This story, for a change, has not been written by me, but by the very makers and distributors of the countless additives that have changed the way wine is being made since the 1980s’ . Read through the own words of the wine-additives businesses what these miracle powders and liquids can do on otherwise-mediocre juices and wines [the latter being my guess : otherwise, they woulldn't need these products in the first place]. These excerpts vaunting the various enhancements in the aromas, mouth-feel, structure, middle-palate and finish cannot be found of course on the websites of the wineries using these correcting tricks (even less on the back labels of their wines) as these wineries probably display on their webpage the usual fairy tale about terroir, family winery and small-batch cuvees etc to their customers. These excerpted sentences below were found on various additives companies’ webpages which were intended for wineries and winemakers solely (of course). I just replaced each time the name of the given additives with XXX , and each of these individual sentences describe the enhancing properties of a different product (the packaging of which being probably pictured on my fancy photomontage). Just think that this is just a randomly-picked glimpse among the dozens of specialty additives available out there on the market…
These products are of course used in the old world as well as in the new world. And if you think the expression recipe winemaking is exaggerated, just read this [in their own words] Recipe suggestion for Reserve Pinot Noir by Chr Hansen, one of the major players in the wine-additives business. If you're into whites, try rather the Recipe suggestion for barrel-aged Chardonnay.
The collage photography on this page gives you a visual glimpse on these packs, containers and bags that you're never given the chance to see although they're behind almost every conventional wine nowadays...
Read and enjoy, and open a bottle of real wine so that you don't stay on sour aromas...
All these various enhancing properties of diverse winemaking additives have been found on currently-online documents and webpages managed by distributors and manufacturers :
Enhances Sauvignon varietal character.
_Expresses the typicity of Pinot noir
_Provides mouthfeel and volume
_Improves the extraction of phenolic compounds and color intensity
XXX I is a strong aroma producer with fast fermentation kinetics…enhances esters (fruity, floral) and volatile thiols (boxwood, passion fruit, grapefruit and guava aromas).
It gives winemakers the opportunity to boost fruit flavours, optimising the conversion of soluble grape-derived fruit flavour precursors into volatile flavours, increasing the wines aroma intensity, spectrum and longevity.
_A noticeable reduction in the optical density of the wine: wines are less yellow,
_A reduction in catechins and leukoanthocyans, responsible for browning a combination of free SO2.
_For the senses, a reduction of bitterness and improved freshness and aroma. The specificity of the action of XXX is a complement to that obtained by treating with YYY and with ZZZ.
The dosage for use varies from several grams depending on the sought after gustatory effect, to be pre-determined by taste tests.
Main uses for XXX :
Correct and stabilize color in wine, particularly white and blush wines
Help prevent “browning” and “pinking”
Freshen slightly oxidized wines
Reduce astringency and bitterness in red and white wines
Unmask fruity character
Improve mouth-feel and finish of wine
Treat press juice prior to fermentation to reduce astringency and bitterness
_Marked aromatic diversity and intensity
_Definite impact on volume and length on the palate
_Aromatic purity (POF-, low production of acetaldehyde, acetoin and diacetyl)
_Reduction of volatile acidity production in sweet wine production
Combining XXX with YYY, helps exploit yeast biodiversity and more closely resembles natural fermentations, while also avoiding organoleptic deviations and preserving intended yeast fermentation fidelity.
[Note these last words : It seems that for the additives industry, “natural fermentation” exists by itself, as opposed to what I guess is the “non-natural fermentation” initiated by their products. Very interesting recognition of the concept of natural fermentation versus non-natural.]