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Wine Talk

Snooth User: shanwich55

Lady Bug taint and my terror of terroir in wine

Posted by shanwich55, May 18, 2010.

I went on a tour of Sokol Blosser which was given complimentary and by a tour guide who was so amazing and inspirational.  I saw a couple of lady bugs on the vine and by some cursed desire, I unfortunately googled lady bug + vineyards to see if they eat predator bugs.  I found numerous articles on lady bugs getting crushed into wine and tainting it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_f...

They showed me their de-stemmer and then told me they do not have humans sift through it and instead it goes straight into the crusher.  Unlike Opus, which had people upon people sifting through the grapes and pulling out nasties before it was crushed.

At the end of my tour, but before I knew about Lady bug taint, I indulged and bought a bottle of their 2007 Pinot Noir.

Now, I cannot get the images of crushed lady bug in my wine out of my head.  I am thoroughly disgusted and it has ruined my present to myself - the wine.  The 2007 Pinot Noir is sitting in the corner of my house and I am not wanting to try it.  

Please someone assure me that there is no lady bird in my wine.  

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Replies

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Reply by hhotdog, May 19, 2010.

hmmm..."filtered" or "un-filtered" takes on a whole new meaning?

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Reply by hhotdog, May 19, 2010.

hey...i"m joking (i hope obviously)!  hey i don't know what's in anything i drink.   if any insect is on the vine do they end up in the juice?  everything is rinsed as far as i know!? i'm going with the idea that anything...including the great aphid eaters are rinsed off as well.  i don't know what's exactly in hotdogs either?  i love them and eat them... i know what i like to eat and drink it. if it's good it's going down!  if i DON''T see something on it or in it i don't like i wouldn't let it get into my head...taste always wins here!!  you seem to be a wine lover...don't let some article or rumor get in the way of love!

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Reply by shanwich55, May 19, 2010.

Yes Hotdog, you are right.  And I will not let it get it the way of any wine, except the pinot I have which I was looking forward to.  The problem is I saw the ladybugs on the vine there.  The same thing happened to most of my favorite restaurants when I looked up the NY health ratings online.  Ignorance is bliss.  

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Reply by dmcker, May 19, 2010.

Well, shanwich, you can pretty much expect that there are insects and likely other beasties present in any vineyard under the sun. Is that reason to stop drinking wine? Certainly there should be no health or cleanliness issues by the time the bottle gets to you. Tell yourself a couple of ladybugs might be better than thousands of aphids, if that helps you out. Generally it might be better just to put such issues aside.

Unless you don't want to eat rice because there might be frogs in the paddies. Etc. You could also come out to the Far East where you can walk into a traditional apothecary and order a carafe of distilled liquor that has had the poisonous snakes that eat the frogs steeping in it. And they're put in live. Certainly puts a different twist on the term eau de vie... ;-)

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Reply by chadrich, May 19, 2010.

Looking on the bright side, since you saw the crushing process and it was mechanical, you know your wine is free of contact with human feet (which has always hung somewhat grossly in the back of my imagination about some wines).

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Reply by roan of leah, May 19, 2010.

lady bugs in wine.... I have sent numerous bottles back for the taint.  By the way the 'taint' is a pyrazine compund somewhat related to the pyrazines found in Sauvignon Blanc.  Unfortunately they smell not at all nice.  Think of crushed peanuts or peanut shells and this will give you a good idea of what too look for.  Some of the practises of dealing with them include fluid air treatments.(pressurized air - a fluid- to blow the bugs from the bunches) gentle washes with H2O and human intervention - aka sorting- before the crush.  All variously effective with their own draw backs and benifits.  Try the wine... and chalk it up to experience if it is bad.  If it is good... :)  no wories.

 

Good luck!

 

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Reply by gregt, May 19, 2010.

"Please someone assure me that there is no lady bird in my wine."

I hope not.  I'm sure LBJ would be very upset.

As far as the bugs in wine - it's called MOG - Material Other than Grapes.  You better believe there are all kinds of things in there - slugs, centipedes, spiders, spider mites, bird poop, etc.  In fact, the ladybugs are usually there because they're eating the other bugs.

Thank God there's alcohol in wine!!

Ladybug taint is a big deal sometimes and some wineries spend a lot of money trying to eliminate it.

