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aromas & flavours

FLOWERS - FRUITS - VEGETABLES - HERBS & SPICES - NUTS, DAIRY & OTHER - NOTES

OAK, DAIRY, NUTS & OTHER AROMAS

This is by far the largest section, and happens to contain most faults and unwelcome aromas.

ACID DROPS
See PEARDROPS

ALMOND
Amande (F) Mandel (G) Mandorla (I) Almendra (S)
Unless a minor part of a complex aroma, almond can be a rather simplistic and boring wine aroma.
Acetoin, acetophenone, benzaldehyde, furfural, 5-methyl- furfural
See specifically
BITTER ALMOND

AUTOLYSIS
See Explanatory notes.

BAND-AID
Pansement adhésif (F) Heftpflaster (G) Cerotto (I) Tirita (S)
The distinctive odour of Band-Aids or sticking plasters (sometimes referred to as surgical bandages or hospital smell) is a naturally occurring volatile phenol defect caused by an enzymic decarboxylation by yeast.
4-vinylphenol

BARNYARD
See HORSE

BEER-LIKE
Goût de bière (F) Bierartig (G) Gusto di birra (I) Acervezado (S)
A yeasty beer-like odour can be the result of insufficient racking.
Hydrogen sulphide near threshold of detection level

BISCUITY
Biscuité (F) Keksartig (G) Biscottato (I) Galetta (S)
In Champagne a biscuitiness can be due to acetal produced by autolysis when the wine is aged on its yeast.
Acetal, heptenal

BITTER ALMOND
Amande amère (F) Bittermandel (G) Mandorla amara (I) Almendra amarga (S)
The benzaldehyde responsible for the bitter almond character is found naturally in wine, particularly those that are sparkling or made by carbonic maceration. Natural levels, however, are not detectable by the human palate. When it is, it will be due to a non-wine source, such as an incorrectly applied epoxy resin lining inside a fermentation vat.
Benzaldehyde

BLUE CHEESE
See
STILTON

BRAZIL NUT
Noix du Brésil (F) Paranuss (G) Noce del Brasile (I) Nuez del Brasil (S)
Classic matured blanc de blancs Champagne.

BREAD
Pané (F) Brot (G)Crosta di pane (I) Pan (S)
Bready is a sign of a little post-disgorgement ageing on a good quality Champagne, but is not an autolytic character per se.
Diacetyl, undecalactone, p-tolymethyl ketone

BRIOCHE
Brioche (F) Brioche (G) Brioche (I) Brioche (S)
Similar to bready, but with an impression of sweetness, probably from the dosage.
Diacetyl, undecalactone, p-tolymethyl ketone

BUBBLE-GUM
Chewing-gum (F) Kaugummi (G) Goma masticare (I) Chicle (S)
More banal than peardrops, this amylic aroma is the product of carbonic maceration in red wines or too cool fermentation in whites. Should never be allowed in a fine wine and a boring character in even the cheapest plonk.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide

BURNT MATCH
Allumette brûlée (F) Verbranntes Streichholz (G) Fiammifero bruciato (I) Cerilla quemada (S)
The relatively fresh smell of free as opposed to fixed sulphur, this aroma suggests a recently bottled wine. It should dissipate after a few swirls of the glass.
Free sulphur

BURNT RUBBER
Caoutchouc brûlé (F) Gummi (G) Gomma bruciata (I) Caucho quemado (S)
Almost always a bad mercaptan fault. 2-Mercaptoethanol, thiophene-2-thiol, Verbrannter DEDS (diethyldisufide), 2-furanmethanethiol
See also RUBBER

BUTTER
Beurre (F) Butter (G) Burro (I) Mantequilla (S)
Diacetyl is a by-product of malolactic and also happens to be used by the food industry to make margarine taste more buttery (because diacetyl is the dominant aromatic molecule found in butter itself).
Diacetyl, ethyl lactate, acetoin
See also
BUTTERMILK, BUTTERSCOTCH

BUTTERMILK
Petit-lait (F) Buttermilch (G) Latticello (I) Suero de manteca (S)
Far too dominant malolactic (see
BUTTER).
Diacetyl, ethyl lactate, acetoin

