We are often afraid of it with each new bottle opening. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as bad taste in wine! So we might as well know them to better detect them and identify their causes. Finally I will explain what to do when one of your wines has a defect.
WINE’S DEFECT: THE CORK TASTE
This is of course the most famous of the bad tastes of wine. You’ve probably seen a waiter (or a sommelier) smell the cork of a bottle of wine before you tried it. It is precisely a question of checking if it is clogged.
The technique is simple. If your cork smells like wine, it’s often because your wine smells like cork.
In the mouth, this translates into a strong cork taste. As if you were chewing on the cork!
This bad taste is due to the structure of the cork. Cork is porous and allows the wine to have an exchange of air with the outside. It is this exchange that allows the wine to age. But if a cork is of poor quality or simply a defect, the air exchange may be too important and therefore give this cork taste to the wines.
If the wine is not too heavily corked, you can always pour it into your vinegar bowl.
WINE’S DEFECT: THE TASTE OF LIGHT
It is a defect that will mainly affect white wines. Even more so, those in transparent bottles. If wine bottles are opaque, it is first of all to protect them from light. It’s not new, wine doesn’t like light!
The taste of light is caused by UV alteration of the wine.
This defect causes a strong cauliflower taste and smell. You might as well say that you can always move on to the next bottle.
WINE’S DEFECT: OXIDATION
As mentioned above, wine is a sensitive product. It should not be exposed to too much light and the same goes for oxygen.
Many foodstuffs react to the oxygen in the air. Wine is no exception.
If your wine remains too long in the open air or if it is badly preserved (for old vintages), the wine will take on reduced aromas, and will become acrid.
Oxidative notes can also appear in wines containing little or no sulphur. These wines being less stable this will have a greater chance of occurring. It doesn’t matter, but you just have to keep it in mind when you plan your wine for a meal.
WINE’S DEFECT: SMELLS
For this defect, it is not a matter of a single bad taste in particular but rather a precaution to be observed. Be careful not to use your wine with very smelly products. It may take the taste and odours of the latter. The best example is the cheese kept in the wine cellar for its ideal temperatures.
In addition, cheeses may transmit their mould to corks.
WINE’S DEFECT: REDUCTION’S TASTE
The reduced taste gives the wines an old mop, damp and musty smell. This comes from the fact that some bottles suffer more than others from confinement.
However, if you come across this type of smell, don’t hesitate to leave your wine aside because the smell may pass after 15 to 20 minutes.
WINE’S DEFECT: REFERMENTATION IN THE BOTTLE
“My red wine is sparkling”
This is a defect that is found mainly in natural wines or wines with little sulphur. However, it is important not to confuse a carbonic residue, which can be sought to gain freshness, with a refermentation.
The carbonic residue (the wine beads on the tip of the tongue) is technical and difficult to control and is a quality.
The re-fermentation is due to poor control of indigenous yeasts and/or a transport and conservation problem. That’s a defect!
WINE’S DEFECT: CONCLUSION
I hope you know a little more about the possible defects of a wine. The most important thing to remember is that you should bring one or two spare bottles, rather than missing them. And fortunately, if you don’t need it, the extra can be kept until the next opportunity, even if you don’t have a wine cellar!
Then, if you ever come across one of these bottles, REPORT IT TO YOUR CAVIST. He will be happy to exchange it with you. From the moment you don’t bring him an empty bottle! And if you’re afraid to go to a wine store, read my article right away to defeat your cavistophobia!
Tell me in comment if you have already stumbled upon one of these bottles and if you would like more articles on the technical terms of wine.
See you very soon,
Corentin – DesVinsaVous