Chardonnay fermented with Brett

(Image: Bridge Road Brewery) (Photo: )

An Australian brewer has produced a chardonnay by using Brettanomyces yeast instead of the conventional Saccharomyces. Brettanomyces (“Brett” for short) is generally regarded as an enemy of wine and is a major source of spoilage, producing off-flavours such as Elastoplast, barnyard, sheep urine and sweaty saddle to name a few.

Bridge Road Brewery in Beechworth just released a chardonnay fermented with 100 percent Brettanomyces. (Specifically, Brettanomyces claussenii, a strain with none of the nasty off-flavours described above.) The product is simply called “Wine” and is being sold in 330-millilitre stubbies with a traditional crown seal. Only 70 slabs were produced, so I doubt we’ll see it on this side of the Tasman.

According to the Broadsheet Melbourne website,

“It’s hazy and tastes like an ultra-dry apple cider, with a tart, effervescent finish but no sugar to take the edge off. A bottle passed around the Broadsheet office elicited more confusion than anything. ‘What is that? Cider?’ ‘Where did this come from?’ ‘I like it, but is it beer or wine?’ ‘It needs food – I don’t think I’d drink it otherwise’.”

Is craft beer starting to become a little boring? Is natural wine too mainstream? Are you over Orange? Brett-fermented chardonnay could be the perfect solution.

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