Top 10 ludicrous but true wine descriptors

6 – Foxes

FoxRather than being associated with the chemical reactions involved in the fermenting or finished wine, this is a descriptor based on a flavour compound identified in a particular species of grapevine.

The compounds involved are methyl anthranilate, furaneol (2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-2,3-dihydro-3-furanone), and o-aminoacetophenone, which are present in the fruit of vitis labrusca, and hybrid vine that was once commonly used for wine production in the US.

Indeed the red grape Concord remains a significant part of the North American – and Japanese – grape industries.

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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