Weekly Wine Quiz: Oh, Captain! Mercaptan! (And #WBW75 Is Nigh!)

Vinted on March 16, 2012 binned in wine appreciation, wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!

Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps like you, I do not supply the quiz answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. Blah, blah, blah – you know all this already…

Anyway, this week we’re continuing the WWQ theme of stinky wine faults! Enjoy!

Also: don’t forget, Wine Blogging Wednesday #75 is next week on March 21st! Get your single vineyard wines ready, peoples!!!

Okay, now back to WWQ, already in progress:

Oh, Captain! Mercaptan!

Sometimes good wines just go… bad! Meaning, of course, that chemical faults can often ruin an otherwise perfectly good bottle of vino. Organic compounds known as mercaptans can cause what kind of off-putting stench in a wine?

  • A. Onions and cabbage
  • B. Rotten eggs
  • C. Potted plants
  • D. Burnt matches

Cheers, good luck, and happy (and safe!) St. Paddy’s Day!





  • Myles Miller

    Joe — Going with onions and cabbage answer

    • 1WineDude

      Myles – PU! :)

  • Joel Ohmart

    I am going to go with A Joe.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Joel!

  • JHNordaker

    Definetly onions

    • 1WineDude

      JHNordaker  – thanks.

  • Sally

    Onions and cabbage = mercaptan!

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Sally!

  • 1WineDude

    Here you go, my smarties!

    Wine Quiz Answer: A. Onions and cabbage

    Mercaptans form when sulfur dioxide and ethyl alcohol combine during winemaking. Usually the result of diethyl mercaptans (which, alas, are untreatable), they result in smells reminiscent of cut onions or even rotting cabbages. Yuck!

  • Todd Chittick

    Bordeaux will continue to be the benchmark as long as all the hype & publicity continues to surround them. And now the Chinese and Asian markets have bought into the hype as well (plus real estate). It's the same for all luxury goods – if you do a great job of promoting & image-building, then people will pay almost anything for the experience and bragging rights. Only we (the consumer) can shift things by not buying-in, but of course that's not going to happen…..

  • Todd Chittick

    Joe – how did I end up here when I was posting on the story? Sorry everyone – user error!

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