I found crystals in my wine!
Should I worry?

Stop. First things first:

Good. Now pour yourself a glass and read on…

What you found in your bottle of wine are tartaric crystals, or simply wine crystals (in German, weinstein), that occur naturally and are completely harmless if ingested.

Wine crystals can be white, clear, or amber to brownish colored and customers often mistake them for pieces of glass. Unlike glass, however, wine crystals are not sharp and pose absolutely no ill effects if swallowed.

They are odorless and tasteless, and will not change the quality of the wine in any way. In fact, they are considered a sign of quality.

These crystals can develop over time in a bottle of wine, especially if the wine is of high quality and has been stored at a very cold temperature and then brought back to room temperature and chilled again.

This can happen at any point in the distribution cycle – during shipping, at the distributor, at the retail store, or at the consumers premise.  The crystals develop from tartaric acid, which is found naturally in grapes.

This is actually the same substance that cream of tartar, often used in baking, is made from.

A bottle of wine with crystals inside is still perfectly drinkable. White wines, such as our German Rieslings, do not need to be decanted. Instead, you can strain the wine or simply pour it slowly and carefully to avoid transferring the wine crystals to the glass.