Ethyl Acetate

Definition - What does Ethyl Acetate mean?

The presence of ethyl acetate in wine will give it a vinegary smell, similar to wines with acetic acid (VA). It is a common byproduct of winemaking and is found in almost all wines. In small doses it can add to the structure of a wine. However, if it smells like nail polish remover, then there is a defect.

WineFrog explains Ethyl Acetate

Ethyl acetate is one of the most common esters produced in wine, which is sometimes associated with acetone or nail polish remover. An ester is an organic compound that produces aromas when a reaction occurs between an alcohol and an acid. In winemaking, these esters are produced in higher quantities during fermentation by the yeast. Under low oxygen conditions, ethyl acetate can form. If this occurrence is noticed early enough the aromas of the ester can be “aired out” by pumping over the wine in its vessel with an open cover.

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