Definition - What does Cloudiness mean?

Cloudiness in a wine means that there are solid particulates suspended in the wine which prevent light from passing through. This may be indicative that the wine is unhealthy, but not always. In the case of bottle sickness, it can be reversible. The wine only needs to rest on its side in a dark and cool place.

WineFrog explains Cloudiness

If a wine is showing cloudiness, this can mean a few things:

  • The wine is re-fermenting inside the bottle.
  • There is a presence of yeast spoilage.
  • The wine has a protein instability.
  • Or the winemaker chose not to filter the wine.

Some winemakers decide not to filter a wine in order to leave natural elements that attribute to color, aroma and texture. While these are more rustic wines, they are often sought after by wine enthusiasts who enjoy the purity of artisanal wines. However, sometimes there is a risk in not filtering wine.

Some unfiltered wines arrive at their final destination cloudy. This is a temporary state and sign of a distressed wine which only needs a few weeks of rest in a cool, dark place before opening.

Other unfiltered wines smell a little raw with aromas ranging from sweat, raw meat or even the smell of fermenting fruit. Whether a person enjoys these characteristics is a matter of personal taste.

In the case of protein instability, the wine is unhealthy.

Wines that are re-fermenting or have yeast spoilage are undrinkable. Drinking a wine that is re-fermenting may also cause some stomach aches later on.

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