What is Bottle Shock? Wine Bottles Have Feelings Too

If you’ve been around wine enthusiasts for a while, you might have heard about bottle shock. Perhaps you’ve seen the 2008 Bottle Shock movie, about Californian wine defeating the French in a historical wine tasting, so you might know something about this strange phenomenon.

We’re telling you all about bottle shock and how to avoid it. This is one of the most common questions during our Chauffeur Drive, Melbourne, Yarra Valley private winery tours, Yes, bottle shock is real!

What is bottle shock? Read on for our answer. To get to know a winemaker’s point of view, join us for a private Yarra Valley winery tour and ask the pros!

What Happens to Bottled Wine, Anyway?

As you know, wine evolves in the bottle. It’s wine’s unique trait, which makes it extra special to collect or to lay down for a special occasion.

From the moment a producer fills a bottle with wine and seals it, the wine embarks on a journey getting more complex and layered over time.

The fermented juice evolves until it reaches its plateau, the best moment to enjoy it. After that, the wine decays until it inevitably goes bad.

Young wines are created to be enjoyed in the first three years, including most white wines, inexpensive reds and rosé, go through this evolution quite fast. Contemplative reds, structured and concentrated wines built to last, will evolve for decades.

What Does This Have to Do with Bottle Shock?

Well, wine is a moody being, and it hates changes. The most significant ‘shock’ wine endures is when winemakers wake the poor liquid up from its peaceful slumber in a barrel and briskly pour in in a bottle. The wine is agitated at a molecular level, and its aromatic compounds are, in a way, disoriented.

If you taste a recently bottled wine, it will not show its best. It might be muted or unbalanced, and that’s bottle shock right there. It comes as no surprise the most prestigious wine producers will bottle their wine and then store it for up to a year before selling it.

So, Only Newly Bottled Wines Suffer from Bottle Shock?

We said above wine’s most significant shock happens at the bottling line, but it’s certainly not the last one.

Whenever you carry a wine bottle around in your back seat, it gets shocked if left unattended for long periods of time and might not taste or smell as you expected.

New arrivals that have travelled all the way from France or any other country are often bottle shocked for a few days as well. Whenever you move wine around, it gets cranky.

How to Avoid Bottle Shock?

You can avoid bottle shock by keeping your wine collection in a nice place with no light and no vibration. Buy your wine a few days ahead to prevent any car sickness and don’t pop open your bottles when arriving from a long journey, let them sit for a while instead.

Give your wine bottles time to settle before opening, and you’ll be fine. If you want to learn more, take a Chauffeur Drive, Melbourne, Yarra Valley private winery tour from Melbourne and get all your questions answered by the experts.  We at Chauffeur Drive, Melbourne, Yarra Valley take care of your wine purchases carefully storing them along with your cheese, chocolate, gourmet food items. It’s what we call un-spoiling the spoils and treasures of the Yarra Valley.


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