When we open a bottle of wine, we think we know what’s inside. It’s just fermented grape juice right? Well sure, but you may be surprised to learn that our wine often has other things that we never expected. I am not talking about anything crazy, but there are often additives that winemakers will add to the wine for one reason or another. Since I believe that the more we know and understand, the greater we can appreciate. I thought we should take a moment to take a peek at what’s inside.
There are many additives that are very commonly put into our wines. Tannin Powder is often used when a wine lacks structure and the body suffers as a result. Yeasts are commonly used by winemakers as well, to help produce a more controlled and predictable product, instead of relying on the wild yeasts that are present in the vineyard. If you read your wine labels, you will often see the words “contains Sulfites”. Sulfites do occur naturally as a byproduct of fermentation, but many winemakers add sulfites to the wine as a means of preserving it. When wines are low in acid level, winemakers will sometimes use acid powders as a means of putting things back into balance.
This is just a very small sampling of the things that are approved to be added to our wines. In the US there are more than 80 approved additives that can be placed in our wines. It is really surprising to learn these types of facts when you are first learning about the beautiful art that is wine. When we learn these and other kinds of information, we deepen are knowledge and appreciation for the whole process.