A musty aroma isn’t always cork taint
DKV “sniffing seminar” well received at Mainz Weinbörse show
As a long-standing partner of the Verband der Deutschen Prädikatsweingüter (VDP or Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates), the Deutscher Kork Verband (DKV or German Cork Association) came up with something quite different for visitors to the Mainz Weinbörse, the VDP’s trade fair, held April 26 and 27, 2009. A seminar on sensory properties was an opportunity for international wine experts to “sniff out” the substances responsible for the musty taste in wine.
The different musty aromas which the DKV had prepared for the sniffing seminar were all caused by haloanisoles. These chemical compounds generate the musty odor not only in the test wines but also in the test objects on display, such as mineral water, cheese and coffee, and in some cases very powerfully! More than 60 visitors to the show, including Masters of Wine, sommeliers and wine journalists from Germany, Europe, Asia and the USA, from a range of buyers including Emeril’s, Mandarin Oriental, Jaques’ Weindepot and Karstadt, sniffed their way to the conclusion that not every musty aroma in wine is necessarily due to a defective cork.
Haloanisoles, which in even the tiniest concentrations have a perceptible smell and taste, can get into wine in various ways, for example, as a result of wine storage, processing or a contaminated stopper. The DKV seminar made abundantly clear the need to differentiate between cork taint and musty aromas.