Top 10 ludicrous but true wine descriptors

5 – Rotten cabbage 

Another volatile sulphur compound associated with reduction, this time one known as a methyl mercaptan, which produces a distinct rotten cabbage sort of smell – hardly an aromas you’d like to greet you when you stick your nose in a glass.

This particular sulphur compound has been implicated in reduction that occurs in wine with screwcap closures. Unlike corks, which allow a minute ingress of oxygen into the bottle, which has been found to be beneficial for the development of a wine, screwcaps are airtight and therefore help to create an environment in which reduction reactions can occur.

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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