Acetaldehyde is a volatile flavor compound present in many fermented foods and is important in the production of red and white wines. Nine strains of the genera Lactobacillus and Oenococcus were able to metabolize acetaldehyde in a resting cell system, whereas two Pediococcus strains were not. Acetic acid and ethanol were produced from its degradation. A Lactobacillus and an Oenococcus were able to degrade SO(2)-bound acetaldehyde, as well. A coincubation of resting cells of Saccharomyces bayanus Première Cuvée and Oenococcus oeni Lo111 showed that strain Lo111 metabolized acetaldehyde produced by the yeast. The ability of malolactic bacteria to degrade free and SO(2)-bound acetaldehyde has implications for sensory and color qualities and the use of SO(2) in wine.