Earwig Wine



Increases in the numbers of earwigs in European vineyards led scientists to study the impact of earwigs on wine.* Earwigs feed on insect pests of grapes, but can be harvested with grape clusters and contaminate them with their bodies or with feces deposited on the grapes. Do the earwigs affect the quality of wine?

The number matters. Only a few earwigs per kg of grapes has little perceptible effect. 10 or more earwigs per kg imparted a significant taste to the wine. As little as 0.6 g of earwig feces per kg produce an off flavor variably described as “animal”, “reductive”, “vegetal”, “acidic”, “bitter” and “tannic”. The study suggests that high earwig densities in grape orchards can lower the quality of wine. European grape growers may alter some practices that reduce the numbers of earwigs, especially near harvest.

*P. Kehrli, J. Karp, J.-P. Burdet, P. Deneulin, E. Danthe, F. Lorenzini, C. Linder. 2015. Impact of processed earwigs and their faeces on the aroma and taste of ‘Chasselas’ and ‘Pinot Noir’ wines. Vitis 51: 87–93.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Food. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Earwig Wine

  1. Pingback: Earwig Wine | Living With Insects Blog

  2. Pingback: Weird and Unbelievable Facts About Earwigs - Ali Badkoobehi

  3. Pingback: Weird and Unbelievable Facts About Earwigs – The Utter Hub

  4. John says:

    “0.6kg of earwig feces per kg produce an off flavor”
    Weird that people only start to taste the cr*p when the wine consists of 60% earwig feces

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