Analysis: Wine

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Analysis of wine involves the measurement of various characteristics which relate to wine quality, stability, and legal requirements, ideally in a well-equipped laboratory. In most specialist wine laboratories, wine analysis also includes a critical tasting to ensure that the wine conforms to type and quality. Wine analysis is also used to help assess blends, shelf-life estimations, and to ensure that blending and packaging operations have been successfully performed.

Common measurements include those of alcoholic strength, total acidity, volatile acidity, pH, density, residual sugar, microbiology, and sulfur dioxide. Laboratories in larger wineries may also be equipped to test for mineral elements such as iron, copper, sodium, and potassium. All these parameters either play an important part in assessing quality and stability or are limited by law.