BUTTERSCOTCH
Caramel au beurre (F) Buttertoffee (G) Caramella di zucchero e burro (I) Dulce de azúcar terciado con mantequilla (S)
Although commonly associated with big oak-aged Chardonnays that have undergone (arguably excessive) malolactic and lees stirring, an overt butterscotch aroma can also be found in other varieties and wines that have never touched oak.
Diacetyl, ethyl lactate, acetoin

CANDLE-WAX
Cire de bougie (F) Kerzewachs (G) Cera della candela (I) Cera de vela (S)
Candle-wax is an overused descriptor, although this can probably be excused because of the abundance of candles found in some cellars. The aroma they leave behind is most distinctive (unlike lanolin, an overused descriptor for descriptor referring to an odourless substance!).
Ethyl caproate, ethyl caprylate

CANDY
Bonbon (F) Bonbon (G) Confetto (I) Bombón (S)
Another amylic aroma. See
PEARDROP.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide

CANDYFLOSS
Barbe à papa (F) Zuckerwatte (G) Zucchero filato (I) Algodón de azúcar (S)
A candyfloss dimension to one or more summer fruit aromas can be found in some rosé, blush or New World blanc de noir wines when they have a certain residual sweetness.
3-hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-(5H)-furanone

CARAMEL
Caramel (F) Karamell (G) Caramello (I) Caramelo (S)
Can be dominant diacetyl (see BUTTER), but also the aroma of various by products of oak-ageing and/or lees-stirring. Certain volatile lactones (4-hexanolide) have a caramel taste. Maltol and cyclotene have a caramel-type burnt-sugar aroma and are two of the substances created during the toasting of oak barrels. Another by-product of barrel-toasting, dihydromaltol has a roasted-caramel aroma.
Diacetyl, ethyl 4-hydroxybutyrate, maltol, cyclotene, furaneol, 4-hexanolide, dihydromaltol

CARDBOARD
Carton (F) Karton (G) Cartone (I) Cartón (S)
A dry, dusty-papery cardboard odour can be picked up by glasses stored in cardboard boxes. The glue-ridden smell of wet cardboard is supposedly a mercaptan fault, but as yet unidentified. Between these extremes the smell of cardboard can be a TCA fault.
TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole)

CEDARWOOD
Cèdre (F) Zedernholz (G) Cedro (I) Cedro (S)
A purely subjective term for the bouquet associated with the bottle-maturity of a wine previously stored or fermented in oak, often-used oak. A classic claret character.

CHALK DUST
Poussière de craie (F) Kreidestaub (G) Polvere del geso (I) Polvo de yeso (S)
A chalk dust aroma and/or taste is on the increase in many styles, although its causes are unknown, but dusty as church/cellar is TCA.

CHEESE
Fromage (F) Käse (G) Formaggio (I) Queso (S)
A generic cheesy aroma can be an acetate of a mercaptan, a lactone derived from ethanol (alcohol) and butyric acid (responsible for "cheesy" feet) or a bacterial fault.
S-ethylacetothioate, 4-butanolide, hexan-2,3-dione, nonanoic acid

CHOCOLATE
Chocolat (F) Schokolade (G) Cioccolato (I) Chocolate (S)
Usually found in big, dark, dense red wines, usually of a relatively high pH, but is also a characteristic of mature Champagne. 2,6-dimethylpyrazine

COCOA
Cacao (F) Kakao (G) Cacao (I) Cacao (S)
This is not so much chocolaty, as the powdery, roasted cocoa aroma found on a cappuccino (not necessarily with the coffee element).
2-methylbutanal

COCONUT
Noix de coco (F) Kooksnuss (G) Noce di cocco (I) Coco (S)
The coconut aroma so prevalent in American oak derives from so-called "whisky lactones" found in all types of oak. The fermentation lactone 4-nonanolide (d-nona-lactone) also has a strong coconut aroma.
3-methyl-4-octanolide, 4-nonanolide, methyl nonanoate

COFFEE
Café (F) Kaffee (G) Caffe (I) Café (S)
A common oak-derived character (particularly but not exclusively when medium-toast oak chips have been used). Also part of the complexity of a fine quality, mature Champagne.
2-furanmethanethiol

