Containers Can Alter Wine Composition
Written by Ryan Antonieff   
Friday, 14 May 2010 22:32

Whether it's red wine or white wine, the composition of wines can change becasue of the containers they're stored in, says a new study.

The first major scientific study into the storage of wine in different forms of packaging has revealed that the bag-in-box®, single-layer PET and small multi-layer PET altered the character of the white wines when stored over six months, with oxidation clearly noticeable. The study, published on Thursday May 13 2010, was carried out by the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences in Bordeaux (ISVV), the largest wine research establishment in Europe. It featured red and white Bordeaux wine, which the Institute packed into several different packaging materials and stored in laboratory conditions. Researchers analysed the levels of gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide) contained in the wine, along with its taste and colour intensity at regular intervals over a period of one year.

Rémy Ghidossi, lecturer at the ISVV, said in a press release issued along with the findings: “A lot of contradictory information has been circulating in recent months regarding different packaging solutions suitable for wines. It is now necessary to establish the truth, based on scientific information and quantitative data, to determine the legitimacy of each package, as its main function is to preserve the flavour and characteristics of its content.”??

The study concluded that the analysis of white wine showed convincing results within six months with significantly increased penetration of oxygen into the wine and a corresponding decrease in levels of carbon dioxide. After six months, the white wine clearly oxidised in single- and multi-layer PET, as well as the bag-in-box®.

It did, however, remain stable in the two glass bottles. The chemical analyses were confirmed by the jury of expert and novice tasters, who were unanimous about it tasting of rotten fruit. Some initial signs were beginning to emerge in the red wine, but it was too soon to draw any definite conclusions. Further tests will continue into the second year.

The Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences of Bordeaux (ISVV) is the largest research and development centre on vines and wine in Europe. Its laboratory draws together over 150 professors who benefit from an exceptional range of technical resources, including state-of-the-art equipment and the largest tasting room in the world.