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Brown fracture

This wine defect is caused by oxidative processes in the wine, which is caused by rotten and contaminated grapes, among other things. In the initial stage, the wine takes on a golden yellow colour (high colouring), which then changes to brownish. This stage is also referred to as a brown tinge. If the oxidation processes take a long time to react, the tannins (phenols) and proteins may polymerise (cake together), which is then referred to as brown breakage. The resulting compounds are insoluble and precipitate.

Such a wine has a fine flaky cloudiness. The white wines take on a yellow-orange to brownish-yellow colour, the red wines a dull red to ochre-brown colour. The wine has aromas of pears, bread crust and dried fruit with a stale, oily and empty nutty note. In red wine, this can lead to a complete loss of colour. If iron is also involved, the flakes take on a blue-green to blackish-green colour, which is known as black curd. This unpleasant wine defect is prevented or combated by sulphurisation.

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Dr. Christa Hanten

For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.

Dr. Christa Hanten
Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien

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