalent in varieties like Concord. I think ‘Foxy’ fits the smell well 😉

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