Have you ever wondered about the diseases or alterations in wine?
And most importantly, what are the differences?
Let us try in the next few lines to clarify and better understand this intricate world.
Get comfortable, pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and … let’s get started.
They are manifested by the change in the color or clarity of the wine, in French referred to as “casses” (a French term meaning “ruptures” or an alteration in the appearance of a wine consisting of the loss of homogeneity, color and formation of turbidity.
Other alterations are corky smell, mold, sulforization or metallic taste. We speak of wine alterations when certain transformations of a physical chemical nature alter the product.
They are generally caused by metallic presences, thus due to prolonged contact with metallic materials, processing and storage. In fact, these are identifying processes typical of ancient production methods, and currently avoided by proper cellar management. The most common alterations (referred to in oenology as ‘casses’) include oxidasic casse (oxidation due to prolonged contact with oxygen, perhaps due to faulty corking of the bottle, resulting in the typical maderized smell), phosphatic casse (excess iron for white wines), and ferric casse (excess iron for whites and reds).”
Diseases such as, for example: fioretta, spunto, girato, amarore and filante, are due to the action of organic microorganisms, such as lactic or acetic bacteria. The most common one is spunto or acescence, due to the action of acetic (aerobic) bacteria. It should be pointed out, however, that all diseases are very rarely found in wine today, since modern production technologies have practically eliminated the possibility of bacterial degeneration in the final product intended for the consumer. Wine flake or fioretta: arises from the action of particular yeasts. Wine spike, wine acescence, spike wine, wine gone bad all key words and phrases highlighting a typical wine disease due essentially to acetic bacteria.
To the action of yeasts (candida, etc.) is due the fioretta, while the lactic cue or stringiness is due to the action of lactic acid bacteria (anaerobes). Wine bitterness: this is also part of wine diseases, in the specific case when lactic acid bacteria attack glycerin and form bitter substances.It is important to become aware about the fact that sometimes for a matter related to the nature of the product you can find small problems.
Therefore, one must learn to recognize them and judge when it is appropriate to change the bottle.