Sediment – What Is That Dirt In My Wine?

In a nutshell…sediment is the term commonly used to describe the left over “lees” or “dregs” in a bottle of wine. It is composed of residual yeast, grape seeds, and other particles that settle to the bottom of a vat of wine after fermentation and aging. Filtering the wines will take out almost all sediment, though these days, winemakers are leaving the wine unfiltered, believing it will increase depth and flavor. The lees produced during wine production are packed full of antioxidants. The lees of red wines consist of tannins and plant pigments precipitated around crystals of potassium tartrate.

To remove sediment before serving wine, simply decant the wine by pouring it slowly from the bottle into a decanter. Stop pouring when you start to see the wine sediment enter the neck of the bottle, and then allow the wine in the decanter to air out a little bit before pouring it into glasses.

Bottom line; do not be afraid of those particles in the bottom of your glass. They are all natural and healthy (especially if you don’t mind chewing your wine a bit). And, if you find yourself with leftover wine with plenty of sediment, add it to your bath water as it is a natural skin softener.

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