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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Jan;50(1):20-52. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.526854.

Wine oxidation and the role of cork.

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Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin, Université de Bourgogne, F-21078 Dijon, France.


The present review aims to show the state of the art of oxidation mechanisms occurring especially in white wines by taking into account knowledge from different fields in relation to the subject. It is therefore divided into three main parts. First, the mechanisms of oxidation relevant to white wine are discussed in the light of recent scientific literature. Next, the phenomenon of oxygen solubility in wine during the winemaking process, and in particular during bottling is stated theoretically as well as practically. Finally, the aspect of wine conservation after bottling is examined with respect to mass transfers which may occur through the closure, with a special emphasis on cork. Currently, specific physico-chemical properties still make cork closures the most important closure type used for the wine market, and especially for high quality wines. This final section will also include a review of studies performed on this subject, which have been analyzed in detail from a theoretical mass transfer point of view, in order to assess the extent to which the proposed scientific tools and the observed tendencies are relevant to progress in the understanding of the impact of this parameter on the behavior of a wine.

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