Top wine faults and what to look for

Secondary fermentation 


The presence of volatile acidity can make wine smell of nail varnish (or vinegar)

How: Caused by yeast, lactic acid bacteria or acetic acid bacteria (volatile acidity), faults normally occur in natural or low-intervention winemaking (i.e. minimal sulphur dioxide usage) when the wine is mistakenly bottled with a few grams of residual sugar and then re-ferments.

What to look for: Cloudy, hazy or wine that is ‘spritzing’ when it shouldn’t be. The wine suppresses its fruit and gives yeasty characters. In the case of acetic acid bacteria/volatile acidity, there will be a pronounced vinegar or ethyl acetate (nail polish) notes.

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