Catering professionals

Wine faults: how to identify them?

Verre de vin blanc frais bouchonné

This is a fairly common situation in catering: a customer finds a flaw in his wine. It may be a matter of taste, a customer does not like his glass, or there is a real alteration of the product. As a restaurateur and server, it’s technical to distinguish what the real problem is. We give you here all our tips for identifying faults that your wines present!

Confusion between corked wine and oaked wine

The Cork taste, also called “cork taint”, is the most common defect in wine. The presence of trichloroanisole (TCA) is the cause. It is a molecule found in cork stoppers. If the wine is corked, it may smell of earth, mold or wood and may be bland or unpleasant on the palate.

The TK molecules, which we often talk about, are in fact molecules present in the cork that can migrate to the wine once it comes into contact with the cork. Unfortunately, there is no going back once this migration has occurred.

 However, it sometimes happens that we hear that a wine is corked but that by aerating it, it is no longer so. This does not necessarily mean that it is corked, there is often confusion between a corked wine and a wine that has a woody taste. The latter is characterized by aromas of vanilla, coconut or toast, resulting from aging in oak barrels.

Other types of wine faults  

Your wine can go to waste in different ways. Before or after its opening, here are the main risks in addition to corked wine : 

  • AndMaderized wine means that it has oxidized on contact with the air, its altered color marks its old age and the cork loses its elasticity.
  • Andstale wine has lost its aromas and structure, also due to oxidation.
  • And Expired wine is a wine that has been open for too long, usually 3 to 5 days. Serving him risks making your customers sick…

Added to this are aging defects, with the loss of power and aromatic intensity of the wine.

Sulphite is the most talked about defect in wine today

Sulphites are a substance added to wine to inhibit the growth of bacteria and yeast. However, a high concentration of sulfites can alter the taste of wine and cause headaches in some people. This is why more and more people are looking to consume sulfite-free wine. 

To find out more

Are the bottoms of wine bottles piling up in your establishment? Think you can’t use them any more? Don’t throw them away, give them a second life. In this article, find out how to avoid wasting opened bottles of wine.