Sediment found in wine can be caused by a number of factors; the most common of which would be age. Given this, we would appreciate knowing the date of bottling which can be found on the outside of the box in which it was shipped. If these wines, particularly red wines, sit too long in the bottle there is a tendency for the wine to settle and solids can gather at the bottom of the bottle. Another possibility would be that the wine has been held in a storage location in which the temperature was quite warm for an extended period. This can cause the wine to break down and any particles would settle at the bottom as well. It is very important that you “rotate” your wine inventory on a first-in, first-out basis.
Sulfites in wine are nothing new since the yeast cells during fermentation produce a small amount of sulfites and the better winemakers have made tiny additions of sulfites for many centuries. This miniscule amount of added sulfites acts as an anti-oxidant and as a yeast inhibitor which preserves the natural good condition of the wine and retards spoilage. For the information and protection of those few people who are extremely sensitive or allergic to sulfites, U.S. Federal Law, for some time now, requires that wine containing (10) or more parts per million of sulfites be labeled “contains sulfites”. This labeling requirement is mandatory for all wines produced in the U.S. The wines are the same as they were before such labeling was required. Substances that assist in making sound wine and that remain in the wine in minute traces, such as sulfites, have been and are considered by canonists and theologians to be acceptable for the Eucharist. One such approval, as reported in the Sacramentary, was the Holy Office Decree of 2nd August, 1922.
The “crystals” or “flake” evidenced in the bottle are natural grape tartrates that crystallized and settled out of solution after bottling, due to the wine being held cold for too long a time or at too low a temperature. Tartrates are completely harmless. No one should worry needlessly if they have consumed a wine with a few tartrate crystals. There is no adverse health issue. You may, however, wish to stand such bottles upright until the crystals have settled to the bottom and then decant the wine to remove the crystals. Again, these “tartrates” are a result of “too cold” of a wine storage temperature. These are, of course, most noticed during the extreme cold-weather months (particularly the Midwest and East Coast regions) and storage and shipping of wine during this time period should be of concern if not shipped and stored in temperature-controlled environments. Feel free to strain with a coffee filter for a visual return of product to the natural state as taste is not affected.
We at Mont La Salle like to state that we cannot determine how other suppliers make their wine or if it is made according to the requirements of Canon Law. We know with absolute certainty that Mont La Salle Altar Wine is made according to Canon Law and, in addition, our label states “approved for sacramental use”. As far as we know, there is no other wine offered for commercial sale that makes this statement
There is no gluten or wheat product(s) present in Mont La Salle Altar Wines.
We cannot make any potential health claim as it relates to our altar wine and your general health. You are encouraged to consult with your personal physician on the acceptability of alcohol-related products based on your specific personal needs. Mont La Salle does have available a non-alcohol Grape Juice product (Mustum) that has been approved by the National Clergy Council for sacramental use. There are no unnatural additives to Mont La Salle Altar Wines.
Depending on the type of wine you use and whether it is above 14% in alcohol content or below, the shelf life can range anywhere from 12 months to beyond 36 months. Optimum storage recommendations call for storing the wine in a cool, dry location without being subject to significant swings in temperature. If this type of storage is maintained, you can be assured of quality product until consumed. A consumer can always determine if wine is not consumable prior to drinking as there will be a significant change in color and odor.