Germination of Botrytis cinerea spores on potato dextrose agar after a 30 s immersion in 10 or 20% ethanol was 87 and 56%, respectively, compared to 99% among untreated controls. After similar immersion in 0.5 or 1.0% potassium sorbate, 84 and 68% of the spores germinated, respectively. Addition of 0.5 and 1.0% potassium sorbate to 10 and 20% ethanol solution significantly increased the inhibition of spore germination. The germination of spores after 30 s immersion in 20% ethanol plus 0.5% potassium sorbate was 9.7%. The incidence of gray mold, caused by B. cinerea, on detached berries of 'Flame Seedless' grapes immersed for 30 s in water, 10 and 20% ethanol, and 0.5 or 1.0% potassium sorbate was 55.2, 42.1, 31.0, 37.7, or 24.4%, respectively. Addition of 0.5 and 1.0% potassium sorbate to 10 and 20% ethanol reduced decay to 10% or less and was more effective than either alone. After 30 days of storage at 1 degrees C, the combination of 20% ethanol either with 0.5 or 1.0% potassium sorbate was equal in efficacy to commercial SO2 generator pads in reducing the incidence of gray mold on 'Thompson Seedless' grapes. None of the combinations of ethanol and potassium sorbate injured the berries. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.