Brettanomyces also known as “brett” is yeast that can infect wine or beer. It is found in many French wines but is hard to find around the California wineland. As most of your readers know I have a fondness for the flavor. It reminds me of growing up on a goat farm in Sonoma County and all the fun adventures I went on as a child. When I try to describe the flavor to our members I feel like I can not do a great job explaining my love for this unique flavor and smell. As time went on I found that were one grew up makes a large difference on how they taste and what qualities they would find in wine.
For example, on the Peterson 2009 Zero Manipulation people who grew up in an urban environment tended to find a horse smell to the wine. Suburbanites found manure and bandaid. Rural people smelled a barn or a barnyard. Whether they enjoyed the smell was up to the customer.
Professors at UC Davis traditionally describe brettanomyces as the “spoilage organism” and think of it as a flaw in the wine. But recently researchers at UC Davis did a study and found that of 83 strains of brettanomyces, 17 — more than 20% — were regarded as giving more positive impact than negative. Head researcher Lucy Joseph found that none of the positive judgments were universal. “What you are smelling is not what the person next to you is smelling.” Joseph said. “Everything you perceive is based on your genetic makeup and your background.”
Locals Tasting Room