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Horse sweat

Name for a wine defect that occurs mainly in red wines, but for which there are many other names. These are Apeshit (South Africa), earthy note (see Geosmin), Brett, Hansaplast, Hunderschweiß, Lederton, Medizinalton, wet dog, wetter Fell, wetter Leder, Pferdestall, Pferdeton, Phenolton, Sattelton, Schweißsocken, Stallgeruch and Teerton. For this reason, the defect was often not clearly recognised in the past or not classified as a defect at all. It occurs in internationally renowned red wines, in Belgian beers and in ciders as a thoroughly accepted typical aroma. Through analyses, the same microorganisms could be identified as the cause in all these off-flavours. It is not uncommon for horse sweat to occur together with the wine defect mousse. The off-flavour occurs more frequently in red wines that have been subjected to barrique ageing, especially in new barrels, and/or to carbonic maceration (carbonic acid maceration). The main causes are a lack of hygiene such as unclean wooden barrels and/or too little use of sulphur.

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