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Sediment


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Pardon my ignorance on this subject, but what is the current, educated thought on sediment? I seem to notice two kinds:

- "particulate," I guess I'd call it (where there are small solid particulars, of varying size, which could be cork-like matter); this I've noticed equally in reds and whites (though more immediately apparent in whites, of course)

- "gunky," for lack of a better term -- or should I say, more appealing term -- where the sediment kicks up into filmy clouds (large and small) when the bottle is disturbed; this I've only been able to see in white wine, of course, but I suppose it must happen in red too.

Unless a bottle has been obviously corked, I haven't really been able to tell if this stuff affects the taste much, though it certainly makes the drinking experience much less pleasant.

Also, any knowledgeable thoughts on what causes this (other than a disintegrated cork)?

Thanks!

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As to "particulate," What you se see is crystals of potassium bitartrate or simply known as "Tartrates" . They should not concern you. Tartrates develop from wine stored at a low temperature and do not effect the taste. Larger crystal can be formed if the wine was frozen some where along the line.

as to - "gunky," You will see these "clouds" of sediment in wines that are usually

unfined and unfiltered. Again, it does not impact a bad taste. Actually you should get more flavor since many winemakers feel that filtering strips the wine of flavor.

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where the sediment kicks up into filmy clouds (large and small) when the bottle is disturbed; this I've only been able to see in white wine, of course, but I suppose it must happen in red too.

There are usually only two types of sediment in a bottle of white wine. One (and the most common) are tartrates, which is especially prevalent whit wines that have not been cold stabalised. This is not a problem for the wine.

The cloudy sediment in a white wine is a problem. Whites do not throw a sediment like reds )mainly because they have been through a tougher filtration. However if there are clouds of brownish sediment then this is more than likely to be dead yeast. Not a good sign.

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Oh yes... and beware of tartrates... don't decide to quickly swig the last mouthful from the bottle while nobody is looking. If it contains tartrates you'll get a mouthful of nasty little crystals akin to salt which you'll have to disguise to pretend that you weren't being such a total philistine by drinking from the bottle.

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