Following an experimental design replicating typical winery conditions, a Riesling wine was bottled with different headspace oxygen levels and sealed with either a coextruded closure or a screwcap to investigate the impact of headspace oxygen and closure oxygen transfer rate on wine evolution. Using luminescence technology, dissolved oxygen and headspace oxygen, as well as oxygen ingress through the closure, were monitored during 24 months of bottle storage. Under typical winery conditions, headspace oxygen introduced at bottling was found to be a major component of oxygen in bottled wine. Headspace oxygen at bottling influenced loss of sulfur dioxide during bottle storage, being the main cause of sulfur dioxide decline during the first four months after bottling in 375 mL bottles. The loss of sulfur dioxide was not correlated with the evolution of dissolved oxygen, but with the total amount of oxygen consumed by the wine. After 24 months in the bottle, color differences due to different headspace oxygen and closure oxygen transfer rate were generally minor. Conversely, differences in closure oxygen transfer rate were responsible for significant differences in the final concentration of the off-odor compound hydrogen sulfide, with screwcap generally associated with higher levels of this compound. Even if less significantly, the amount of oxygen present in the headspace at bottling also had an effect on final hydrogen sulfide, with higher concentrations observed in wines bottled with lower headspace oxygen.
- © 2011 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture