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Ever smell a wine, especially red, that has notes of barnyard, horsey doo doo, mouse, stable or Band-Aid and just seems a bit dirty? What you smell is “Brett” or, more specifically, Brettanomyces. It’s a yeast that can ruin a wine. Occasionally in white wine, it is more common in red. It usually evolves from uncleanliness somewhere in the winery or the winemaking itself. When slight in a wine, it may add some character and be considered “complexity”, but when extreme, it is very aggressive and puts the wine right off. Everyone’s threshold to “brett” differs. Some folks are more sensitive to it than others. It’s definitely not a health concern, but who wants to drink a wine that smells excessively like poo?

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