smoke taint

Grape vines exposed to smoke to test taint from wildfires

Wine grapes may appear fine after a harsh wildfire season. But if grapes have smoke taint, the finished wine may taste and smell awful – an unpleasant surprise for growers and wine lovers alike.

“The aroma you get from smoke taint in wine is not a pleasant campfire aroma,” said Tom Collins, Washington State University Tri-Cities assistant professor of viticulture and enology. “The best-case comparison is smoked fish, but it can be more like ash tray.”