I saw this in my carafe after it had been emptied. I am assuming it came from the wine. It almost looks like a vine to me. Can anyone help me identify this?enter image description here

  • How careful were you in pouring from the bottle into the carafe? I would expect that to have come from the bottle, but unless you up-ended the bottle I'm not sure how it got to the carafe. – Monica Cellio Mar 23 at 1:11
  • I was not at all careful, I did indeed just about up-end the bottle in there. I’ve never seen something like this in a bottle of wine, though. Is it a vine or some weirdly shaped sediment, do you think? I’ve edited the question to reflect that it probably came from the wine, not the carafe itself. – Christian B Mar 23 at 6:00
  • 1
    Also, the sediment can collect at the very bottom ring of the bottle forming a thin band of sediment that looks like a strip – farmersteve Mar 23 at 19:11

This is most likely tartrate crystals that have formed around the cork or a seam on the inside of the glass bottle. The like to attach to something rough. I have seen this many times. More often in white wine than red because of the higher tartaric acid levels, but it can occur in both. Generally when the wine has been stored in a cold location for an extended period of time. Like in a cellar or fridge. Nothing to worry about! Here is a picture of white wine crystals that have a similar shape.

enter image description here

Those sediments are frequent in wine (especially in aged red wine). They consist of tartar (we in Germany call it "Weinstein" which means "wine stone") and colours. Bottles that have been stored horizontally for a longer time frequently have that kind of sediments on the down side of the bottle. Red wine needs air after being opened and is therefore often filled into a decanter. When you do this carefully the sediments remain in the bottle.

In general the sediments are not hazardous to your health. The tartar can even be a symptom of good quality.

When you store wine you should lay bottles in horizontal and keep the label upside. After opening the bottle you should empty it carefully with label up. So everybody can read the label and the sediments will remain in the bottle to keep the wine in glasses clear.

However, in the longer past not all bottles were really carefully cleaned. The result was a wine with a terrible taste, not even vinegar. You can be sure that since decades wine makers take care to have bottles clean, if they want to remain in business.

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