Tag: science and wine

Can Light Really Affect My Wine?

Can Light Really Affect My Wine?

Yes, light can affect your wine. But to grasp how this is possible we should take a closer look at the science of it all so as to be able to understand how this comes about.

The effects of UV rays on wine

Wine is sensitive to those damaging light rays, specifically ultraviolet (UV) from sunlight, and fluorescent lighting. This is why wine and beer is normally packaged in dark bottles.

All forms of radiation, which includes visible light UV rays as well as X-rays possess energy which is normally directly proportional to their frequencies, or rather inversely proportional to their wavelengths, that’s, high frequency waves possess short wavelengths and vice versa. When the energy is greater, the catalytic effect of the wine’s chemical reaction is equally going to be greater.  Here is a video on how light can affect your wine and how to properly store wine.

Of concern in wine are the visible light, and the UVA rays of the sun. Research has proven even short exposure of wine to the sun ( UVC and UVB are absorbed by atmosphere), may have detrimental effects in the order of hours. This is due to the fact that UVA rays lie in the 315-400nm range of electronic spectrum, and therefore possess more energy compared to visible light that lies in the 400 to 700 nm range.

Glass normally acts as some kind of a filter. However, clear glass provides no protection against visible light and UVA rays. Green glass provides some sort of protection, though only half as good compared to amber; while dark amber glass provides almost complete protection.

Research has shown that wavelengths between 375 and 440 nm ( that’s the high end of UVA range and blue (low) end of visible light range) are normally most damaging to wine, the reason being that the radiation amount absorbed by wine in this range is always directly proportional to opacity. Thus, red wine will absorb the most (and is the most affected), whilst white wine will absorb the least. Rose wine is in the middle.

Effect of radiation on wine flavors

Opaque and deeply colored, rich red wines absorb nearly all radiation. But these possess the maximum concentration of the effect-inhibiting tannin that offer protection. However, when the concentration is low, or the degree of exposure is long, unpleasant aromas and flavors may develop.

UV lights will reflect, or bounce of things and surfaces more than the visible, or infrared waves do. And even though darker colors are considered safer bet for absorbing more of light when compared to lighter colors, it is not normally simple judging that just by how it appears or looks in the usual visible spectrum.


When you have to utilize wine bottles which are opaque completely, or when you wrapped your wine bottles in something which is completely opaque as well as impermeable to normal amplitudes of light, then you should not be overly worried much about the effect of light on your bottle of wine.