CORKY
Bouchonné (F) Korkig (G) Sapore di tappo (I) Acorchado (S) Originally believed to be the result of penicillin or aspergillus mould in the cork, but these infections are extremely rare. Various chloroanisoles are now deemed responsible, with TCA the main culprit. Initially thought to be exclusively the unwanted by-product of sterilising corks with chlorine, TCA has since been identified at source in cork oak trees, in oak barrels, wooden pallets and wooden roofs. Since TCA is highly volatile and can be methylated from TCP (2,4,6-trichlorophenol) it is possible to find a "corked" wine sealed with a screw-top.
TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), TeCA (2,3,4,6-tetrachloroanisole), 1-octene-3-one, 1-octene-3-ol, 2 methylisoborneol, geosmin

DIRTY DISHCLOTH OR FLOORCLOTH
Lavette sale (F) Schmutziger Spüllappen (G) Strofinaccio per i piatti sporco (I) Sucio bayeta (S)
In a young white wine that threatens to fall apart, this is a characteristic of Untypischer Alterungs (UTA) or Atypical Ageing (ATA), a phenomenon associated with vine stress during drought conditions. This restricts nitrogen up-take, increasing a plant hormone called indole acetic acid (IAA), which breaks down into aminoacetophenone and unpleasant smelling indoles. High levels of UV irradiation in the vineyard can have a similar effect. ATA can also have a naphthalene-like (mothball) smell.
Aminoacetophenone, various indoles (skatole being the worst offender)

DUSTY
See
CHALK DUST

EARTHY
Terreux (F) Erdig (G) Terra (I)Con sabor a tierra (S) An earthy character is not clean, thus an imperfection. It is not a "goût de terroir", which in its true sense means expressive of its terroir or complete growing environment, not tasting simplistically of earth!
Geosmin, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, 2-ethyl-2,4-diimethylthiazole, TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), 3- isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine
See also BEETROOT, POTATO

EGG
See ROTTEN EGG

FARMYARDY
See MANURE

FLINTY
Pierre à fusil (F) Feuersteinartig (G) Selce (I) Pedernal (S)
Along with minerally, the taste or aroma of flint is commonly attributed to the soil, but most probably a combination of varietal characteristics and pyrazines from early harvesting or too much vigour.

FOXY
Foxé (F) Fuchs-geschmack (G) Odore di volpe (I) Zorro (S)
The very distinctive, highly perfumed character of certain indigenous North American grape varieties can be cloying to unconditioned palates.
Methyl anthranilate, 2-amino-acetophenone, ethyl-2-mercaptopropionate, ethyl-3-mercaptopropionate

GAS
Odeur de gaz (F) Geruche de gas (G) Odore di gas (I) Olor a gas (S)
The smell of domestic gas is a rare and most unpleasant reductive fault. Domestic gas actually smells of nothing, but a methyl mercaptan is added so that leaks can easily be detected.
Methyl-2-tetrahydrothiophenone

GASOLINE
See PETROL

GOAT
Chèvre (F) Ziege (G) Capra (I) Cabra (S)
A goaty taste is an unclean flabbiness that initially starts on the finish of a young wine and works its way forward all the way to the nose in bottle. This seems to occur in white wines rather than red, when the wine has a low acidity, high pH and a low natural alcoholic potential, and the taste gives the impression that the grapes might have been affected by ignoble rot.
Decanoic acid (capric acid), octanoic acid (caprylic acid), hexanoic acid (caproic acid)

HAY
Foin (F) Heu (G) Fieno (I) Heno (S)
This aroma could be described as unclean and certainly does strip the focus away from the fruit
Linaloöl oxide

HAZELNUT
Noisette (F) Haselnuss (G) Nocciola (I) Avellana (S)
Part of the complexity of a mature white Burgundy and Champagne. Roasted hazelnut is the aroma of 2-acetylthiazole, first identified in wine as recently as 2000.
Undecalactone, 4-methylthiazole, trimethylpyrazine, 2-acetylthiazole, diacetyl

HONEY
Miel (F) Honig (G) Miele (I) Miel (S)
Classic bottle-aged characteristic of many white wines, especially Riesling, Sauternes, Champagne. A youthful honeyed-fruit character can sometimes be found in young wines (See
WAX & HONEY).
Phenylacetic acid, phenethyl acetate, cinnamic acid, 2-phenylethanol

HORSE
Cheval (F) Pferd (G) Cavallo (I) Caballo (S)
The horsey odour (also referred to as stables, sweaty-saddle and barnyard) is a volatile phenol defect caused byBrettanomyces, otherwise known simply as 'Brett'.
Ethyl-4-phenol

JAM, JAMMY
Confiture, Trop cuit (F) Marmeladig (G) Marmellata (I) Mermelada (S)
Usually found in red wines from a warm/hot growing region , but can be from a cool area in an exceptionally hot vintage. Jammy is seldom found in a fine wine, whatever its origin.

