Weird Wine Notes

Something Strange in Your Glass

If you’ve ever taken a journey into the world of wine tasting, chances are you’ve encountered some pretty strange tasting notes. Wine is a complex subject that is made a little more interesting by all the different adjectives tasters use to describe what they’re drinking. You may think wine is good or bad and not get much deeper about it. Which is totally fine! One thing we love about wine is that it’s different for everyone. However, if you want to dive a little deeper into wine tasting notes, you’re going to see some strange descriptors that might sound bad. Some might even sound gross. So today we’re going to get into some of the weird wine notes tasters make and what they really mean.

Tire Rubber

Sounds crazy — but if you’re getting the scent of burnt rubber when you sniff your wine, don’t be too worried. This scent can appear when a wine (often Syrah) has more prominent sulphur compounds. It doesn’t negatively affect the wine, however since scent is well connected to our ability to taste, if it’s too strong you might not enjoy your glass as much.

Pencil Shavings

Think back to your early school days and all the time spent sharpening pencils before tests. Scents like this are often engrained in our brain for a lifetime. When opening up a bottle of some reds from Bordeaux, you might be taken back to the classroom, standing in line to use the oversized pencil sharpener attached to the teacher’s desk. This scent again isn’t necessarily a bad thing and is even sought after by some enthusiasts.

Saddle Leather

A pretty specific taste that sounds unappealing at first, however tasting saddle leather in your wine isn’t always something to shy away from. Often found in wines that have brettanomyces (a type of yeast), saddle leather taste can show up in many red wines. If the taste is overwhelming and detracts from the positive taste of the wine, then the wine may have spoiled.

Drink What You Enjoy

We could discuss weird wine notes for a long time. The many smells and flavours that wine can evoke is extensive. At the end of the day, you want the wine you’re drinking to be a pleasant experience. So if notes of saddle leather or the scent of tire rubber isn’t working for you, that’s just not the wine for you! Luckily the wine world is huge and there are endless options for you to truly enjoy. Cheers!