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Consumers pick up on smoke tainted wine, says study

Published:  23 July, 2008

Smoke can affect the quality of grapes in a harvest with a resulting drop in quality noticeable by consumers, a study has found.

Research by the Department of Agriculture in WA has concluded that exposing grape bunches to heavy plumes of smoke from straw taints the taste of the resulting wine, reports ABC.

The vast majority (99.9%) of an independent tasting panel said grapes which had been exposed to smoke produced lower quality wine.

Mark Gibberd, co-author of the report from Curtin University, said: "We now have a published report which enables us to clearly demonstrate that if grapes are exposed to smoke, then there is a risk that those grapes will develop a taint in the wine, which would be potentially conceivable by consumers."