Wine needs preserving. We can do this in a number of different ways. We store it in dark coloured glass bottles with corks or screw caps to keep the oxygen away. We keep them cool and away from bright lights. Winemakers handle the grapes, juice, must and wine very carefully to ensure their wines reach the customer in the best condition possible. Increasing availability of better technology and education has meant that faulty or tainted wines are very rare these days.
When it comes to adding preservatives to wines winemakers have a variety of options. The most common added preservative is sulphur dioxide, which is added in the winemaking process to protect the wine from oxidation and bacterial spoilage. You can see it listed on the label as 'preservative 220' or 'contains sulphites'.
Even preservative free wines can have some sulphur dioxide as it is a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation. Sweet wines and white wines typically have greater amounts of added sulphur dioxide.
This week we received two new preservative free Shiraz, from two of Australia's best winemakers. The Nick Spencer 2021 Preservative Free Shiraz was grown just up the road at Gundagai. This wine is vibrant purple in colour and generous in soft, silky fruit. The Yangarra Estate 2021 PF Shiraz from Maclaren Vale is much riper and has intense blackfruits and an almost chocolatey finish. Both are designed to be consumed young, so don't hesitate to get stuck in.