Characteristics and Faults of a Wine

Characteristics and Faults of a Wine

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CHARACTERISTICS OF A WINE

A good quality Wine should have the following characteristics:-

  1. It should have the aroma of the grapes used in the making and should be free from unpleasent smell.
  2. Be well balanced that is all components of wine should be in harmony.
  3. Be clear and bright.

FAULTS IN WINE

Efforts are taken by everyone who handles wine to preserve it’s aroma profile and taste. But some of the wine acquire faulty characteristics due to many reasons. Following are the common faults and the reasons for them.

EXCESS SULPHUR

During the fermentation process Sulphur dioxide ( SO2 ) is added to check the actions of wild yeast. It also acts as preservative. However, it normally disappears when exposed to air either by decanting the wine or swirling in the glass.

OXIDATION

During the ageing process, the air invades the wine through very fine pores of the wood and the alcohol interacts with the oxygen. The wines, both white and red, acquire the aroma of Sherry. It may also go lifeless with dull and flat smell.

CORKED OR CORK

Wine bottles are closed with cork to retain the characteristics and to preserve the quality and quantity of the content. During storing, the wine bottles are stored horizontally to prevent the cork from drying out. When stored horaizontally, the cork comes in contact with the wine, seells and does not allow the air to go in. The cork that is contaminated with strong mouldy smell by a substance called ‘ Trichloranisole ‘ ( TCA ).

VINEGAR

Wine turns vinegar when it is exposed to Oxygen for long duration and also by the activities of acetobacter bacteria if unchecked, which acts on alcohol and converts wine to vinegar.

HYDROGEN SULPHIDE

This has the smell similar to a rotton egg. The wine takes on the smell of rotton egg when the yeasts react with sulphur dioxide during the fermentation. This occurs mainly in red wine.

FORMATION OF CRYSTALS

Sometimes there may be the formation of potassium bitartrate crystals on the cork in the wine which may spoil the appearance of the wine. It is commonly found in German wines.

FOREIGNE MATERIALS AND SEDIMENTS

Sometimes, wine may be contaminated by foreigne materials, such as splintered glass due to faulty bottling equipment.


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