One of our five senses becomes a fundamental tool to detect certain defects in wine. The sense of smell allows us to perceive the details of the aroma of the wine. We can divide the perception of aromas into 4 groups:
The primary aromas, which come from the strain.
The secondary aromas, which come from the fermentation process.
The tertiary aromas, which come from the aging of the wines.
And finally, the aromas of the defects of the wine. That’s why we establish this fourth group where we will focus the explanation that will help us when discarding a bottle.
The first action that we must carry out when we taste a wine is to correctly move the glass. A couple or three subtle twists would be enough to perceive those aromas. We already talked about this when we gave you some suggestions when tasting a wine. This fine movement will cause the scent to volatilize and enter the nose, warning our sense of smell if something is wrong.
If our first impression is an aroma closer to a broth of meat, chard or curry, it may be the symptom of a rusty wine. This transformation from fruit to processed aromas is a clue to its defectiveness.
A note of mold, mildew and humidity can be identified as a problem with the cork. Trichloroanisole tares the wine and alters the flavor, so it is important to anticipate.
If that olfactory warning is more aggressive, we will be facing high volatile acidity, and we can associate it with vinegar or acetone.
The case is repeated if it’s reduced wine and we receive notes of rotten egg. We exaggerate a little, because it’s not the maximum sensation of unpleasant smell, but it’s enough to warn us of its defect.
An excess of sulfur is warned by the characteristic smell of a recently lit match and is the unmistakable signal not to drink that wine.
We are able to differentiate through the olfactory region (located in the upper part of the nose and communicated with the mouth) subtle differences. This ability allows us to anticipate the aroma before drinking wine. Giving up wine on time can avoid a bad experience.
This defect may be caused by faulty wine bottling, its storage in an inappropriate place or by other variables that don’t generalize to the brand and production of that particular wine. Remember this last paragraph: we should not generalize a bad experience. It cannot be extrapolated to the entire vintage, winery or production, but could simply have been due to other uncontrollable factors for the producer.