Faults in Wines

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

faults in wines, vary, of course, according to the taste of the consumer. Some diners will quite wrongly ‘send back’ a wine (see serving wine and sommelier) simply because they find it is not to their taste. Taste varies not only according to individuals but also according to nationality. Italians are generally more tolerant of bitterness, Americans of sweetness, Germans of sulfur dioxide, the French of tannins, and the British of decrepitude (see maturity) in their wines, while Australians tend to be particularly sensitive to mercaptans and most Americans view herbaceousness as a fault rather than a characteristic. To winemakers, however, wine faults are specific departures from an acceptable norm, the least quantifiable of which may be a lack of typicality.