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