BOOKINGS: 020 8288 0314

Refreshingly fun tasting events
ThirtyFifty - Hens

Sam Harrop on Brettanomyces

This show was published 28 May 2008


Sam Harrop MW is a winemaker and an expert on all things wrong with wine. We talk to Sam about his analysis of wine faults at the International Wine Challenge, this week focusing on Brettanomyces.

Sam wrote his MW dissertation on the subject of Brettanomyces, fascinated that many UK wine experts and others from around the world actually loved the characters of brett.

Brettanomyces (brett)is a rogue or wild yeast that is very tolerant to sulphur dioxide and to alcohol. After fermentation brett can survive and very gradually eats away at any residual sugar whether in barrel, tank or bottle (more common in red wine). As a result brett produces volatile phenols - animal compounds that people either love or hate. There are 2 types - the 1st is the farmyard character or manure in its extreme and the 2nd is a clove or smoky character. It can be difficult to separate the 2 types. Can be similar to sulphide characters such as sweet, eggy dessert character (pavlova!).

Personally, Sam likes a low level of volatile phenols in certain styles - Syrah, Cabernet Merlot, Grenache but not if they dominate and certainly not in white wine.


Using XML subscription or through Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever you normally listen to podcasts.


The UK Wine Show is sponsored by ThirtyFifty. Our team of wine tasters are busy entertaining and educating UK consumers to help them get the most out of wine.

Support us on Patreon

If you are a regular listener, do consider supporting the UK Wine Show on Patreon. You can pledge a monthly payment, equivalent to a cup of coffee or very small glass of wine!

Become a Patron!


The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.

xml subscription
Spotify RSS feed
itunes RSS feed
Stitcher RSS feed


A perfect gift
for wine loving
friends and

From £49
per person