Critical reviews in food science and nutrition | 19 Dec 2013
Y Tao, JF García and DW Sun
Wine aging is an important process to produce high-quality wines. Traditionally, wines are aged in oak barrel aging systems. However, due to the disadvantages of the traditional aging technology, such as lengthy time needed, high cost, etc., innovative aging technologies have been developed. These technologies involve aging wines using wood fragments, application of micro-oxygenation, aging on lees, or application of some physical methods. Moreover, wine bottling can be regarded as the second phase of wine aging and is essential for most wines. Each technology can benefit the aging process from different aspects. Traditional oak barrel aging technology is the oldest and widely accepted technology. The application of wood fragments and physical methods are promising in accelerating aging process artificially, while application of micro-oxygenation and lees is reliable to improve wine quality. This paper reviews recent developments of the wine aging technologies. The impacts of operational parameters of each technology on wine quality during aging are analyzed, and comparisons among these aging technologies are made. In addition, several strategies to produce high-quality wines in a short aging period are also proposed.
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