I had to laugh a short while ago when I heard that wine producers were going to have to stop adding milk to their wine!
But that's a rather amusing journalistic supposition... which is wrong. In the same context, perhaps you knew that in "fining" a wine, albumin is used – egg white, would you believe – to clarify it before bottling? And a technique that was once prevalent was putting casein into wine.
All for different reasons:
First of all, casein causes tannins and other solid residues to quicken, the same process I have mentioned above with albumin. Yet many are unaware of other properties of casein :
- Casein is used as a specific treatment in the battle against the progressive oxidation and maderisation of grape musts and wines.
- It eliminates oxidizable and oxidized phenolic compounds
- It has an immediate positive effect, by lightening the colour and refining the taste by its effect on astringent polyphenols
- Casein can be used for its curative properties, by softening any "oxidised" and "maderised" tastes and the colours of oxidised wine.
Phew!! It's all much more complex than the simple process of "fining" wine. In this context, let's remember that only 1% of French people are allergic to casein and just 0.3% to albumin. And how about the use of fish matter in the process, a technique based on the presence of parvalmubin?
So as from the next wine making session this coming autumn, we should be seeing labels featuring not just "contains sulphites" but also "contains casein" or "contains albumin" . And when shall we see "parvalbumin" or pork gelatine, already favoured as a technique.
It's all so complicated, don't you think?