Wine Word of the Week: Faults

By Kori ~ May 15th, 2012.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is faults.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Faults in wines vary, of course, according to the taste of the consumer. …. To winemakers, however, wine faults are specific departures from an acceptable norm, the least quantifiable of which may be a lack of typicality.

Faults in a wine’s appearance are generally either hazes, clouds, or precipitates in the bottle. ….

Some wines smell so stale and unpleasant that the taster is unwilling even to taste them. ….

Most faults are already obvious to the nose and need only confirmation on the palate (which is why in a restaurant it is, strictly speaking, necessary only to smell a sample of wine offered by the waiter.)

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Most wine faults can be detected by their off-odors. The most common wine fault is cork taint which is generally characterized by a musty, moldy, wet cardboard aroma.

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