Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Reducing Environment of the Wine Bottle


I bottled out the 2008 Grenache, and have tasted a significant evolution in the flavor. Since I aged the wine in glass, and bottled it in glass, the wine has almost always been in a reductive environment. Reduction here being used in the chemical sense, meaning that chemicals are stable in the wine that would not be stable in the oxidizing environment of the atmosphere. It also means that chemicals tend have a lower oxidation state -- that is have more electrons. 

I had been thinking that bitter alkaloids were being oxidized upon contact with air. 

A good reference on this is riojalta.com, where I learned a lot. Riojalta says that the reducing flavor is desireable; but I am not so sure. Also I think that the process of racking and bottling improves flavor, by allowing the wine a chance to oxidize a little. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

White Grenache Bottling



I bottled off the white grenache wine today.

I purchased new corks and washed the bottles in the dishwasher first.

The wine is light and the bitter aftertaste that it had in the last rackng is gone. I think the last racking gave it a chance to oxidize a bit.

 I wish that I could measure the redox potential of the wine, but I don't have any equipment at home. I suspect that my fermentation demijohn was a reducing environment. 

Anyway, the finished wine has a great color, and better than drinkable. In fact, I need to keep myself from drinking it so it can age a little more. 

Now I need a label that is unpretentious.