The Fine Art of Fining

Fining is a process that clears your wine after fermentation is complete. It also stabilizes the wine by speeding up the formation and precipitation of excess tannins, unstable proteins and other microscopic matter that could form after the wine is bottled. When a fining agent is introduced to the wine, it binds to these particles, and both fall out as sediment. Fining agents accomplish this through “polarity.” By introducing a fining agent that has the opposite electrical charge as the particles’ charge, the two are easily attracted to each other and become too heavy to stay dissolved in the wine. This important process compresses the time-frame in which the particles would naturally precipitate (under good conditions). It also helps eliminate compounds that can form haze or cloudiness, usually due to unstable proteins. In short, it brings your wine to the dinner table sooner, clearer and more stable. Generally, white wines benefit from fining by having their lighter color preserved and their proteins stabilized. Red wines require fining to lessen their harsh tannins. Some fining agents work best when used in