Florida Wine Cellars – Wine Faults & How Avoid Them

Flaws or faults in wine are common. Every wine maker or wine cellar owner will, at some point or another, experience faults or flaws in their wine. Even with the most meticulous monitoring, there will be some flavors or smells that can develop in the wine cellar that will make the wine unsuitable for consumption. As with everything else, prevention is the key in avoiding faults in wine.

 

Proper Fermentation & Storage in Florida Wine Cellars Prevents Wine Faults

 

1. Sulfur Smells

SLO, or Sulfur-Like Odors, happen often in wine. The smell is like that of rotten egg or even burnt rubber. This is because all wines possess sulfur compounds, but they are usually in such small amounts that they are hardly noticeable. When the sulfur levels become higher than what is appropriate, the rotten egg smell occurs. They can even cause wine to taste bitter.

So what causes SLO?  First we must know that sulfur compounds are formed during the fermentation stage of wine. When the yeast doesn’t have enough nitrogen, it will produce more sulfur-bearing molecules.

Converting sugar to alcohol requires that yeast have some nitrogen to reproduce, but once the available nitrogen is used up, the yeast is broken down into amino acids that contain sulfur. One of the by-products of this process is hydrogen sulfide, or HS2. Usually, during fermentation, the HS2 will dissipate, taking with it the rotten egg smell. But, if some HS2 remains, wine will retain the bad smell.

To prevent this from happening, the right amount of nitrogen levels must be present during fermentation. Supplemental nitrogen is often used for this, but it must be at the right levels otherwise excess nitrogen will speed up the fermentation process.

2. Acidity

Wines have volatile acidity. The excess volatility in wine can cause it to smell like vinegar or even ketchup. This also takes away from its varietal character. The problem of excess volatility starts during the fermentation stage, but it is during storage of wine in wine cellars that the majority of it happens.

ETHANOLBacteria consumes ethanol, and if you add oxygen causes acetic acid. Similarly, lactobacillus consumes the lingering sugar in wine, thus creating acetic acid.

Winemaking procedures must be up to standards to prevent volatile acidity in wine. Gassing tanks and wine barrels must be covered to prevent the formation of volatile acidity and to prevent unwanted oxygen from seeping through.

Ensuring that the wine cellar cooling system is working efficiently will prevent humidity levels from going too low or too high. The right humidity level helps keep wine cork from drying out or cracking, thus preventing oxygen from entering your bottle. To prevent lactobacillus and sugar from forming acetic acid, the residual sugar in wine can be treated with a sterilant before it is stored.

3. Brettanomyces

BRETTANOMYCEBrettanomyces cause nasty aromas in your wine. The smell can be likened to antiseptic, wet cardboard, and wet dog. A metallic taste is found in wines that have brettanomyces.

As with other substances, Brettanomyce contamination comes by a matter of degree. Some Bordeaux wines actually have a tinge of this, but if the amount is too much, it renders wine unfit for consumption.

Barrel-stored wines are the main exhibitors of Brettanomyces. If the temperature is too warm, and the level of sulfur dioxide is too low, Brettanomyces are most likely to occur. Old barrels that have previously stored wine are an ideal environment for Brettanomyces to survive.

To prevent Brett, proper wine storage is the key. Make sure that your Florida wine cellar is properly sanitized. Keep your wine racks in tip top shape as well and look out for bacteria or molds, especially in wooden wine racks.

Make sure your wine cooling system is running smoothly to keep the temperature cool, resulting in having just the right amount of sulfur dioxide. This is sure to prevent Brett from growing.

Working with a professional that provides efficient wine storage solutions is vital when building your dream wine cellar. Make Wine Cellar International Florida a part of your dream! Visit their website (http://www.winecellarinternational.com/) or call them at +1 (954) 630-5866.

 

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