Bottling is a fun time, since it's usually when your wine is tasting smooth.
I always feel that bottling is a good time, because I can already see the look on people's faces after they taste the latest vintage.   Hopefully, they're happy looks, not like they have a mouth full of sweet tarts.  :)  

What do I need?
I always keep the bottles from the store bought wine for my bottling.   Just remove the labels, wash them thoroughly and put them in a box until you are ready.    We did, however; just buy 40 + cases from a local winery.   They were used bottles which had to be cleaned, remove the labels, and dried.   I think I still have 20 cases to go yet.   We had to jump on this offer since it was so cheap.    

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I use the Bordeaux style of bottle

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I use the dark green for red wines and clear for whites

It's actually quite simple... 
Have a glass or two handy to taste the wine when bottling, as well as for when you finish bottling and you have enough for half a bottle yet.   You could bottle it, but it wouldn't last more than a day or so.   So, I recommend drinking it while you're cleaning up.

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clean sterilized bottles (estimate 5 bottles per gallon)

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Corks of decent quality.   I use a #9 winery grade overruns

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sterilize all equipment, corks and racking cane equipment

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Slowly insert racking tube into carboy and be sure not to stir up the sediment

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Have your friend begin the siphoning by the other carboy

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Make sure you have the bottling wand ready to go into the bottle

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Only fill about 1/4th the way up the bottle neck.  You'll want 1/2 inch of air between the wine and the cork.

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Once started, have the wine run down inside against the wall of the bottle so you don't aerate the wine.

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Fill all bottles

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Press corks into the bottles, leaving the top of the cork just barely below the top lip of the bottle.

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Store upside down at least 24 hours as the corks expand 

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Put label and heat shrink top capsule on for decoration

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Keep in a cool dark place

 

 

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Bottling is a simple process
This is when its truly fun.   Once people hear you've bottled wine, everyone will want just "one" bottle.  That's why I make a lot.  I usually give them out as gifts to my customers at Christmas.

Wine Boxes?
It is good to have wine bottle boxes when filling the bottles so they don't accidentally fall over.  It's also easier to handle a dozen or so bottles when hauling them.


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