Winery Wine

Mead, wine, beer, and any other form of alcoholic beverages, as well as vinegar.

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Winery Wine

Postby KrisK on Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:40 pm

Anyone have any ideas if wine bought at the store has live organisms? If we make it at home, yes, but what about when we're at a restaurant or want a decent California wine?
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Re: Winery Wine

Postby Tim Hall on Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:08 pm

It's possible there might be a very few live yeasts in there, but a lot of wine gets sulfited to kill the yeast and stop the fermentation. Probably 99% of commercial wine contains sulfites...sometimes it's added in the beginning to kill resident yeast, sometimes at the end to stop fermentation at a certain alcohol or residual sugar level, sometimes both.
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Re: Winery Wine

Postby WWFSM on Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:16 am

I'm imagining that most commercial wine have very few, if any, live organisms.

If I understand correctly, most wineries sterilize everything before starting the ferment, either with chemicals or pasteurization. Then they use carefully selected, commercial yeast to ferment the grape juice into wine. A lot of wineries will stop the ferment early, once it's at the specific alcohol content and flavour they are aiming for, by adding alcohol or a chemical (depending on the kind of wine) to the wine that will kill the yeast.

Note, I said most and a lot of...not all wineries. There must be some places in the world that still use the old methods. But I'm pretty certain this is the general rule, at least in North America, for commercial wine because fermenting with wild yeast leads to unpredictable results... large scale producers aim to make their wines consistent and cannot risk the variation you get with wild conditions. In Canada, at least, there seem to be a lot of laws that require commercial wineries take specific steps to sanitize at every step of the process.

It is possible that there is some live yeast and other organisms in commercial wine, however, they are likely limited to just a few cultures and not as wide a range as at-home, wild yeast fermentation. However, many of the other good-for-you-stuff in wine is still present.
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Re: Winery Wine

Postby Tim Hall on Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:44 pm

Most US wine makers will sulfite and use a select yeast, but there some that use the resident yeast as I've talked to a few. Sometimes you can find high residual sugar wines that are still fermenting in the bottle, but it's not very common.
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