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Re: spontaneous vs. commercial MLF and biogenic amines, here are some papers. Let me know if you can't access and I'll email.




Bonus: BA formation by yeasts:

many more here:


Biogenic amines. The lastest "problem" which can only be solved by purchasing a product from, unsurprisingly, the companies which have discovered the dire effects of biogenic amines and the dire consequences they cause. (Man, that stuff is EVERYWHERE! (Use our products!)

Biogenic amines are the "restless leg syndrome" of the wine world.

I'd put tannins, enzymes, yeasts, etc in the same category. Wholly unnecessary additives, assuming your grapes are healthy and full of life.


This is a far more complex issue than blaming on MLF, no? Seems like this is directly influenced by high pH and a risk of lactobacillus. If lactobacillus takes over, your wine is gone, posing no risk, as there's no drinker.

Vinos Ambiz

MLF. I haven't read any of the papers mentioned above (nor do I know chemistry!) and I haven't read any of the three books yet. I will as soon as the harvesting is finished and I can think straight!!!
But my gut reaction is that this is some company trying to sell an unecessary product. I mean MLF has been happening sponaneously for thousands of years and people haven't exactly been dying off in droves due to that, have they? If you search hard enough, every product or foodstuff under the sun has been "proved" to be carcinogenic by someone.

In any case, it's just another example of unnecessary or excessive manipulation. If your grapes are healthy and harvested at the right time, and your bodega is clean, and you make your wine as simply as possible (just oversee it as it makes itself really!) then there's no need to add anything, take anything out, or force it to do anything.


Conflict of interest or not (knowing Jamie it's the last thing I'd think of), I find it very osé and actually upsetting that a book on natural wine would take such a stance on natural yeast.
One thing is "argu[ing] for a broader view of natural wine that allows the use of cultured yeasts" - understanding that a wine can follow the natural route even when it's fermented on cultured yeast. That's fine with me. But another thing is jeopardising natural fermentations and encouraging winemakers to buy yeast in the shop. Many authors have believed for years that natural yeast was responsible for the sheer quality of hundreds of the world's best wines but hey, we were all stupid.


Aw, shucks, this year we have decided for the first time to let every single fermenting vat go without added yeasts (in the past there were always a couple of problematic ones at the end to which we would add them), and it turns out we're making carcinogenic poison! I am deeply worried...

Now, seriously, as Fabio says, where's the trail of cancer deaths related to wine consumption over the past few millennia?


Victor, thanks for your comment. And, do be careful!

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