Question from Gordon: Does it matter if a great tasting wine is cloudy?
Reply: Hi, Gordon. Thanks for writing!
My philosophy has always been that if it tastes good it is good. Clarity is the ideal, so haziness or cloudiness always makes my antennae go up – there could be some kind of microbiological naughtiness going on in there. But, I have to say I’ve pulled the cork on some pretty scary looking wines that were absolutely delicious. And, even if something’s gone wrong the wine won’t hurt you. It might offend you, though. If it tastes weird, take it back.
Others feel less tolerant, thinking that even if it tastes fine, is it as good as it was meant to be? They would recommend taking it back to the retailer and getting a replacement bottle. The bottle should be nearly full if you’re going to return it ;-) It’s a way of finding out if it was just that one bottle or if it’s just the nature of the wine. Unless, of course, you get a bottle from the same case. It could be that there’s batch variation and that retailer received the cloudy batch…
Possible causes of cloudiness or lack of clarity?
Some varieties resist clarification techniques the wine maker has at hand. And, some wine makers don’t like to process the wine too much for fear of taking away the angels with the devils. They feel that filtration or fining strip the wine of its character. I remember one very famous wine writer, who has an ax to grind when it comes to filtration, referring to a very expensive bottle of Cabernet as “eviscerated!” Continue reading