Characteristics of a Wine

What are the Basic Characteristics of a Wine

Characteristics of a Wine

A good quality wine should have the following characteristics:

1. Faults in Wine

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

2. Excess Sulphur

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

3. Oxidation

During the aging 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 the dull and flat smell.

4. Corked or Cork

Wine bottles are closed with a Cork to retain the characteristics of the wine and to preserve the quality and quantity. During storing, the wine bottles are stored horizontally to prevent the cork from drying out.

When stored horizontally, the cork comes in contact with the wine, smells, and does not allow the air to go in. The cork is contaminated with a strong moldy smell by a substance called Trichloranisole(TCA).

5. Vinegar

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

6. Hydrogen Sulphide

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

7. 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.

8. Foreign Material and Sediments

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

Also read: The 10 Factors that Influence the Character of Wine