Learn About Wine Faults

Wine Faults: Off-Odors After discussing wine tasting for beginners I realized you should probably know something about wine faults like off-odors and what causes them. On the one hand off-odors are not always a bad thing. Some wines are characterized by them, like Pinot Noir and its sometimes barnyard smell. On the other hand, they can be devastating to a winery and most unpleasant for you and me, the consumers. There’s a long list of off-odors to go through so I’m going to break them down into several pages so you don’t fall asleep on me. Let’s start on these basics of wine with… Sulfur Compounds in Wine I hear people all the time asking for sulfite-free wines, the usual claim being they are allergic to sulfites. So imagine their slack jawed stares when I tell them sulfites, or Sulfur Dioxide, is naturally produced in small amounts by wine yeast during alcoholic fermentation and if they can find one I will drink my own urine. What they mean to ask for is a “no sulfites added” or a “low sulfites” wine. And then when they just grab a bottle of “organic wine” and say, this is what I was looking [...]