Shutterstock / Ksenija Ok

Pesky Stink Bugs Might Make Your Wine Taste Like Cilantro

The study found that red wine was more at risk for contamination compared to white wine

Shutterstock / Ksenija Ok

Grapes are among the fruits at the highest risk for stink bug damage.

Stink bugs, specifically brown marmorated stink bugs, have been found in 43 states across the United States and in four Canadian provinces, posing a threat to the crops they encounter. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these bugs may change the taste of wine.

Stink bugs feed on grapes in vineyards, and due to their small size, they can sometimes make it to the wine making process. The stink bugs then release stress compounds during the process that can change the quality of wine in the process in terms of smell and taste, according to EurekAlert.

Since pesticides are not 100-percent effective, researchers looked into ways to minimize the damage of stink bugs after harvesting the grapes.

In the study, researchers measured the release of stress compounds using different quantities of live and dead stink bugs on grapes as wine was being produced. The study found that pressing greatly impacted the release of stress compounds tridecane, which is odorless, and E-2-decenal, which has a musty, cilantro-like smell.


Researchers suggested that winemakers can limit the effects of stink bugs if no more than three insects occupy each grape cluster, lessening the level of stress compounds and decreasing the impact on the quality of wine.