Monday, March 26, 2007

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home...'re stinking up my wine:

Ladybugs may look pretty but they also have a dark side. In some places, the polka-dotted insects have become a nuisance by invading homes and crops, including some vineyards. To make matters worse, the bugs produce a foul-smelling liquid that, besides irritating homeowners, can be inadvertently processed along with grapes and taint the aroma and flavor of wine.


A growing number of winemakers say that their wines have an abnormal aroma and flavor, known as ‘ladybug taint,’ that resembles the bug’s characteristic odor. Winemakers report that there are more ladybugs in vineyards and on the grapes during harvest. Experts believe that the bugs accidentally become mixed into the juice during processing and fermentation, resulting in inferior wine.

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