Ethyl Acetate

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

ethyl acetate, the most common ester in wine, and a natural organic compound present in most fruits, berries, other foods, and alcoholic drinks. Ethyl acetate is present in much higher concentrations than any other ester because it is formed by the reaction of the most common volatile organic acid in young wine, acetic acid, with the most common alcohol produced by fermentation, ethanol.

The perception threshold of ethyl acetate is generally about 120 mg/l, and a moderate concentration is unlikely to be perceived. At higher concentrations, however, it can become unacceptably dominant and increasingly impart the character described as volatile and, eventually, vinegary.