KEROSENE
See
PETROL

LEATHER
Cuir (F) Leder (G) Pelle (I)Cuero (S)
Part of the complexity of many fine reds, especially with some age, but it should never dominate at the expense of fruit. It can sometimes be a dry, almost tactile, impression of ethanol (alcohol) just beginning to peep through the fruit.

LIQUORICE
Réglisse (F) Lakritze (G) Liquirizia (I) Regaliz (S)
A concentration of flavour often found in sweet white wines that have been made from grapes that have shrivelled due to passerillage (sun-dried) as opposed to botrytis.
Glycyrrhyzin

LIGHT-STRUCK
Goût de lumière (F) Luftton (G) Gusto di luce (I) Gusto de luz (S)
This characteristic is more reductive than oxidative, thus closer to "rancio" and maderised than to "sherrified".
DMDS (dimethyldisulphide)

MACAROON
Macaron (F) Makrone (G) Maccherone (I) Macarrón (S)
A complex, biscuity version of coconut often found in well-cellared old Champagne.
Possibly 4-nonanolide with acetal

MADERISED
Maderisé (F) Madeirisierent (G) Maderizzato (I) Amaderado (S)
More reductive than "sherrified", maderised is however equally unwelcome in unfortified wine.
DMDS (dimethyldisulphide)

MAILLARD REACTIONS
See Explanatory notes.

MALT Malté (F) Malz (G) Malto (I) Malta (S)
An unwelcome rather than unpleasant wine aroma, the most common occurrence of malty is on a sparkling wine that has either had too long on its lees or has undergone a less than ideal autolysis.
3-methylbutanol; 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4-pyrone (maltol)

MANURE
Fumier (F) Dung (G) Letame (I) Abono (S)
It was once thought that "great Burgundy smells of shit" (Hanson, 1982), but this is now considered to be totally unacceptable. Indeed, so unhygienic must the winemaking have been that it probably requires all the vile smelling compounds below!
Methanol, methional, methanethiol, DES (diethyl sulphide), thiophene, acrolein, DMS (dimethylsulphide) 2-methylthio-ethanol, DEDS (diethyl-disulphide), 4-methythiobutan-1-ol

MARGARINE
See
BUTTER

MARSH-MALLOW
Guimauve (F) Marshmallow (G) Caramella soffice e gommosa (I) Bombón de merengue blando (S)
A toasted marshmallow aroma can be found on inexpensive wines aged in American oak.
Ethyl 3-hydroxybutyrate

MARZIPAN
Pâte d'amandes (F) Marzipan (G) Marzapane (I) Mazapán (S)
Sometimes found in youthful Champagne and Chenin Blanc, although also capable of cropping up in many other white wines.
Acetoin, furfural

MERCAPTAN
See Explanatory notes.

METALLIC
Métallique (F) Metallisch (G) Metallico (I) Metálico (S)
Unless actually contaminated by a metal, this distinctive aroma will be the result of a volatile sulphur compound.
Ethyl methionate, Oct-1-en3-one (metallic-mushroom), Oct-1-en-3-ol (metallic-mushroom), 4-(methythio)butan-1-ol (metallic-herbal)

MILKY
Lacté (F) Milchig (G) Lattiginosa (I) Lechoso (S)
Usually derived from acetoin, which is produced either as a by-product of alcoholic fermentation or from the reduction of diacetyl. Sour milk is ethyl lactate from bacterial spoilage.
Acetoin, 5-nonanolide, 1-methylbicyclo (3.3.0) 2,4 dithiaoxaoctane
See also BUTTERMILK

MOTHBALL
See DIRTY DISHCLOTH OR FLOORCLOTH

MOULDY
Moisi (F) Modrig (G) Ammuffito (I) Mohoso (S)
This has a more damp perception than musty. Although both could be due to infected corks or staves, mouldy could also be due to mould build-up following overfill bottling.
TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole)
See also
CORKED, MUSTY

