A Review of Ladybug Taint in Wine: Origins, Prevention, and Remediation.Molecules. 2021 Jul 17; 26(14)M
Ladybug taint (also known as ladybird taint) is a relatively recently recognized fault that has been identified in wines from a wide range of terroirs. Alkyl-methoxypyrazines-particularly 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine-have been determined as the causal compounds, and these are introduced into grape must during processing, when specific species of vineyard-dwelling Coccinellidae are incorporated into the harvested fruit. Coccinella septempunctata, and especially the invasive Harmonia axyridis, are the beetles implicated, and climate change is facilitating wider dispersal and survivability of H. axyridis in viticultural regions worldwide. Affected wines are typically characterized as possessing excessively green, bell pepper-, and peanut-like aroma and flavor. In this paper, we review a range of vineyard practices that seek to reduce Coccinellidae densities, as well as both "standard" and novel wine treatments aimed at reducing alkyl-methoxypyrazine load. We conclude that while prevention of ladybug taint is preferable, there are several winery interventions that can remediate the quality of wine affected by this taint, although they vary in their relative efficacy and specificity.