Wine Word of the Week: Stabilization



By Kori ~ May 1st, 2012.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is stabilization.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Stabilization is a group of wine-processing operations undertaken to ensure that the wine, once bottled, will not form hazes, clouds, or unwanted deposits; become gassy; or undergo rapid deterioration of flavor after bottling. A quick recovery from bottle sickness and subtle changes in flavor that occur with lengthy ageing are considered normal in a stable wine.

Everyday wines are usually more thoroughly stabilized than fine wines since consumers have come to expect them to be crystal clear. ….

Stabilization includes two sorts of operations: one to counter physical and chemical changes and another to counter microbiological changes.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Stabilization is a technique used primarily in white wine production to make the wine look better. Heat stabilization helps to prevent unsightly haze while cold stabilization precipitates out tartrate crystal deposits.


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