What Makes Wine Smell Musty?

Question from Kristy: What makes the wine smell musty? Can it still taste okay?

Reply: There are a few different reasons the wine might smell musty. And, you decide if it tastes okay. Here are some possibilities:

Maybe you chemists or microbiologists can enlighten us with some other causes?

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Filed under wine faults

3 responses to “What Makes Wine Smell Musty?

  1. Georgia Sandor

    I recently ordered a case of 6 different wines. Some were good others not to my liking, but I was concerned about the musty smell of the white Zinfandel.
    While the taste was actually better than the Chardonnay, the aroma of the Zinfandel ruined the taste. It smelled like you described cork taint. Damp basement, or old newspapers. I was afraid to drink any more thinking it was moldy is cork taint hazardous?

    • Hi Georgia. Thanks for writing. Fortuately cork taint isn’t harmful. In fact, virtually no form of wine spoilage is. Just offensive. 😝 But it sounds like that was an especially nasty case! Really all you can do is take it back. A reputable producer will want to know. Better luck next time!

      • Georgia Sandor

        Thank you, Nancy, for your reply. I’m happy to hear that it isn’t something dangerous since I did drink a glass. I will contact the seller (cellar, too)

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