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Lauren Pileggi
 
29 May 2023 | Lauren Pileggi

Fining wine, why do wine bottles say they contain traces of egg or milk?

Today I’m doing fining trials on a white wine.

Fining is when look at each wine and decide if we need to soften it, by removing any excess tannin or bitter hints.
I can also remove any proteins that could make the wine hazy.

This is why I always do a fining trial for each wine.

The fining agents commonly used are:

  • Isinglass
  • egg whites
  • skim milk.

 

These fining agents bind to different components in the wine, and will settle out in tank after being added.  
I need to be careful not to add too much of a particular fining agent, as it can sometimes take out too much, which means the wine would lose some of its flavour. 😱 

 

To conduct the fining trial, we make what is known as a ‘stock solution’ of a given fining agent.

 

I always start with a control, this is a sample that has no fining addition.
Then I add a small amount of the stock solution in specific rates – 5mg/L to 20mg/L.

 

Today we are looking at Isinglass in our Gig White blend.

As you can see, isinglass is great at clarifying white wine.
I think isinglass is the gentlest fining agent for white wine.

 

I taste through the samples, always coming back to the control, to make sure the ‘fined wine’ tastes better than the control sample.

When I am happy with a specific sample, it is that amount of fining that I will add to the tank.

 

Lets taste.
Phew, that was a little tough. This is the sample I like the best.

It has reduced astringency on the palate, beautifully lifted tropical notes, and a softer mouthfeel.

 

Now to fine the whole tank and get it bottled so we can all enjoy a glass!

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