Daily Archives: June 21, 2009

What has this wine been reduced to?

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Better for breakfast than happy hour

Today I’m going to share 4 faults in wine that fall under the “reductive” category.  In essence, this is the opposite effect of oxidation and can produce stale smelling wine.  If extreme, reduction can cause some pretty foul odors – just-boiled eggs, anybody?

1. Sulphur (SO2).  The smell of gassy hot springs is not exactly what you want in your glass of wine.  Excess sulphur’s not always easy to detect (and it often blows off with a little time), but in some cases it can lead to heachaches or migraines.  Maximum doses are set by law in each wine-producing country.  Sulphur gets a bad rap, but keep in mind that it does some important winemaking related things: it inhibits the development of wild yeasts and undesirable micro-organisms, it helps the winemaker control fermentation, it cleanses the wine (and the vessels that hold the wine) and it assists aging wine by helping to prevent refermentation in the bottle and by helping to prevent discoloration through oxidation, especially in white wines.  Continue reading

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