Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Influence of the brown marmorated stink bug on the taste of musts and wines.

Abstract

The invasive brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) was accidentally introduced into Switzerland around 2004. This pentatomid is highly polyphagous and all its stages are found on grapes. Here, we studied the impact of processed H. halys on the aroma and taste of grape juices, musts and wines. We artificially contaminated Chardonnay and Merlot grapes with up to 10 nymphs and adults per kilogram grapes directly before their crushing. In the freshly pressed musts, the aroma and taste of Chardonnay and Merlot juices contaminated with 3 to 10 H. halys individuals/kg grapes could be distinguished from uncontaminated controls and they were perceived as vegetal and woody. Yet after bottling, the different wines with 0 to 10 bugs/kg grapes could no longer be differentiated from each other and their sensory profiles were nearly identical. One year after bottling, invited winegrowers also did not dislike the H. halys contaminated wines compared to their uncontaminated controls. The molecules responsible for the off-flavours in contaminated musts therefore seemed to volatilise during fermentation. Our results consequently indicate that a contamination of the vintage with H. halys has the potential to alter the quality of grape juices and musts but that there is little risk for influencing the taste of processed wines.