Wines do not all behave in the same way when exposed to oxygen and do not develop in the same way following such exposure.

The terms “reactivity with oxygen”, “sensitivity to oxygen”, “oxidizability”, etc., are widely used in the oenological sector without having a specific definition. Furthermore, today, there is no analytical method that makes it possible to evaluate the capacity of a wine to build better resistance or, on the contrary, undergo oxidative damage due to oxygen exposure.

This capacity has to date been evaluated empirically by winemakers via direct tasting or through tasting after putting the wine into contact with the air (air resistance test). The Vinventions Enology team defines sensitivity to oxidation as the tendency for a wine to acquire oxidative organoleptic characteristics during exposure to oxygen.

Generally speaking, a wine’s sensitivity to oxidation evolves over time and depends on the operations which the wine undergoes during winemaking and ageing. We have developed a predictive test for the tendencies of a wine to develop based on electro-chemical analysis of wine carried out using the NomaSense PolyScan P200 analyser. This test, called Tendency of Evolution (TE), provides winemakers with decision aids throughout the elaboration of their wines, by indicating the “sensitivity” of the wine with regard to oxygen, i.e. the risk of emergence of oxidative characteristics during exposure to oxygen.

At the time of the electro-chemical measurement, the result of TE allows determination of whether the wine is sensitive or insensitive, enabling the winemaker to adapt his or her winemaking choices – such as using inerting gas, or sulphites, blending, choosing a specific type of ageing, or closure, etc.,.

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Christine Lagarde-Pascal

Enological Research Manager