I'm just sick of mouse taint. Sick of it I tell you. Mouse taint is (to me) that awful, noxious rodent breath at the finish of a wine. It's a taste that is actually a smell, and to me it is a big fault of natural winemaking and one that is hard for me to swallow. The French call it goût de souris. It mostly shows up in sulfur free wines where something has gone wrong. And you know what? It is showing up more and more. Last week I found a mine field of them, and though I escaped unscathed, it wasn't pretty. The whole explosion of wines, (perhaps, but not always) sloppily made is driving me crazy and making me very careful in my selections for the newsletter, which I want to be a sulfur and mouse-free environment.
What is it? What's to be done with it? I ran a three-part series in The Feiring Line with some of my favorite experts on the subject (like Eric Texier) chiming in. Here's a snippet from the series.
Enologist Maya Salee drinking some Bordeaux that surely don't have mouse!
I have a hard time explaining what mouse is to people who haven’t thought about it. how do you handle it?
It’s a little bit like trying to listen to someone in the distance on a very windy day. If the person is very far away and the wind is blowing towards him/her, you won't hear anything. The person will have to come closer (a small amount of wine) and change directions so the wind comes to you with the sound (change the pH of that small amount of wine) in order to hear what he/ she is shouting.
Do we know what causes it?
Brettanomyces has been accused of being responsible for the mousy off-flavor for a long time. Nowadays some research has proved that ...