MOUSE
Souris (F) Maus (G) Topo (I) Ratón (S) This relatively rare odour was once attributed to the conversion of cinnamic acids into ethyl phenols by Brettanomyces, but this is now known to be responsible for the more common barnyard, stables, horsey, sweaty-saddles smells. Although the presence of Brettanomyces cannot be ruled out in a few cases, Lactobacillus not Brettanomyces is the cause of mousiness, and acetamide not cinnamic acid its target. Substances that cause mousiness can only occur in the presence of ethanol (alcohol) and lysine.
Acetyl-tetrahydropyridines

MUSTY
Goût d'évent (F) Muffig (G) Odore di stantio (I) Enmohecido (S)
This has a drier perception than mouldy. The difference as in a dry-musty church and a damp-mouldy cellar. Although both could be due to infected staves, mouldy can also come from grapes affected by botrytis (more likely to be grey rot than brown).
TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole)
See also
CORKED, DUSTY, MOULDY

NAIL-POLISH
Vernis à ongles (F) Nagellack (G) Smalto per unghie (I) Quitaesmalte (S)
At the extreme end of the peardrop aroma spectrum, the smell of the solvent used in nail-polish and nail-polish remover can be detected on the most carbonic-maceration-intensive Beaujolais Nouveau at five paces.
Ethyl, amyl or isoamyl acetate
See PEARDROPS

NUTTY
Goût de noisette (F) Nussig (G) Di noce (I) De nuez (S)
Possibly acetal from autolysis if Champagne, but also a common component in many fine white wines, particularly mature.
5-nonanolide, acetal
See specifically BRAZILNUT, HAZELNUT, WALNUT

OAK
Chêne (F) Eiche (G) Quercia (I) Roble (S)
This term is so generic as to be meaningless. Try to qualify the type of oakiness, such as creamy-oak, coffee-oak, lemony-oak, spicy-oak, sweet oak and vanilla-oak. They will probably be caused by a combination of vanillin, diacetyl and whatever is responsible for the qualifying aroma. Oak defects: With the exception of TCA, most are caused by insufficient toasting, which fails to remove the various carbonyl compounds that are responsible for off-odours such as mouldy, rancid, vegetal and fresh-sawdust (usually caused by trans-2-nonenal, sometimes with 3-octen-1-one, trans-2-octenol, 1-Decanal).
Vanillin, 3-methyl-4-octanolide
See also
CEDARWOOD

OZ CLARKE'S T-SHIRT
Tee-shirt de Oz (F) T-Shirt von Oz (G) Maglietta di Oz (I) Camiseta de Oz (S)
Found in the bottom of Oz Clarke's locker three weeks after a game of squash, the T-shirt was double-bagged and sent to a laboratory for sensory analysis.
Deadly combination of TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), 2-methylisoborneol and geosmin

PEANUT
Cacahuète (F) Erdnuss (G) Arachide (I) Cacahuete (S)
Found in Banyuls, Port and some Bordeaux.
Thiazole

PEARDROPS
Bonbon de poire (F) Birnenbonbons (G) Peardrop (I) Periforme (S)
More banal even than pear plain and simple, this will or should be very cheap, probably more carbonic maceration than cool-fermented (thus a red wine rather than white) and probably more likely to be ethyl acetate than anything else and heading towards the nail- varnish aroma.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide

PEBBLE Caillou (F) Kiesel (G) Ciottolo (I) Guijarro (S)
Not so much a taste or an aroma, but reminiscent of the salivating effect produced when sucking a smooth pebble.

PETROL
Essence (F) Benzin (G) Benzina (I) Gasolina (S)
Anyone who has siphoned fuel from a car will know that the classic bottle-aged aroma of Riesling has nothing in common with either the smell or the taste of petrol (kerosene or gasoline), yet once experienced the so-called petrol aroma is one of the easiest recognised and least argued about wine characteristics.
TDN (trimethyldihydronaphthalene)

PLASTIC
Plastique (F) Plastik (G) Plastica (I) Plástico (S)
Plastic and polythene off-tastes are not uncommon. Possibly benzothiazole or unsaturated olefins.

