The Enemies of Wine and How to Combat Them


From St. Louis to Omaha and everywhere in between, wine is regarded as one of the most popular and diverse beverages. It's literally a window to the different terroirs of the world, but whether it's a crisp white from the Loire region of France or a robust cabernet from California, wine needs to be stored and served properly in order to protect it.

Wine is perishable. And when exposed to the main enemies of wine, the aroma and flavor profiles can be severely compromised. Let's take a look at these main enemies when storing and serving wine:


Temperature swings can be detrimental to fine wines, as exposure to heat can cause wine to push the cork out of the bottle, while extreme cold paralyzes wine and ruins its natural development and taste. A cold, dry environment can dry out corks, allowing wine to seep out and destroying the flavor of the entire bottle.


Wine is a very complex beverage. It continues to develop flavors and aromas long after you bring it home to enjoy. Wine experts suggest a vibration-free environment for vintages because it allows the wine to slowly age – vibration speeds up the aging process and doesn’t allow the wine to fully mature.


Exposure to light will prematurely age and damage wine, compromising its delicate flavor profiles and overall quality. Wine that is exposed to ultraviolet light can cause the wine become cloudy, give off strong odors and off-flavors — not exactly the way the wine was meant to be enjoyed.


Strong odors near wine racks or in a wine room – especially musty or moldy odors and dry rot – can affect the flavor of wine. Any finish on which wine is stored on or in must be odorless, and wood chosen should be as non-aromatic as possible.


Oxygen is the most common enemy of wine. When air gets into a bottle of wine, the wine begins to oxidize. Beautiful white wines will begin to brown, precious reds will fade, and all will take on sharp Sherry-like nose. 

The Modern-Day Solution to Fighting These Enemies

Serving wines on tap has been common in Europe for decades, but over the past several years, this  trend has exploded in the domestic marketplace. A wine-on-tap system essentially provides wine service by the keg, which is dispensed through a tap system much like beer.


When you purchase and serve wines from the keg, the potential for dried out corks is eliminated. Vibrations from storage are no longer a factor. And exposure to light, odors, and oxygen is removed. When the enemies of wine are neutralized, so is the potential for spoiled and ruined wines that must be dumped down the drain.


Wines served by the bottle must be stored and disposed of properly. There's no doubt that buying a single keg of wine is easier to store and dispose of than five cases of wine. And the labor involved in counting and ordering inventory is simpler, as well.


Wines purchased by the keg are cheaper per glass than wines purchased by the bottle. But, you can still charge the same price to your customers. This means greater margins for the house. And when you factor in the elimination of spoilage and the ability to serve premium wines-by-the glass to consumers who might not be interested in ordering a full bottle, you're looking at even larger profits.

Ready to Serve Wine-on-Tap?

Before you jump into a wine-on-tap program, consider some additional information from the premiere supplier of keg wines. Free Flow Wines is dedicated to sourcing some of the best expressions of grape varietals across the world.

Read their Wine On Tap Draft Guide today.

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