When the new Praxis Gewurztraminer came into the room I was amazed by the bottle shape and the dark color of the glass bottle. I had seen this shape before in the Peterson Bradford Mountain Rose, but that was a clear bottle not a dark olive color. I asked Bill Arbios “Why is the bottle so dark?” He told me that Gewurztraminers were known for coming in the darker bottles. I knew from personal knowledge that other alcohol like beer is put into the darker glass to help bounce off the ultra violet rays. But do ultra violet rays affect wine?
Wines that are exposed to natural light can be affected. It is a condition called lightstruck. This means the wine has either a “wet cardboard” or “wet wool” smell and taste. Red wines normally are not as affected by ultra violet light because the phenols in the wines protect it from turning. The wines most affected are white wines or sparkling wines. This is why most sparkling wines are in green or olive glass colored bottles. Most of the time the average consumer does not have to worry about wines becoming lightstruck; just be aware of this issue if any of your white or sparkling bottles are being exposed to direct sunlight.
Locals Tasting Room