Red Pre-Bottling Checklist
If the wine tastes fine and you are happy with the level of clarity, an SO2 test is all that's left. Once this has been taken care of, we can proceed to the actual bottling of the wine.
Please see our Guide to SO2 Management for additional information.
More likely than not, there will be one or two elements that need our attention before we can bottle the wine:
Check The pH/TA: How is the wine‟s acidity? If the pH/TA needs to be corrected you should do it now.
Check the mouthfeel/tannins: Are the tannins a bit “grippy” or harsh/rough? If so, then you may want to look at some form of fining such as albumen (egg whites) or an additive solution such as enological tannins or an Opti-Red addition (see the next section). Note that the treatment that worked for last year’s wine may not work for this one. Therefore, bench trials will be needed to determine the best solution for this particular wine will be.
For information on running bench trials, see our Guide to Bench Trials.
Check the clarity: Is the wine's clarity satisfactory? Usually the presence of tannins along with racking during the aging/storage period is enough to clear up a red wine enough to bottle. However, if you are looking for a particular brilliance in the glass, then you may need to fine or filter the wine before it gets bottled (see the next section).
Check the Residual Sugar %: In general, the Residual Sugar (often just RS for short) level does not need to be adjusted for a red wine. It usually ferments dry and is left where it stopped. However, in cases where there is some RS in the wine, you may want to consider a sterile filtration in order to guarantee the microbial stability of the wine.
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