POLYTHENE
See
PLASTIC

POPCORN
Pop-corn (F) Popcorn (G) Popcorn (I) Palomitas de maíz (S)
Found in Banyuls, Port and some Bordeaux.
Thiazole

RANCIO
Rancio (F) Rancio (G) Rancio (I) Rancio (S)
The characteristic of French Grenache-based VDNs and various Australian fortifieds, the tradional "rancio" character is caused by heat-generated volatile sulphur compound.
DMDS (dimethyldisulphide)

ROTTEN EGG
Oeufs pourris (F) Faule Eier (G) Ouvo marcio (I) Huevosto putrefactos (S)
The smell of rotten or hard-boiled egg is usually due to fermentation of nitrogen deficient musts, which causes certain enzymes release sulphurous gas.
H2S (hydrogen sulphide)

RUBBER
Caoutchouc (F) Gummi (G) Gomma (I) Goma (S)
Almost always a bad mercaptan fault.
Carbon disulphide, 2-methylthio-ethanol, ethanethiol
See also
BURNT RUBBER

SHERRY
Vin de Xérès (F) Sherry (G) Sherry (I) Jerez (S)
Unless in Sherry or another deliberately oxidised fortified wine, a sherrified aroma will almost always be due to a level of acetaldehyde that is excessive and unstable in a wine with less than 17% alcohol. There are however, other compounds that can in certain circumstances cause a sherrified aroma, suchas the lactone sotolon in a botrytised wine.
Acetaldehyde, acetal, sotolon (4.5-dimethyl-3-hydroxy-2-furanone), 4-carboethoxy-4-butanolide

SKUNK
Mouffette (F) Skunk (G) Moffetta (I) Mofeta (S)
Once smelt, the highly resinous skunk odour is never forgotten. It's a bit like the spray of a tomcat, only several orders higher and in a wine it is a very bad mercaptan fault.
Dimethylethanethiol

SMOKY
Fumé (F) Rauchig (G) Affumicato (I) Ahumado (S)
A complexity that may be varietal (e.g. Syrah, Baco Noir), but is more likely to be a volatile oak phenol such as guaiacol or one of its derivatives, particularly if heavily toasted and has not been racked, fined or filtered.
Guaiacol, 4-ethylguaiacol

SMOKY-SPICY
Fumé-épicé (F) Rauchig-würzig (G) Affumicato piccante (I) Ahumado-picante (S)
Technically an olfactory defect, but can add an attractive element of complexity.
4-ethyl guaiacol

SMOKY-TOASTY-BURNT
Fumé-pain-grillé brûlée (F) Rauchig-toastig-verbrannt (G) Affumicato-tostato-bruciata (I) Afumado-tostado-quemado (S)
Complex aromas created by volatile phenols formed in wine from the breakdown of new oak lignin.
Guaiacol and various guaiacol phenols (allyl or isoeugenol; ethyl, methyl, propyl and vinyl), syringol, methyl syringol

SOAPY
Savonneux (F) Seifig (G) Sapore di sapone (I) Jabonoso (S)
An impression of soapiness can just be a youthful characteristic of a white wine that will develop nicely. This is particularly applicable to unready Riesling, but can also apply to Chenin Blanc and other grape varieties. Too distinctive soapiness is an olfactory fault.
Caprylate, caproate, ethyl caprate

STABLES
See
HORSE

STILTON
Stilton (F) Stilton (G) Stilton (I) Stilton (S)
Not as rare as you might think, all the compounds below are found in wine and also happen to be the most important contributors to the aroma and flavour of blue cheeses.
Diacetyl, 2-methylpropanal, 3-methylbutanal, ethyl butanoate, ethyl hexanoate, methional, dimethyl trisulphide, Heptan-2-one, 2-nonanone

SWEATY
Moîte (F) Schweißig (G) Sudato (I) Sudado (S)
An unattractive human-like sweatiness can be produced by a number of compounds.
Butanoic acid (butyric acid), pentanoic acid (valeric acid), octanoic acid (caprylic acid), hexanoic acid (caproic acid), 2-methylbutanoic acid, 3-butanoic acid

SWEATY SADDLES
Selles moîtes (F) Schweißige Sättel (G) Selle sudate (I) Silla de montar sudada (S)
This odour was considered to be a varietal characteristic specific to Shiraz grown in the Hunter Valley until it was widely declared to be a defect. For quite some time it was thought to be a mercaptan fault, but the sweaty saddles odour (also described as barnyard, stables or horsey) is now known to be a specific volatile phenol defect caused by Brettanomyces.
Ethyl-4-phenol

TAR
Goudron (F) Teer (G) Catrame (I) Alquitrán (S)
Possibly a varietal characteristic (Nebbiolo), but it is more probable that the wine has been matured in heavily toasted oak and possibly not racked, fined or filtered.
Guaiacol, 4-ethylguaiacol

TEA
Thé (F) Tee (G) Tè (I) Té (S)
A curious aroma found in some white wines.
2,4-dimethylthiazole

TERPENES
See
Explanatory notes.

