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Wine and Cider Analyses

Express Cider/ Fruit Wine Chemistry Panel

  • Purpose: Snapshot of cider chemistry:  pH, titratable acidity (at pH 8.2), alcohol, free SO2
  • Technique: Titration, pH Meter, NIR (alcohol)
  • Price- NY*: $35;  Non NY: $100

Express Wine Chemistry Panel-Only for 100% grape-based wines

  • Purpose: Snapshot of wine chemistry:  pH, titratable acidity (at pH 8.2), fermentable sugar, malic acid, lactic acid, volatile acidity, alcohol, free SO2.
  • Technique: OenoFoss (FTIR), Foss FiaStar
  • Price- NY*: $35;  Non NY: $100

Advanced Cider/ Fruit Wine/ Other Chemistry Panel

  • Purpose: More in depth cider chemistry:  pH, titratable acidity (at pH 8.2), fermentable sugar, organic acids: malic, lactic, acetic, alcohol, free and total SO2.
  • Technique: HPLC, Foss FiaStar, and GC-FID
  • Price- NY*: $65;  Non NY: $200

Advanced Wine Chemistry Panel

  • Purpose: More in depth wine chemistry:  pH, titratable acidity (at pH 8.2), glucose, fructose, organic acids:  malic, lactic, acetic, tartaric, alcohol, free and total SO2.
  • Technique: HPLC, Foss FiaStar, and GC-FID
  • Price- NY*: $65;  Non NY: $200

Acidity: Acetic Acid (volatile acidity)

  • Purpose: Acetic acid is the most abundant volatile acid. At large concentrations it suggests microbial contamination, and is considered a sensory flaw.  While acetic acid is the major component of volatile acidity (VA), volatile acidity as measured through distillation may include other compounds and will therefore not necessarily match a direct measurement of acetic acid.
  •  Technique: Cash Still
    • Price- NY*: $30; Non NY: $45
  • Analysis Notes: Legal limits for Volatile Acidity in wine:
    Red Table Wine 1.2 g/L
    White Table Wine 1.5 g/L           
    27 CFR 2.21(a)(1)(iv)
    NOTE: In some wines, sensory threshold may be as low as 0.5 g/L

Acidity: pH

  • Purpose: A measure of hydrogen ion concentration, pH affects microbial stability, concentration of molecular SO2, tartrate stability, and the perception of wine structure. 
  • Technique: pH meter
  • Analysis Notes: Due to the buffering capacity of wine, pH is not always directly correlated with wine TA. Wine pH generally ranges from pH 3.0 to pH 4.2.
  • Price- NY*: No charge; Non NY: $10

Acidity: Organic acid panel (tartaric, malic, lactic, acetic)

  • Purpose: Tartaric and malic are the primary acids found in grape wine that has not undergone malolactic fermentation (MLF).  After MLF, malic acid is converted into lactic acid.
  • Technique: HPLC 
    • Price- NY*: $45; Non NY: $70
  • Technique: OenoFoss (FTIR)
    • Price- NY*: $20; Non NY: $30
  • Analysis Notes: Wines are not considered MLF stable until less than 30mg of malic acid remains in the wine.

Acidity: Titratable acidity

  • Purpose: A measure of the acids in wine that can be neutralized with a base. Expressed in g/L tartaric acid equivalents (wine) malic acid equivalents (cider).
  • Technique: autotitration (8.2 endpoint)
  • Analysis Notes: Titratable acidity most closely corresponds to the sensory perception of acid strength; it should not to be confused with total acidity.
  • Price- NY*: $12; Non NY: $20

Alcohol: Ethanol

  • Purpose: This method can be used with all wines, but is the only accurate method for wines with residual sugars above 2%, which can’t be analyzed using ebulliometry. 
  • Technique: Gas Chromatography-Flame Ion Detection (GC-FID)
    • Price- NY*: $30; Non NY: $45
  •  Technique: NIR
    • Price- NY*: $20; Non NY: $30

