Mmm, crisp and fruity, subtle notes of blackberry with a tangy finish of…koala pee? Yes, oenophiles everywhere may be disgusted to learn that there is one component found in both fruitier-smelling wines and the urine of the native Australian herbivorous marsupial, the koala.
Discovered first in koala pee in 1975 and then later in white wine in 1998, the compound wine lactone lends a woody or sweet nature to wine. No word yet of how it tastes in koala pee, though.
There are eight possible isomers – molecules with the same chemical formula but different structural arrangements – of wine lactone, but despite the name, only one has been found in wine.
So before you throw out that glass of pinot noir in sheer disgust, structurally, you are not drinking koala pee. But fundamentally, you totally are drinking koala pee.