Our next step will be to learn about bottling wine. We will finish up with corking and labeling wine. By now, you should have gathered up bottles for your wine. This should have been done while your wine was fermenting.
Were you surprised by the number of different wine making bottles available for bottling wine? There are specific bottles used for specific wines, but don't worry too much about it.
There are typically two types of bottles: Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Burgundy wine making bottles are sloped and come in light green, dark green and clear. These usually have a smaller "punt" and are used for bottling wines that are younger with less body - whites and blushes.
Bordeaux wine making bottles have more of a "shoulder" and a larger "punt" and are usually are just dark green. Typically these are used for bottling red wines because the punt and shoulders help hold the sediment when pouring.
Preparation for Bottling
- part 5 wine making instructions
Once the wine is clear, it is time to start bottling. Your wine is now drinkable but will get better with age.
- Racking - If you are making a red wine, it is a good idea to rack it one more time since red wines tend to have more sediment than white. If you are making a white wine and see sediment, go ahead and rack it again. This will eliminate the chance of sediment in your wine after bottling.
- Sweetening - Taste your wine. If it is not sweet enough for your taste, now is the time to sweeten. You can sweeten the wine a few different ways. Use sugar, wine conditioner, flavoring or Super-Smoothers. Super-Smoothers are a combination Live Oak Extract and glycerin which smooth out the young or harsh wines and reduce the amount of aging time. Be careful not to over-sweeten.WARNING: If you sweeten your wine, make sure that you have used Potassium sorbate. This will ensure that the added sugars will not restart fermentation.
- Filtering - Filtering wine is recommended if you are going to be bottling your wine and aging it for any length of time. Even though the wine looks clear, filtering will eliminate any additional sediment from the wine. Most home winemakers don't filter the wine.
- part 6 wine making instructions
You will need about 24-25 bottles for 5 gallons or 30-31 750 ml bottles for 6 gallons.
- Sterilize your bottles using the metabilulfite solution you prepared when you started. Use a funnel to pour some solution into each bottle. Swish around and pour out. (if you have a bottle washer and bottle tree, you will save some time.)
- Line your bottles up and using a bottle filler, start filling the wine bottles. Fill with wine within an inch of the top. When you remove the bottle filler, you will have a full bottle of wine waiting to be corked.