11 August 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Get Your Nerd On – Brett Aroma Wheel

20130811-085146.jpgHello friends – it’s a two-parter today! After spending a few hours yesterday hunkered down and reading through back issues of one of my favorite wine trade magazines, I finally got to my most recent issue and just about fell out of my chair at the title of one of the articles written by Roger Lansing. Remember that post I made about the Wine Aroma Wheel and how helpful it was? Well, there is a new wheel. A supplemental wheel. A wheel that could help you reach a new level of wine nerd-out, if you’re like me. Dr. Ann Noble (UC Davis) says it’s called the Brettanomyces Aroma Wheel, and the reason I’m bringing it up in today’s blog post is because it might be of interest to a few of you.

Now, quickly. What in the heck is Brettanomyces? Lovingly referred to as “brett”, it’s a kind of yeast, but not the kind, until now, you prefer your wine to have. Known as a spoilage yeast, it’s the kind of thing that can be a hinderance (or a help) to the wine you’re sniffing and sipping (or quaffing. whatevs. no judgement here.) Basically, Dr. Noble and staff + students identified that there are a number of strains of Brett, and that some produce funky smells, while others produce pleasant smells.

Mind. Blown.

Needless to say, I hopped over to the Aroma Wheel website and found no version of this wheel easily accessible for purchase. So, instead, I ripped the page out of my WBM magazine to keep the bugger in my handy-dandy noteboook until one exists. With new aromas to think about – savory and dairy and woody and floral – I may be carrying a weird, perplexed look on my face as I work through my next rounds of tastings, asking myself: is this an aromatic of the wine, or of Brett?

P.S. I’m happy to give you a peek of my new cheat sheet – just ask.


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