Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Apr 18, 2008 08:17 AM

what is this stuff floating in wine bottle?

I buy a cheap but decent Chardonnay from Argentina at Whole Foods for $3.99. I use it mainly for cooking, but sometimes I drink a glass before stuffing it in the fridge w/ a vacuvin in it. This wine almost always develps weird floating flakes of stuff in it that when fished out dissolve to a fine granular consistency.

Husband thinks something "is growing in there" but I don't think so. Sometimes this occurs when the wine has only been stored a week, and always w/ this particular wine, but is never present before opening. What the hell is it and is it still safe to cook with?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sounds like tartaric deposits. No worry, harmless.

    Stand the wine upright and let them settle down to the bottom, then pour gently leaving them behind.

    The can come out of solution if the wine gets cold.

    Most big balnd brands chill wine down before bottling so these deposits don't appear in their wines.

    Usually seeingthem is anindication of a more individual wine. Enjoy

    1. The wine wasn't cold stabilized, and is throwing tartrate crystals as it gets cold(er than it ever was before).

      Basically, it's cream of tartar and nothing to worry about.

      1. I third the conclusion that you are seeing tartaric acid crystals.

        They were first explained to me - and are also known as - "wine diamonds". I have been told by German and Austrian friends that some wine drinkers actually consider them a sign of a 'pure' wine.

        Being from Canada, I have come to recognize them as bottles that spent time in a cold truck / railcar during shipment. Always fun explaining them to customers!

        1. The original comment has been removed