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Wine diamonds

Synonym for tartar; see there.

Designation for the crystalline mixture of poorly soluble salts of tartaric acid, mainly potassium hydrogen tartrate (also potassium bitartrate) or, to a lesser extent, calcium tartrate, which is formed by combining tartaric acid with potassium or calcium Prosaic names are wine diamonds or wine stars. Tartrate is particularly common in wines made from overripe or late harvested grapes, 90% of which is potassium hydrogen tartrate. It precipitates in the form of small crystals, rods and leaves similar to glass splinters. This can already take place in the fermentation or maturation container (raw tartrate), especially with cold treatment. The formation of crystals increases with increasing alcohol content, low temperature and rising pH value (from 3.2). Colour changes or calcium turbidity may also occur.

Weinsteinkristalle auf Korken - Weißwein und Rotwein

Tartrate is hardly soluble in water and therefore settles on the walls of tanks and barrels, on the bottom of bottles or even on the cork. This usually occurs in the bottle, which is favoured by cool storage. The colour is...

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