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When I opened my blueberry-Zinfandel wine I was struck by a strong acetone-type smell. Am I experiencing bottle sickness or TCA?


Dear Wine Wizard, About a month ago I bottled my first blueberry Bordeaux. I used fresh blueberries and red Zinfandel concentrate. I adjusted the taste at bottling and it was great! The wine had a nice fruity nose, complex body and a smooth finish. For Christmas I opened a bottle to check on the aging progress. I was immediately struck by a strong solvent-like smell, something like acetone. The fruity nose I had experienced at bottling was gone. The acetone smell dispersed after a minute or so and the taste of the wine was OK, but had not improved since the bottling. Am I experiencing “bottle sickness” or something worse (TCA formation)? I appreciate your insight. Boyce L. Clark Baton Rouge, Louisiana Wine Wizard replies: I’m so glad you’ve discovered the pleasures of blueberries and Zinfandel! I find that these two fruits complement each other well in Bordeaux-style red winemaking. But you also seem to be experiencing the dubious joys of an “off odor” or “spoilage” character. Your “acetone” or “TCA” smell could have a few causes. My first suspicion