4 Common Faults in Wine

4 Common Faults in Wine

Wine is a sophisticated drink that contains an extensive spectrum of fruity, tangy, and earthy flavours, most of which explode in the mouth and coat your taste buds in the most flavoursome way.

The best wine will make you want to sip and let it slightly swirl in your mouth, while the bad ones may be an added kitchen ingredient for cooking rather than for dining and unwinding. On that note, not all wines are made the same, and some go awry in the winemaking or storing process.

In that regard, most people may not have a trained tongue to notice the nuances between a fresh and flawed wine, but it helps to get a rundown on the know-how of wine tasting for the reason that the taste should be worth the price.

After all, a good bottle of wine will let you enjoy the taste of both comfort and luxury, a far cry from the bitter, tangy, and lack-lustre palette of a spoiled batch of wine. To that end, here are tell-tale signs that the wine is bad and better of at the bottom shelf:

Flaw #1: Oxidation

An oxidized wine means that it was spoiled largely due to too much oxygen exposure. It is the most common fault in older wines and can easily happen to any bottle left opened after-parties, dinners, and any other occasion.

Imagine a sliced apple left on your kitchen counter. Within a few hours, it turns brown due to oxidation, which is what happens with wine when left exposed. On another note, white wines are more susceptible to oxidation than red wine due to the latter having higher tannin levels, which act as a buffer that slows down the breakage of compounds within the wine.

How can you tell?

Oxidized wines are lack-lustre in both colour and flavour. The beautiful, deep scarlet red fades into a rusty colour, while the taste has an unpleasant, lip-smacking characteristic such as a mix between apple vinegar and caramelized cider.

Flaw #2: Cork Taint

Scientifically known as 2,4,6- Trichloroanisole (TSA) is a chemical contaminant also common in wine, which is a defect that typically manifests somewhere between the production and the storing process. The spoilage can happen in oak barrels, or the processing lines at the winery itself, resulting in batches of bad wine.

How can you tell?

Wines with tainted corks emit a pungent odour that smells similar to a wet dog, mouldy cardboard, and even wet newspaper. The taste, on the other hand, reflects the off-putting flavours of its scent, making it truly a wine to whine about.

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Flaw #3: Volatile Acidity

Often abbreviated as VA, wherein it describes the features of acetic acid, which is found in every wine to a certain degree. To wit, it is also the same acid that makes vinegar. This is caused by various yeasts and bacteria jumping into the process of winemaking.

Some small amounts of VA can add complexity by mixing sweet and tangy notes; however, too much of it can cause your drink to taste like a salad dressing.

How can you tell?

You can tell when it has a powerful, lip-puckering sourness ranging from balsamic vinegar to a $4 red wine vinegar.

Flaw #4: Heat Damage and Lightstrike

Also labelled as cooked wine, this is a common issue caused by being exposed to high temperatures for too long or for sitting vulnerable under the harsh UV light. This can happen to anyone who stores wine near a window or a warm area, which virtually kills the alcohol found in the wine.

How can you tell?

While the colour may be the same, the changes will be evident upon the first sip. You’ll immediately be greeted by sweeter notes and a lack of depth of flavours.

The Wine Bunker is all about quality, faultless wines that deliver an experience each and every time you sip them. Looking to stock up on some great wine? Get in contact with us today.

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