Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Please explain the benefits of "cold" fermentation.
—David S., Marina Del Rey, Calif.
One of the byproducts of fermentation is heat. Too high of a temperature, and the yeasts can die, the fermentation can get stuck, and the flavors can start to taste burnt or cooked. There are also unwanted microorganisms that thrive in warmer temperatures. A warm fermentation can also mean a rapid fermentation, and a rapid fermentation can mean loss of aromas. Many winemakers also believe a cold fermentation enhances colors and preserves a wine's fruit characteristics.