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Massachusetts Beverage Business



Perhaps the notion that fine wine could be packaged in plastic was too good to be true. A recent major scientific study into the storage of wine in different forms of packaging has revealed that the bag-in-box, single-layer PET and small multi-layer PET altered the character of white wines when stored over six months, with oxidation clearly noticeable. The study was carried out by the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences in Bordeaux (ISVV). It featured red and white Bordeaux wine, which the institute packaged into several different materials and stored in laboratory conditions. Researchers analyzed the levels of gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide) contained in the wine – along with taste and color intensity – at regular intervals over a period of one year. According to the study, the analysis of white wine showed convincing results within six months with significantly increased penetration of oxygen into the wine and a corresponding decrease in levels of carbon dioxide. After that time, the white wine clearly oxidized in single- and multi-layer PET, as well as the bag-in-box. It did, however, remain stable in the two glass bottles. The chemical analyses were confirmed by the jury of expert and novice tasters, who were unanimous about it tasting of rotten fruit. Some initial signs were beginning to emerge in the red wine, but it was too soon to draw any definite conclusions. Further tests will continue into the second year.

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