Definition - What does Spoilage mean?

Wine can be spoiled in many ways – from the vines to fermentation to aging and even after the bottle is cellared or opened. There are various types of wine spoilage, some include microbial spoilage, exposure to oxygen, pH levels and high acid content. During vinification practices, wineries can test spoilage at many different stages, and it is especially important to control fermentation and the sanitation of equipment to avoid spoilage.

WineFrog explains Spoilage

It is easier to use preventative practices to stop spoilage rather than try to fix the situation later. This is the case with vinegar taint which can occur when the winery equipment isn't sanitized properly and the wine picks up a vinegar flavor.

During fermentation, microbial spoilage occurs with the growth of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and acetic acids. To prevent microbial spoilage, the wine maker can control factors like alcohol concentration, pH content, temperature and sugar level which reduces the causes that influence growth.

Proper corking techniques should also be considered during the bottling process to reduce the chance of cork taint which exposes the wine to bacteria that can have detrimental effects on the wine.

Once wine is bottled, it can spoil if exposed to high temperatures, oxygen or contaminants in the cork. To keep the wine fresh at home, the most important factor is oxygen elimination which is important to be aware of from the moment the bottle is opened.

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