Does wine continue to ferment in the bottle?

Posted on: January 21st, 2020 by

I’ve been answering wine queries on the question and answer site Quora. I’ll share some of the most interesting questions I’ve been asked and, of course, my answers. I limit myself to spending a couple minutes on each response, not doing any research or “cheating.” I rely on my experience and opinion, which is probably not a bad way handle most things.

Question: Does wine continue to ferment in the bottle?

Champagne goes through a secondary ferment in the bottle.Answer: Yes. Some of it does intentionally, like Pét-Nat. These wines are bottled while fermentation is still going on, which makes them fizzy and delightful. But also volatile, as it’s quite a risky process.

Also Champagne and high-quality sparkling wine. The secondary fermentation (where still wine becomes sparkling) takes place in the bottle.

But still wines that are bottled and continue to ferment in the bottle unintentionally? That referment is bad.

Photo by Winniepix via Flickr.

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One Response

  1. Va Wine Love says:

    This is a great q&a – many don’t think about how long a bottle aged before it even arrived to their storage. Pet nat is especially fun – but as you said…a little bit of an experiment in the bottle.

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