In fresh cider, there isn't any alcohol and whatever was on the apple gets into the juice.  When they invented the first microscopes, they looked at some juice and saw all kinds of little worms.  And don't even start thinking about the water you drink - whether it's from a tap or a bottling plant, you might want to take a look at the hoses, connectors, valves, containers, etc. 

Now I disgusted myself and don't want any wine tonight.

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Reply by hhotdog, May 19, 2010.

as long as the little ladies don't drink too much of that darlin of a wine you have...so get to it shanwich55. if you want i will be your personal taster if it brings in some great wine my way!!!  lol!  i gotta admit it has my curiosity goin to know if the wine is good or not.  open it for that sake alone!!

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Reply by shanwich55, May 20, 2010.

I am on it this weekend.  I took a flight of Barbaresco tonight instead.  Not so good. :( 

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Reply by hhotdog, May 20, 2010.

have had one complete disappointment in wine just recently.  although, i have some wines that just are not for me.  i do take the leap of faith hoping another brand or year will be more enjoyable to me.  so we keeping going forwrd.  keep the faith shanwich55!

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Reply by VegasOenophile, May 20, 2010.

Nothing wrong with that!  If I get some protein in my wine intake, it's all the healthier right?! hehehe

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Reply by Mr Lee, May 20, 2010.

I wouldn't worry about it ...Protein for the hair! If you only knew what the FDA and dept of health allows in any processed foods i.e. anything grain based you would never eat Wheaties again or anything you buy off the shelf in a grocery store, including Health Food stores. So don't worry  be happy. Pop tip and sip it makes the world more interesting. Vino Veritas!

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Reply by hhotdog, May 21, 2010.

"pop,sip and tip" i get the greatest quotes here!  lol!

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Reply by napagirl68, May 21, 2010.

Just chiming in to say I have been to the vineyards... Liked the wines for the most part.  But really loved the book Susan Sokol Blosser wrote on starting her winerey:  http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520256293    A great read for anyone interested in what it takes to start and maintain a winery... lots of laughs and tears.  Highly recommend... good POV on "organic" winemaking and the pitfalls.

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Reply by alavaughn, May 21, 2010.

I agree, taste and find out!  At least it will be an adventure.  Hopefully a delicious one!  Also, did you know that that vibrant pink color of Campari used to be achieved by using a dye made from carmine beatles?  A few years ago though, they started using a synthetic coloring.

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Reply by cfwineedu, May 21, 2010.

The insect that causes the main problem is the Asian Lady Beetle introduced into the US as a benefical insect. The 2001 harvest was particalury prone to the beetle in the Niagara region of Lake Ontario in Canada. Here is a great article from Wines and Vines. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3488/is_7_88/ai_n27323244/?tag=content;col1 Go ahead and drink the pinot. I doubt it was the Asian Lady Beetle but lady bugs.

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Reply by shanwich55, May 21, 2010.

cfwineedu, are they washing to bug off the grapes at some point before it goes in the bottle?  Do humans go through and sort and pull bugs off?  I know as a wine lover these things should not matter because the amount is minuscule.  But, I am an obsessive hand washer crazy person and so a little lady bug in my wine will kick my overactive imagination into play. 

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Reply by cfwineedu, May 21, 2010.

We don't wash grapes before they go into the crusher stemmer. MOG is MOG. If you have a problem with this what will you do whne you come across wines that are unfiltered. They will have both yeast and bacteria, Have you ever had a wine with Brett?

What they try and do now in Ontario is go through and vibrate/shake the vines so the Asian Lady Beetles take off. Kind of like a warning if you don't leave now you wil die. It has not been a huige problem in Ontario once they figures out what it was.

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Reply by dmcker, May 22, 2010.

Shanwich, if you haven't had the chance to read that article yet, here's it's conclusion: "Mercifully, MALB (multicolored asian lady beetle) and LBT (lady bug taint) are rare occurrences, even in areas where they are well known and feared." And since the beetles' preferred food of choice is soybean aphids, you don't have to worry about most vineyards and wineries on the West Coast, since there aren't a lot of soybean fields nearby. That's more a potential problem in the Midwest.

So no need to over-phobia. Just get on with tasting all that good wine... ;-)

 

And cfwineedu, I take it you don't like old bottles of Beaucastel?

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Reply by shanwich55, May 22, 2010.

Dmecker, you are a hero!!!!  You have given me the peace of mind to drink my $32 bottle of Pinot!!!!  I needed that. :)

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