Many wines get better quality during wine barrels or bottle cellaring. The wines will ultimately reach their peak; as they age, they start to decrease in quality. As the wine ages, acidity declines, further clarification and stabilization occur when unwanted substances are precipitated, and the different elements of wine make complex substances that affect the aroma and flavor.
Wines are typically aged within wooden containers made from oak, allowing oxygen to pass through and alcohol and water to be released. Wood extracts contribute to the taste. Humidity influences the type of components that escape, and alcohol becomes more concentrated in wines stored in circumstances of lower humidity and decreases with higher humidity. As alcohol and water are released, the volume shrinks, leaving headspace, also known as the ullage, constituted by introducing identical wine in a different container.
Some table wines of red are superior in quality, gaining less color and astringency and a more complex taste when aged in cooperage oak of up to 500-gallon sizes for up to three years. For the finest red wines, further improvement can continue for up to 20 years of aging in bottles (the rate of aging is less within the barrel than the barrel). Many dessert wines will improve with maturing in casks, especially sweet sherries. However, the removal of the woody flavor should be prevented. Dry red and rose wines that don’t improve when aging in bottles and casks for a long time maturation are aged for just a few months before being clarified and stored in bottles. More than 90 % of table wines will likely be sold and consumed before two years old. Dry white wines have a fresher taste and are thought to be desirable. The primary reason for aging is greater clarity, as various unwanted substances are dissolved. They aren’t matured in wood for extended periods, while some are not stored in wood. This is because of the effectiveness of modern clarification techniques. Early bottling of white wine lowers the cost of storage and handling in cooperage made of wood and gives a fresher, more fruity flavor. Sweet white table wines are benefited through some aging in wood.
Before bottling, wines may require mixing with filtration, as well as the application of antiseptics to prevent the growth of microbes. Many casks containing the exact wine can be different as they age, and blending is an excellent idea to ensure consistency. Wines slightly deficient in color and acid could be blended with specific wines for correction. Blending can improve wine quality by increasing the wine’s complexity.
A final polishing filter is necessary before bottling, and the quantity of sulfur dioxide is adjusted, particularly in sweet table wine. Sulfur dioxide is commonly employed. However, sorbic acid or sorbates are also used for sweet wines to stop yeast growth, though they aren’t recommended due to the smell that could be produced. The addition of sulfur dioxide heating (wherever advantageous) and polishing and filtration is generally carried out continuously. Equipment, usually semi-automatic or automated, must be free of unwanted microorganisms and made from resistive alloys to prevent undesirable metal pickup.
When bottling occurs, oxygen pickup should be minimized to the minimum. Bottom filling — that is, putting an insulated tube into the bottle and filling it from the bottom is frequently utilized. Sometimes, the bottle could be cleaned using carbon dioxide before serving it, or the wine could be steamed (agitated) by nitrogen gas. Oxidized wines require particular care.
Sterile new bottles are utilized throughout the United States. In other places, bottles can be reused following thorough sterilization and cleaning. The shape and color of bottles are determined by price and custom. Certain white wines, subject to alteration when sunlight exposure, are best stored using brown, green, or blueish-green bottles. While brown Glass is preferred for Sauternes, the tradition dictates that Sauternes be bottled in clear bottles. Glass remains the most common material. Still, some experiments have been conducted using plastics.
After bottling, the closure can be put in place. Screw caps are typically used for everyday wines. Cork closures are recommended when wines are to be matured in bottles. Wines that are red and have grown in the bottle for a long time are sealed with corks 2 inches (5 centimeters) long or more extensive. Sometimes, a pin can impart an unpleasant odor, “corked,” to the wine. This could result either from a contaminated substance or a flaw that facilitates mold development within and around the cork.
A capsule is inserted over the closure, the label is applied, and the bottles are packed into cases to be shipped. Wines that require aging in bottles are typically labeled, capsule-packed, or sealed once matured.
Dessert and table wines must be kept on their sides throughout maturation, both in the winery and by the consumer awaiting their consumption. The ideal storage conditions are no light or lower temperatures, maintained between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius (54 to 61 degrees F). Temperature fluctuations during the day can cause rapid aging and premature deterioration.