Sarah wrote in because she was having dinner with friends the other night and they all agreed that their red wine smelled like Band-Aids. They actually liked the wine pretty well, but once one of them remarked on the Band-Aid character, all of them noticed it and it was hard not to focus on it.
Pretty wierd, huh?
Actually, Band-Aid is a classic descriptor for wine that has a spoilage yeast present calledBrettanomyces. It’s often called “Brett” for short. Technically, it’s a defect, but it’s really quite common. And, whether or not it detracts from the wine is a question of how much the Brett has overtaken it and your own personal taste. It’s harmless, so if you like the character, don’t worry about it.
In addition to Band-Aid character, depending upon the wine, you might notice earthy, barnyard or horse stable character. Some describe it as mousy, sweaty saddle or cheesy – YUM 😉 It makes a young red smell and taste older than it is and as it progresses it dries out the fruit. The flavors become somewhat metallic.