Above: Brett or Bretty, depending where you come from.

After reading my post on Massolino, a winemaker friend of mine wrote the following from Italy:

“Bacteria can nest in new barriques. In barriques that have already been used, Brettanomyces — a fungus, not a bacterium — can develop. It gives wine a smell that is often described as leather or ‘horse sweat.’ People call it ‘Bretty’ for short.”

In English it is called “Brett.” I find it interesting that its diminutive is feminine in Italian, while in English it’s masculine.

A quick Google search revealed that Italians tend to consider Brettanomyces masculine, while it’s feminine in French and Spanish.

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