Technique

Negative Impacts of Oxygen

Positive effects of oxidation? How can that be? Winemakers know that oxygen negatively affects wine and they process wine with the utmost care to prevent oxidation. Two common winemaking practices that have a positive influence are macroaeration and microoxygenation. Both are used in making some of the best reds and whites, evidenced by the rows and stacks of oak barrels in commercial wineries. Macroaeration refers to the practice of aerating, or oxygenating, fermenting wine by vigorous racking to produce a softer, less astringent wine that exhibits more fruit character and improved color stability. Microoxygenation refers to the controlled process of oak-barrel aging where wine is allowed to interact very slowly with a miniscule amount of air penetrating through the barrel. Apart from the flavors and tannins imparted by the wood, wines aged in oak barrels will exhibit more complexity than wines aged in stainless tanks or glass containers primarily because of microoxygenation. Oxidation reviewed Simply stated, oxidation is the result of wine being exposed to air during winemaking, at any time from grape or juice handling to bottling. Oxidation can