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Brett In Wine

With some beers, Brett is intentionally added to add layers of complexity and funk and dankness. Is the same true with wine? I understand that it could be naturally introduced in wine. With the addition of sulfides, it would seem that Brett maturing in the wine bottles is low?
Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

You bring up a surprising distinction between wine and beer with respect to Brettanomyces. I have pointed out in another post that Brett is a dirty word in the world of wine. The idea that Brett would actually be added to beer deliberately to create certain styles is incongruous to wine makers and critics. Perhaps part of the divide can be explained by the myriad aromas associated with Brett. A few years ago, academics at University of California-Davis developed a Brett Aroma Impact Wheel, identifying twelve categories. While some would be considered undesirable (wet dog, horse or rotting vegetation), others could be very appealing. The attractive Brett aromas include some categorized as fruity (citrus or tropical fruit), spicy (clove or cola) and floral (violet or rose). For whatever reason, we in the wine world have focused exclusively on all the nasty aromas linked to Brett while ignoring the ones we tend to find attractive.

About Our Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey, Portugal, China and the U.S. Roger is one of America's first Masters of Wine.

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