Bottle Sterility

  • Purpose: Visually clear bottle samples are filtered and plated on selective media to assess sterility.
  • Technique: Filter plating and reverse-phase microscopy
  • Analysis Notes: Turn around on this analysis is about 8 days, as plating takes about 7 days to show results.
  • Price- NY*: $30; Non NY: $50

Cold Stability (tartrate)

  • Purpose: Tartaric acid is unstable at lower temperatures, and combines with free potassium to form potassium bitartrite crystals that precipitate out of solution, altering pH and TA.
  • Technique: Conductivity test
  • Price- NY*: $15; Non NY: $25


  • Purpose: Troubleshooting or production planning beyond that related to service analyses
  • Analysis Notes: Pam Raes, Chris Gerling, and other enology extension staff are available for consultation.
  • Price- NY*: No charge; Non NY: $150/hr

Haze analysis

  • Purpose: Wines exhibiting haze or precipitates are screened to assess haze type (biological or crystalline) and probable identification through microscopic analysis.
  • Technique: Plating and reverse-phase microscopy, tartrate/ protein stability, sterility check
  • Price- NY*: TBD**; Non NY: TBD**  **Dependent on which of the above are used

Heat Stability (protein)

  • Purpose: The presence of residual proteins in wine can result in undesirable haze, formed from proteins that denature at the high temperatures that may occur during storage or transportation.
  • Technique: Hotbox test and TCA acid hydrolysis test
  • Price- NY*: $15; Non NY: $25

Morphological identification

  • Purpose: Positive identification of yeast or bacteria, and probable identification of genus.
  • Technique: Microscopy
  • Analysis Notes: This method serves as a preliminary check and does not provide definitive formal identification of spoilage microorganisms.
  • Price- NY*: $27; Non NY: $40

 Sensory appraisal

  • Purpose: Wines are assessed by a panel of three trained enologists to make preliminary judgments about sensory flaws or varietal typicity.
  • Technique: Sensory evaluation by trained panel
  • Analysis Notes: Definitive flaw analysis often requires further testing.
  • Price- NY*: No charge; Non NY: $60


  • Purpose: Potassium sorbate is added to wines containing residual sugar to prevent refermentation inhibiting yeast activity.
  • Technique: Distillation/ spec
  • Analysis Notes: Potassium sorbate additions will be converted to ethyl sorbate over the course of about 18 months post bottling.  Both compounds impact wine aroma.
  • Price- NY*: $35; Non NY: $50

Sugars: Residual Sugar (glucose and fructose)

  • Purpose: Quantification of the fermentable sugar (glucose and fructose).
  • Technique: Foss Winescan
    (Near IR)
  • Analysis Notes: Reported as a percentage, this analysis gives an indication of a wine's dryness. Yeast can metabolize both glucose and fructose, though most strains used in wine production consume glucose preferentially.
  • Price- NY*: $27; Non NY: $40

Sulfur: Free and Total Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

  • Purpose: Sulfur dioxide is used as an antimicrobial and antioxidant in wine production.
  • Technique: Foss FiaStar (flow injection- automated aeration/ oxidation)
  • Analysis Notes: Legal limit = 350 mg/L; concentrations above 10 mg/L (ppm) require the label to include the warning "contains sulfites." TTB CFR 4.22(b)(1)
  • Price- NY*: $20; Non NY: $30

Trace Elements: Copper, Potassium, Calcium, and Iron

  • Purpose: The concentration of dissolved analytes can affect wine stability. Excess calcium and potassium can promote tartrate precipitation, and copper and iron favor oxidation.
  • Technique: Atomic absorbance
  • Analysis Notes: Turn around on this analysis is about one week.
  • The amount of residual copper in wine cannot exceed 0.5 ppm.   TTB CFR 24.246
  • Price- NY*: $25 per element; Non NY: $40 per element

* Analyses are offered at a discount to all New York bonded wineries, home winemakers, and craft distilleries because a portion of testing costs (approximately 33%) are subsidized by the New York Wine and Grape Foundation (NYWGF). We are unable to offer this discount to wine distributors or out-of-state wineries because of the nature of NYWGF funding.