Thursday, April 13, 2017


With the onset of Autumn, it has been common to experience invasion of one's house by hordes of small orange beetles, knockoffs of red ladybugs. Last Fall, however, they were outnumbered by larger, more offensive stinkbugs--their name tells all you need to know about them. This Spring, these critters have been awakening from hibernation to populate walls, floors, furniture and kitchen counters. It may be the latest environmental issue: global swarming!

Now, a published report reveals that stinkbugs also have become a pest for wine producers.* It seems that stinkbugs just love wine grapes. When these grapes are harvested, the bugs travel with the grapes into the fermentation tanks. The problem is that the bugs then release their stink and spoil the taste of the resulting wine.

How many stinkbugs does it take to spoil wine? A rule of tongue seems to be that more than 3 bugs per grape cluster will ruin wine taste. Talk about job creation--counting stinkbugs!

Recently, I had a glass of some red wine from a bottle whose label described it as having an "earthy" flavor. Perhaps, one should read the label before drinking, rather than after. I have switched now to white wine, whose taste is said to be less sensitive to stinkbugs. Regardless, white wine is more transparent in a glass. But, you know, all of this concern bugs me so that I may just drink water.


*Eaton, "Red Wine Has Stinkbug Threshold", Science
News, March 18, 2017, p.5

© Daniel J. Kucera 2017

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