Fermentation, sweetening, conditioning, and aging are all done and you’re ready to finally bottle your wine?! You’ve waited a long time, so you’ll be happy to know this is one of the easiest steps. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to bottle your wine:
- Auto Siphon
- Bottle Filler
- Approx. 30 750 ml Wine Bottles
- Approx. 30 Wine Corks
- Potassium Metabisulfite, Campden Tablets or your preferred sanitizer of choice (e.g., Star San)
- Wine Corker
Maintaining the pristine condition of your wine equipment is crucial to ensuring the best quality of your wine. To sanitize your bottles effectively, we recommend using a potassium metabisulfite solution. Before use, it's essential to thoroughly clean all your bottles. If you encounter any mold or stubborn residue that can't be removed, it's best not to use the bottle, as even a small issue can compromise the quality of your wine.
There are three reliable options to sanitize your bottles.
- Submerging Method: Fill a bucket with sanitizer and submerge the bottles for sanitization.
- Funnel-Pour Method: Use a funnel to pour the sanitizer solution from bottle to bottle, ensuring each one is sanitized.
- Bottle Rinser: Use a specialized bottle rinser to efficiently prepare your bottles for filling.
Correctly preparing corks for bottling wine is important. Not only should the wine corks be sanitary, but it helps if they are softened just enough to allow your corker to put them in the wine bottle with ease. There are two basic ways to go about sterilizing and softening wine corks. This first involves submerging the corks in a solution of sanitizer. Alternatively, you can steam the corks in water, but be careful not to degrading your cork with excessive heat.
When it comes to selecting the right bottle, it often boils down to personal taste. While the bottle shape may be associated with a specific wine style, in most instances, the duration of wine storage renders the shape less critical. Feel free to choose the bottle that appeals to you the most. Our selection includes various types of wine bottles, ranging from the standard 750 ml to the classic champagne bottles. We also have 187 ml, 375 ml, and 1500 ml bottles available.
We also sell screw-cap wine bottles in both Green Claret and White Claret styles. These bottles are often over-looked but are an excellent alternative, especially for white wines that are more-likely to be drank fresh. Screw-caps do not allow any air exchange so prevent micro-oxidation and can be stored upright. Plus, you don't need a corker!
It's worth noting that some wine enthusiasts prefer colored bottles for red wines, as the tint helps safeguard the wine from light exposure, reducing the risk of it losing its vibrancy when subjected to sunlight. Ultimately, your choice of bottle should align with your preferences and the characteristics you value in your wine. A general rule of thumb is to bottle red wines in darker bottles and white or rose wines in clearer bottles to showcase their lighterhue.
To start the bottling process, connect your Auto-Siphon to the siphon tubing, and attach the bottle filler to the other end of the tubing. With the bottle filler in your first bottle, press it down to the bottom, and initiate the siphon. (NOTE: While some winemakers transfer their wine into a bottling bucket before bottling, we advise against this practice as it may expose your wine to oxidation and disturb sediment.)
With the bottle filler held at the bottom of the bottle, allow the wine to fill up to the bottle's top. When you remove the bottle filler, the wine should leave an appropriate headspace for sealing with a cork. Ideally, leave about 1 to 1½ inches of space below the cork's bottom when inserted. Bottle fillers are designed to displace the right amount of wine, ensuring a perfect fill level for any bottle type.
Once a bottle is filled, you can set it aside or proceed to cork it. Filling all your bottles doesn't take much time, so a brief exposure to the air won't harm the wine. Continue this process until all bottles are filled, typically yielding around 26 to 30 bottles per batch. Occasionally, you might have a partially filled bottle (or a smaller bottle), which is an excellent opportunity to sample the young and vibrant wine. While the flavor may evolve and mellow over time, this tasting will give you an initial sense of how your wine will develop. With each batch and tasting experience, you'll gain a better understanding of your wine's evolving taste profile.