Abstract In this study we present a rapid and simultaneous assay method using headspace (HS) solid-phase microextraction (SPME)/gas chromatography (GC)/electron impact (EI) mass spectrometry (MS) (selected ion monitoring) for contaminants causing the principal organoleptic defects of wine (2,4,6-trichloroanisole, 2,3,4,6-tetrachloroanisole, pentachloroanisole, 2,4,6-tribromoanisole, 1-octen-3-ol, geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol, 3-isopropyl-2-methoxypyrazine, fenchol, fenchone, 2-methoxy-3,5-dimethylpyrazine, 4-ethylphenol, 4-ethylguaiacol, 4-vinylphenol, 4-vinylguaiacol, 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine, guaiacol and ethyl acetate). The method was validated according to protocols NF ISO 5725-1, 2 and NF V03-110. Its characteristics (limit of detection (LOD), limit of quantification (LOQ), uncertainties) were determined after having optimised the SPME parameters. The target contaminants were quantified in the wines below their threshold of perception with a satisfactory relative standard deviation for all the analytes except ethyl acetate (RSD = 36%); for that, the assay method permits clear differentiation of the wines that are at risk of presenting an acescent character, i.e. containing more than 120 mg L −1 ethyl acetate. The target volatile and odorous substances were determined at concentrations significantly below their threshold of perception in a hydroalcoholic context and their threshold of recovery in wines.