Are there any negative health effects associated with consuming wine that has been preserved under argon gas?

Nov 30, 2016

Q: Are there any negative health effects associated with consuming wine that has been preserved under argon gas? And does it have any impact on the wine's aromas or flavors? —Ron

A: Argon is an inert, non-toxic gas. It's denser than oxygen and present in 1 percent of the air we breathe. It's an extremely stable element with non-reactive properties. It has many industrial uses, including as a preservative of organic materials such as wine. Because argon is heavier than oxygen, it can act as a protective layer for wine, preventing the very reactive oxygen from interacting with the wine and causing the nutty, Sherry-like flavors associated with oxidation. Winemakers sometimes use argon as a preservative for wines in storage, and it's the gas utilized by the popular Coravin and Enomatic wine-preservation systems.

Concerning its effects on how a wine's flavors and aromas might be perceived, argon's inert quality means that it will not react with wine and therefore has no effect on it (other than preventing it from reacting with oxygen). Argon won't cause any negative health effects, as long as you're not standing in a room filled entirely with argon, in which case you would suffocate: People need oxygen!

Health Q & A

You Might Also Like

How does alcohol intoxication cause “glassy” eyes?

How does alcohol intoxication cause “glassy” eyes?

Glassy or glossy eyes—eyes that look glazed over, shiny and unfocused—are often associated …

Jun 22, 2022
My dog tries to drink from unattended wineglasses. What happens when pets consume wine?

My dog tries to drink from unattended wineglasses. What happens when pets consume wine?

Here at Wine Spectator , we love dogs, especially the canine companions who help in the …

Jun 8, 2022
Can wine and cannabis be consumed together safely?

Can wine and cannabis be consumed together safely?

As social attitudes and legal restrictions around marijuana have loosened in recent years, …

May 25, 2022
Does grappa have the same health benefits as wine?

Does grappa have the same health benefits as wine?

Traditionally served as a digestif, grappa has undergone a renaissance in recent years, led …

Apr 27, 2022
Why does wine make me pee?

Why does wine make me pee?

Our kidneys play a pivotal role in regulating water excretion and absorption, and alcohol …

Apr 13, 2022
Does drinking wine impact the effectiveness of a multivitamin?

Does drinking wine impact the effectiveness of a multivitamin?

Multivitamins serve as a dietary supplements that are intended to fill in nutritional gaps. …

Mar 30, 2022