Reductive wine can be fixed with a penny

A new video produced by the American Chemical Society claims that reductive wines can be fixed by dropping a copper penny into the glass for a few seconds.

The life hack video created for the ACS’s YouTube page encourages wine lovers who find aromas of burnt rubber or rotten eggs in their wine to drop a clean copper penny into their glass and swirl it around.

The ACS claims that the copper in the penny reacts with the sulphur compounds (known as thiols) in reductive wines. When the thiols react with the copper, an odorless compound, copper sulfide is produced, which removes the unpleasant rotten egg-like aromas in the wine.

The same effect can be achieved by stirring a silver spoon in a reductive wine. Wines with little or no exposure to oxygen during the fermentation process are described as “reductive”, while those that are overexposed to oxygen are “oxidative”.

Other life hack videos produced by the American Chemical Society tackle topics like sharpening a knife with a plate and how to check the temperature of your oven.

2 Responses to “Reductive wine can be fixed with a penny”

  1. Keith Grainger says:

    Of course, this has been well known for years. However, today’s coins in both UK and USA are not as effective as old ones – pre. 1992 in the case of UK. Today’s 1 and 2 pence coins (UK) are copper plated steel, pre. 1992 they were 97.5% copper, but the high price of the metal helped put an end to that.

    Many winemakers use copper as a treatment for reductivity. However it does scalp both aromas and flavours, and the problem should be avoided by careful winemaking . Shiraz is especially prone to being reductive, and readers will be aware of the influence of type of closure. Much research is still taking place on this.

    My book: ‘Wine Faults and Flaws – A Practical Guide’ is due to be published by Wiley in 2016.

    Keith Grainger

  2. Simon Cock says:

    Exactly, Keith. There is nothing new about this but I suppose each generation ahs to learn these things for themselves!!!
    Simon Cock

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