Question: What is Geosmin?
Answer: Geosmin is a unique musty earthy smell you sometimes can notice in the aroma and taste of wine. It has a connection to a previous question asked here about “Petrichor” – the smell of rain on dry soil. For wine it can be caused by heavy rain resulting in soil bacteria landing on the grapes or contaminated through ground water. There is a good explanation about this issue relating to 2006 red Burgundy in the recent book “Burgundy Vintages – A History from 1845” by Allen D. Meadows and Douglas E. Barzelay on page 506. Geosmin also can sometimes be noticed in the taste of earthy beets and some “muddy” fish like catfish. Be aware of this word.
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