RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Protect sparkling wine bottled in clear-glass

The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships is calling for all producers to restrict the use of clear-glass bottles and for other competitions to implement a simple protection measure.

Tom Stevenson explains: “In our first year the CSWWC had a disproportionately high number of off-odours from clear-glass bottles. This was no surprise as such bottles are prone to light-struck aromas, a problem that has long been recognised and usually one that cannot be resolved by opening a second bottle from the same batch.”   

According to studies (Vierra), just 60 minutes under artificial lighting or daylight in any clear-glass bottle can generate 'light-struck' aromas, which will ruin a wine, particularly if it is a sparkling wine.

Stevenson continues: “The primary culprit is an unpleasant compound called dimethyldisulphide (DMDS). At its very worst, with other compounds involved, DMDS smells of old drains and sewage.

"From 2015, we decided that every wine entered into the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in a clear-glass bottle must be “double-bagged” in heavy-duty black plastic as soon as it is delivered. Since double-bagging the incidence of light-struck faults at the CSWWC has fallen by more than 94% allowing the panel to judge the wines in the condition they were originally intended….

Pictured: Tom demonstrating a tasting at the International Sparkling Wine Symposium

16 February 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor