By Kori ~ August 13th, 2009.
This weekâ€™s Wine Word of the Week is sulfur dioxide.
Official definition from Jancis Robinsonâ€™s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, formed when elemental sulfur is burned in air, is the chemical compound most widely used by the winemaker, principally as a preservative and a disinfectant. â€¦.
Sulfur dioxide reacts with oxygen and so prevents oxidation, which has undesirable effects on the color and flavor of wine. â€¦.
The disadvantage of using sulfur dioxide is that its aroma can be quite unpleasant even at fairly low concentrations, especially to some particularly sensitive tasters.
Laymanâ€™s terms from Kori:
Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, is important in winemaking because it prevents spoilage, browning, and oxidation. However, an aroma of burnt matches in a wine is an indication of too much SO2 and is considered a wine fault.
Filed under: Wine Word of the Week