A Gift From The Wine Gods
If you have ever found yourself enjoying a scrumptious glass of wine only to find bits of what looks like dirty, dried fruit specks lingering in the bottom of your glass consider yourself lucky! While sediment may not look very appealing (I mean who likes dirty wine, right?) it actually usually means that you’re drinking some pretty good stuff. Wine sediment can be an indicator of several things: the wine is quite old (lucky you) and great care was put into creating that bottle. Over time, the tannins and pigments in the wine start to break down and thus create the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. It often means that little or no filtration was used during the winemaking process which allows a wine’s personality and flavors to develop over time. Due to this, sediment can be found in some newer vintages as well. If you happen to imbibe a bit of the good stuff don’t worry, it won’t hurt you. While it may not taste all that great, it is believed to be full of antioxidants. While sediment is usually associated with red wine, it can sometimes be found in white wine as well in the form of tartrate crystals. This just means that the wine was once exposed to very cold temperatures, perhaps while being cold stabilized.
If you can see the sediment in the bottle but would prefer to keep it out of your glass there are a few things you can do. First, stand the bottle upright rather than keeping it over on its side before serving. If you can do this a full day in advance, that will give the sediment plenty of time to make its way to the bottom of the bottle. To take this one step further, you can also decant the wine, which just means pouring it into a separate serving container. Not only does this prevent sediment from making its way into your glass but it also allows the wine to open up and breathe. When pouring the wine from its original bottle into the decanter, watch the neck of the bottle closely to make sure you don’t let any sediment flow through.
The moral of the story is that if you find a few speckles in your glass go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back because obviously you know how to pick ’em! Consider it a little gift from the wine gods!