Removing Wine Sediment

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may have a certain wine tucked away in storage just waiting for the special occasion. If it has been stored for awhile, even possibly after it’s best-by date, you will want to be sure and bring out it’s full flavor and serve it free of any wine sediment that may have settled in the bottle as it sat awaiting the perfect occasion to be able to breathe freely.

Wine sediment often builds on the bottom of the bottle of wines that have been stored for some time. This is true for many red wines and is part of the reason that decanting a red before consumption improves the flavor. Although wine sediment is harmless and fine for cooking, it’s quite unpleasant in a glass of wine.

wine sediment

How to Remove Wine Sediment

Steps to Remove Wine Sediment

wine sediment

The following steps will ensure glasses of wine that are free from wine sediment.

  1. Leave your intended bottle of wine upright for a few days and then uncork.
  2. Pour slowly at a 45 degree angle from bottle into carafe, guiding the stream to hit against the opposite side of the carafe neck so that it gently flows over the glass curves, avoiding frothing the surface. Use a light source, since most sediment occurs in red wines which are bottled with very dark glass, to locate the sediment and avoid pouring sediment into the carafe but do not heat the wine as you decant it as wine is sensitive to temperature. [1]
  3. Once you have tipped the wine bottle up enough that the sediment reaches the shoulder of the bottle, be very careful not let it escape the neck.

You should end up with a carafe of clear wine and about 1/2 a glass of sediment laden wine left inside the bottle. The remaining wine is great for cooking purposes, so don’t let it go to waste!

Additional Information

Removing the sediment from wine is only one step in the entire decanting process. For much more information on wines and decanting, including a process called “hyper-decanting” for those of us always in a hurry, see the ultimate guide to wine decanting.

We’ve mentioned before how important it is to re-seal a bottle of leftover wine before refrigerating, no matter which color, to slow down the aging process since air is its biggest enemy. This decanting guide also provides a great solution to remove air from a bottle of leftover wine… glass marbles… genius!

To find out how long wines last, including the more delicate white wines, check our wine page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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