TOASTY
Pain-grillé (F) Toastig (G) Tostato (I) Tostado (S)
In cask-fermented or oak-aged wines, toastiness is caused by volatile phenols formed from the breakdown of oak lignin, whereas in wines that have never been in contact with oak toastiness is also a bottle-aged aroma (as in stainless-steel fermented Champagne, Chardonnay, Sémillon, etc). Toastiness can also occur in young botrytised wine that have never seen oak (caused by a non-wood lactone known as sotolon).
Sotolon (4.5-dimethyl-3-hydroxy-2-furanone), guaiacol and various guaiacol phenols (allyl or isoeugenol, ethyl, methyl, propyl and vinyl), syringol, methyl syringol

TOBACCO
Tabac (F) Tabak (G) Tabacco (I) Tabaco (S)
Often found in mature reds, particularly clarets.
3-oxy-a-ionol, b-damascenone, hydroxy-b-damascenone

TOFFEE
Caramel (F) Toffee (G) Caramella (S) Caramelo (S)
Less creamy than caramel, more oxidative.

VANILLA
Vanille (F) Vanille (G) Vaniglia (I) Vainilla (S)
Probably vanillin from new oak, although is also found in cork. Various vanillin based compounds also have vanilla aromas, and a hint of vanilla can be due to unrelated compounds present in wines that have seen no oak or cork. Ethyl vanillin has a stronger vanilla aroma and is known in the flavouring industry as Bourbonal. Spicy-vanilla is usually less obvious, more complex than plain vanilla and probably due to one or more of the last three compounds listed below. DDMP has a vanilla-sugar aroma and is a product of Maillard Reactions during the toasting of oak barrels. DDMP is also found in soya beans and is generated when baking cookies (enhancing their aroma).
Vanillin, vanillyl acetate, acetovanilloneethyl vanillate, methyl vanillate, guaiacol, furylacetone, 4-ethylguiacol, DDMP (2,3-dihydro-2,5-dihydroxy- 6-methyl-4-H-pyran-4-one)
See also OAK

VINEGAR
Vinaigre (F) Essig (G) Aceto (I) Vinagre (S)
This is the classic volatile acidity or "VA" fault. Cooking a sweet & sour sauce is the quickest way to learn this aroma. A tiny amount of VA adds to the fruitiness of a wine and even relatively high levels are deemed acceptable for certain styles (botrytis wines, Canadian ice-wines etc), but the recognition of VA at whatever level can spoil the pleasure of an otherwise very attractive wine. Some winemakers deliberately elevate VA levels to "lift" the fruit aroma, which is excusable on an inexpensive wine, but a danger sign for wines that are expected to age.
Acetic acid, ethyl acetate

VOLATILE PHENOLS
See Explanatory notes.

WALNUT
Noix (F) Walnuss (G) Noce (I) Nuez (S)
Often found in Meursault and Champagne from the Côte des Blancs, particularly when mature.
Sotolon (4.5-dimethyl-3-hydroxy-2-furanone)

WAX & HONEY
Cire & miel (F) Wachs & Honig (G) Cera & miele (I) Cera y miel (S)
A youthful honeyed character with an impression of wax is caused by ethyl esters of fatty acids, the concentrations of which reduce with ageing.
Ethyl hexanoate, ethyl octanoate, ethyl decanoate

WET DOG
Chien mouillé (F) Nasser Hund (G) Cane umido (I) Perro húmedo (S)
So-called "wet dog" or "wet wool" is a heat-generated volatile sulphur fault involving the Retro-Michael reaction of methional, which is thermally unstable and evolves rapidly into acrolein and methanethiol, which are responsible for the so-called "wet dog" odour and a stronger cooked cauliflower smell.
Acrolein, methanethiol

YEASTY
Levuré (F) Hefig (G) Di lievito (I) Levadura (S)
Complex yeast-derived aromas such as those created during autolysis of a fine Champagne are very desirable, but not actually yeasty, which is unwelcome in any wine, including Champagne.
See also
BREAD

FLOWERS - FRUITS - VEGETABLES - HERBS & SPICES - NUTS, DAIRY & OTHER - NOTES