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Wine throws tartrate crystal deposits

Tartrate crystal deposits, mainly considered as a minor aesthetic fault, are the result of wine being subjected to cold temperatures for an extended period of time causing tartaric acid to crystallize, i.e., the wine was not properly cold stabilized.

Possible Causes

Corrective Actions, if any

Wine has not been cold stabilized.

  • Rack and cold stabilize wine, or
  • Rack wine and add metatartaric acid

Tartrate crystals are easily separated from wine in containers by racking. If they form in bottles, simply decant or pour the wine carefully.

To prevent tartrate crystals from forming in the bottle, cold stabilize the wine by chilling or by adding metatartaric acid. Be sure to re-measure TA and pH as these will have changed, and make any necessary adjustments.

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