Tag Archives: tartrates in wine

What About Hazy Wine?

After the post on sediment in wine a few weeks ago, I got a question from Bob about haziness. Here goes: 

Do the tartrates bother you? What’s your threshold for unpretty wine?

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Why is There Sediment in my Wine?

Jess wrote in because there was some gunk on the cork and some little particles in the wine. He wondered if the wine was okay. The short answer? Most likely! In fact it may even be a good sign!

Does is worry you when you see solids in your wine?

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What Are Those Shiny Crytals on the Cork?

Tartrates

Question from Steve: I opened a bottle of white wine and it had these shiny crystals, kind of like sugar on the cork. Is that wine okay?

Reply: Hi, Steve. Thanks for writing! Yup, it should be just fine.

A great thing about wine is that even if it’s spoiled it’s not harmful – unless you drink too much, of course! The worst thing that happens is you’re offended by the smell or taste, in which case you should take it back or dump it.

MAJOR DIGRESSION: Please don’t use bad wine for cooking. That weird flavor is what you’re adding to the dish, just like any other ingredient, and cooking it down will just concentrate the weird flavor.

So, what’s with the crystals? It’s really quite common to come across them, especially in white wine. They’re not sugar – they’re mainly composed of tartaric acid, which is a very strong acid, and the main acid found in white wine. As you see, they can also be suspended in the wine.  Continue reading

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