It should be made clear that awine without sulphitesit does not exist, yet they existwines without added sulphites. The reason? During the vinification, in the fermentation phase, anaturalproduction ofsulfurand compounds called "sulphites”That remain in the finished product you bring to the table.
Self all wines contain sulphites, you may be wondering, why some labels have the wordingcontains sulfites? It is a question of quantity and European regulations.
THEsulphitescertainly not good for health, but on the label of wine and any other food, the words "contains sulfites"Is essential because this family of compounds is included in the list of food allergens.
Since isulphitescan trigger - in allergic subjects - heavy reactions, this indication is prescribed by law when the quantity ofsulphitespresent in wine exceeds a certain threshold.
Wine: contains sulphites
How many sulphites are there in wine? The EU regulation imposes a maximum limit to be respected:
- 150 mg / l for iRed wines
- 200 mg / l for iWhite wines
- 200 mg / l for isweet red wines
- 250 mg / l for isweet white wines
The Does organic wine contain added sulphites?Yes. The legislation for the production oforganic wineit does not require the omission of added sulphites. The Community regulation, for theorganic wine, lower the maximum limit to be respected:
- 100 mg / l for theorganic red wine
- 150 mg / l for theorganic white wine
- 150 mg / l for organic rosé wine.
As is clear, theorganic wine contains sulphitesalbeit to a lesser extent.
Industrial wines (large-scale production) hold a greater amount ofsulphitessince, compounds containing sulfur are added:
- In the harvesting phase and in the management of the harvest
- In the pressing phase
- During the preparation
- During fermentation
- Before packing
The practice of adding sulphites to wine is completely legal, however the most careful producers never exaggerate in adding sulphites. The reason? It is true that sulphites make the wine more stable and increase its storage times but lower its quality! In thewines without sulphites, the only sulfur-containing compounds present are those naturally produced during the first fermentation phase.
Wines without sulphites
The wording on the bottle "contains sulfites”Can also be found on theorganic wine. For this I remind you not to confuse awine without sulphiteswith aorganic wine!
In thewines without added sulphitesin reality there are quantities of sulphites ranging from 10 to 30 mg / l. These doses correspond to the sulfur-containing compounds produced naturally by yeasts.
Wines without added sulphites
Giving up added sulphites is not easy for a manufacturer. In addition, the doses must also be carefully controlled. If sulphites are added several times on an industrial level, small producers pay much more attention not to overdo it. Thewineproposed must be stable and must contain a quantity of sulphites that does not affect the organoleptic qualities of the finished product.
A quality wine, therefore, by its nature, even if it containsadded sulphites, it should contain very small doses. A red wine contains less sulphites than a white wine because it is already rich in natural sulfur-free antioxidants.
Given the high attention paid to sulphites, alternative techniques are being developed for the production ofwine without sulphites. These techniques, however, require the use of alternative compounds. What are the alternatives to producewine without added sulphite?
- The use of inert gases
Nitrogen, carbon dioxide e argon, limit the surface in contact with the air, protecting the must from oxidation. However, inert gases, unlikesulphites, do not protect against the attack of microorganisms.
- Ascorbic acid
Who doesn't know Vitamin C? Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is renowned for its high antioxidant power. Its use has been evaluated for the production ofwine without added sulphites, however, vitamin C activates a chain reaction that leads to the production of hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide) which is detrimental to the quality of the wine. The use of Vitamin C can only partially replace isulphites.
- DMDC or Velcorin
Dimethyldicarbonate is a very active fungicide on wine yeasts. It carries out an actionsterilizingand disappears spontaneously by hydrolysis after a few hours. This product is very effective and can be used at the time of bottling. The use of this ingredient has been approved on the condition that the doses do not exceed 200 mg / L and that the wine is not placed on the market until the hydrolysis has been completely completed and the compound has disappeared. The problem is that the hydrolysis of this compound leads to the formation of methanol (200 mg / L leads to the formation of 96 mg / L of methanol). In this context, another fragile point is the handling and use of DMDC which is dangerous for humans both for inhalation and in contact with the skin.
Other alternatives for the production ofwine without sulphitesare: sorbic acid and lysozyme. Alternative processes such as pasteurization, centrifugation, filtration, the use of UV radiation, the use of pulsating electric fields and electrolysis were also tested.