Forget about real diamonds for a minute; we have wine diamonds on our minds this Valentine’s Day! While diamonds will likely remain a girl’s best friend, they’ll be even better when paired with wine. We’re pretty sure nothing is better wine and diamonds!
In all seriousness, though, what are these wine diamonds we speak of?
What are wine diamonds?
Scientifically speaking, wine diamonds are no different from the cream of tartar in your kitchen cupboard. Tartaric acid is naturally occurring in wine and, given the right environment, it can crystalize to form small “diamonds” in the bottle or in the tanks where wine ferments at the winery.
If you’ve found these crystals forming on your wine cork or found them in your glass, don’t fear. Wine diamonds are completely harmless and don’t impact the flavor of the wine. They’re just one of those things that reminds us that wine is a very natural product, and some things are hard to control when nature is involved.
Wine Diamonds at the Winery
Here at Chateau Grand Traverse, we use a process known as cold stabilization while we’re making our wines. This process involves chilling the wine in our fermentation tanks. This process actually encourages the formation of the crystals, which are then filtered out before bottling. Cold stabilization is the only way to decrease the likelihood of wine diamonds forming in the bottle.
Cold stabilization pulls the tartaric acid out of the wine while it’s still in the tank. When we remove wine from our cold stabilization tanks, we’re often amazed at the intricate patterns of crystals that form on the inside of the tanks. Wine diamonds can be absolutely beautiful on such a large canvas!
Preventing Wine Diamonds at Home
Remember, these crystals won’t cause you any harm and they don’t change the flavor of the wine they’re found in. But even though they aren’t to be worried about, you might want to avoid them for the sake of not startling a guest when pouring a glass of wine! Cold stabilization isn’t a foolproof method for wineries to prevent wine diamonds from forming in the bottle, so no matter how carefully that bottle of wine you’re serving was treated at the winery – there could still be a surprise inside.
Because we know these crystals form at cold temperatures, the best thing you can do is store wine at the appropriate temperature. This means you should never keep that bottle of white wine in the fridge for weeks until you’re ready to drink it. Wine is best stored at 55-60 degrees and chilled just before serving if needed.
A special bottle of wine or a subscription to our wine club make great Valentine’s Day gifts, and who knows – you could find a wine diamond in that bottle! Visit our online store to order wine or consider our wine club while you shop for that special someone.