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Jun 28, 2010 09:32 PM

Horseradish Aroma?

So I'm up late two nights in a row and opened a cheap bottle of Viognier. Had two glasses last night and two tonight. And every time I breathe this wine in deeply, I smell horseradish! Now I'm not anywhere near an expert but this is something I've never experienced. I drink a lot of cheap wine (working part time now) and have even had this wine before. But I cannot recall this aroma.

The wine is not bad. I'm finishing the bottle right now. Just wanted to know if anyone else ever caught a whiff of horseradish in their wine.

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  1. What is the vintage and producer?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Steve_K

      It was Pepperwood Grove Viognier. No idea of the vintage. The bottle is in recycling nirvana.

      1. re: mojoeater

        So, you're paying $8.50 or so if you get this at BevMo, and what I'd like to suggest is that there are far better white wines for that money. Seriously. Check out the suggestions here on the Wine Board. You could go to BevMo online and research wines under $10 rated 88 points or higher. The Columbia Crest 10 Vineyard Chardonnay for $7 might be one to try. Wine Spectator is good at recommneding inexpensive wines in their free weekly email. I'd ike to steer you away from PG.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Sorry, the wine is the '07 Columbia Crest Vineyard 10 White White blend,
          89 PTS, $6.99 (not Chardonnay as written above).

          1. re: maria lorraine

            There is no bevmo near us. Another thing I miss from our time in LA. Most of our wine-buying is done at Kroger. There are some good wine shops, just out of the way...

    2. Years ago, I was tasting some Australian wines and detected a distinct horseradish aroma in a shiraz. Someone representing the winery or distributor was at the tasting, and used the word capsicum instead, which to some people means pepper and to others means bell pepper.

      Regardless, I don't want horseradish in my wine.

      1. A horseradish smell is a flaw, and when it shows up, it means lazy winemaking. It's the result of not just one winemaking error, but several in a row.

        The problem gets started when the winemaker is lazy and doesn't filter out the heavy yeast from the light yeast when storing the wine on the lees. Then, if the lees aren't stirred (batonnage), methyl mercaptans -- sulfur compounds that smell like rotten cabbage and burnt rubber -- are formed. If they're not removed with copper sulfate, the methyl mercaptans oxidize. What's formed then are dimethyl disulfide and allyl disulfide, which smell like onion (allyl refers to allium, the botanical name for the onion family), and allyl isothiocyanate, the pungent mustardy aroma in horseradish. I knew you'd want to know.

        1 Reply
        1. re: maria lorraine

          I really appreciate this information! I don't expect much from cheap wine, but knew there was something off there.