Bordeaux study shows wine oxidises in plastic after six months

13 May, 2010

A 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 white wines when stored over six months, with oxidation clearly noticeable.

The study was carried out by the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences in Bordeaux (ISVV). 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: “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.

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