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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Champagne Masters 2019

Deadline : 23rd August 2019

The Global Riesling Masters 2019

Deadline : 24th August 2019

Click to view more

The Global Organic Masters 2019

View Results

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2019

View Results

Click to view more