Faulty Towers


And there I found myself paying to taste…. off-wines…

definitely spat my way through this one

definitely spat my way through this one

Since my days of running around the Savoy are long gone, I tend not to have the high turn-over of faulty wines at my disposal. When you’re opening 50-some wines a night….you’re gonna find some bad ones.

Those were the days.

Les Marchands has these bi-monthly tasting things which cover regions, grapes, you get the picture. But my interest was particularly piqued when I received the email blast on a faulty wine tasting. The last time I sat through such a class was during my first year of university….about 15 years ago, a refresher was in order.

We went through all the major wine faults: brett, VA (I actually like that), oxidation, SO2, TCA, secondary fermentation and heat stress…..you know all the GOOD stuff!!

Here’s some cheat notes on what to look out for:

  • brett – gamey, barnyard, oddly enough I always find it scratchy on the palate
  • VA – I always think nail varnish
  • Oxidation – nuttiness, tastes tired (but sometimes it’s meant to be…)
  • SO2 – match sticks – rotten egg
  • TCA – aka corked – cardboard
  • secondary fermentation – when it’s sweet and not meant to be, sometimes bubbles
  • heat stress – smells/tastes of cooked fruit

Highly recommended since the guys at Marchands sought out these examples for the class.

Punters basking in wine fault glory.

Punters basking in wine fault glory.

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2 thoughts on “Faulty Towers

  1. I remember those days at the Savoy. We had so many corked wines at one point. Sometimes we’d get at least 3 per night. But then given the style of list there was always a higher chance of problems

    Nice one!

    • spiltwine says:

      They would stink up our little somm den. Pretty crazy list Chris, you put that chard from Jura on there, not to mention the multi-national motley crew of pourer people.

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