Measurement of dissolved oxygen during red wines tank aging with chips and micro-oxygenation

Anal Chim Acta. 2008 Jul 21;621(1):68-78. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2007.11.042. Epub 2007 Dec 3.


Nowadays, micro-oxygenation is a very important technique used in aging wines in order to improve their characteristics. The techniques of wine tank aging imply the use of small doses of oxygen and the addition of wood pieces of oak to the wine. Considering the low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels used by micro-oxygenation technique it is necessary to choose the appropriate measurement principle to apply the precise oxygen dosage in wine at any time, in order to assure its correct assimilation. This knowledge will allow the oenologist to control and run the wine aging correctly. This work is a thorough revision of DO measurement main technologies applied to oenology. It describes the strengths and weaknesses of each of them, and draws a comparison of their workings in wine measurement. Both, the traditional systems by electrochemical probes, and the newest photoluminescence-based probes have been used. These probes adapted to red wines ageing study are then compared. This paper also details the first results of the dissolved oxygen content evolution in red wines during a traditional and alternative tank aging. Samples have been treated by three different ageing systems: oak barrels, stainless-steel tanks with small oak wood pieces (chips) and with bigger oak pieces (staves) with low micro-oxygenation levels. French and American oak barrels manufactured by the same cooperage have been used.