[MUSIC] Welcome back. In our previous lessons, we discussed cork taint. In this lesson, we'll discuss sulfites. The last irritating smell that I'll talk about is a smell that's often encountered in wines that have been recently bottled, and this is the smell of excess sulfites. High level, super threshold sulfites. Sulfites refer to SO2 or sulfur dioxide. And sulfur dioxide is used around the world by everyone literally as, you could say, an antioxidant and a disinfectant in wine. We use sulfites at very, very low levels and usually they're never smellable. But sometimes just at the point of bottling some extra sulfites are added to help the wine survive the turbulence that it has to undergo when it goes through a bottling line and to maybe help to deal with any excess oxygen that's picked up. So, if we smell that wine right after bottling, we may notice a sharp, pungent type of smell. This is not a smell that like lemon or oranges or TCA that is perceived by our olfactory bulb. This is more of a smell that's registered by our nervous system, our trigeminal nerve that innervates our nose, and causes it to feel a sharpness as we sniff this wine. Sulfites are extremely valuable. Of course some people make wine without sulfites or at least with no added sulfites, and that's fine. But for the most part, wineries are using sulfites. Wine makers feel that it's very difficult to make a really good wine without the use of sulfites. Very, very low levels are used though, so it's not that common to smell them. In and of themselves, sulfites are not wine faults. They are only referred to as wine faults when they are way above threshold, and they're at levels that are irritating, and quite frankly, that prevent you from smelling other things that you might want to smell in the wine. I notice them quite often because I do a lot of wine judging. And it's an annoying fact of life in wine judging that wineries who submit wines often times bottle them at the last minute so they can submit them before the deadline, and then a couple of weeks later, wine judges show up and judge the wine. And what they're smelling is a recently bottled wine that had extra sulfites added at the time of bottling, and voila, thank you very much, your nose gets tweaked. So, unfortunately these wines don't often get good scores because in wine judging excess sulfites are considered a flaw and the wine won't get as good as a score. I can't smell anything else in the wine, so how I can tell if it's good or not? Please notice here that when I say the word sulfites, S-U-L-F-I-T-E-S, it has a t in it, and not a d in it, which the word sulfides has S-U-L-F-I-D-E-S. And that's the word that we formerly discussed when talking about hydrogen sulfide. They both involve sulfur, but they're completely different animals. Another place we might encounter excess sulfites is when we taste and evaluate newly arrived aromatic whites from somewhere else, from far away. The classic example I can think of would be Rieslings maybe from Austria or Germany that have been bottled a few months earlier, but ship thousands of miles before they arrive in my marketplace. And perhaps the winery gave them a little bit of an extra dose of sulfites, knowing how far they were going to travel. If you notice excess sulfites in wines that you buy just hang on to them for a while. Typically sulfites will dissipate and bind up within a month or two and the wine will be fine and will show its true aromatic profile after that holding time. Very often, wineries won't release wines right after bottling for that reason. They will put both cases of wine in the warehouse and place them under hold. And only when the sensory staff, the winemaking staff, says that the fresh addition of sulfites is no longer apparent will they be released for shipment to the marketplace. In this lesson, we discussed sulfites. In our next lesson, we will wrap up our discussion with a look at constructing fault standards.