Aging sweetened wine - a good idea?

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Ericphotoart

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Basically the title tells all. I'm going to rack my strawberry wine again and I plan to bottle around september but I was thinking about adding kmeta and sorbate and sweeten it at the same time. Maybe not to the final sweetness but close. Is it a good idea or I should do it only before bottling?
 

vinny

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I'm going to jump in with a little speculation, but I believe this is pretty common practice, no? :a1

It takes some time for sugar to blend and bring out fruit flavours. It is also important to ensure that fermentation doesn't kick back up, so it is standard to wait a couple of weeks to bottle. I just assumed from videos I have watched and reading that it is fairly common to back sweeten during bulk ageing to give a better idea of when the wine has matured to your liking.

As you noted, maybe not to final sweetness as to not over sweeten, but to allow changes and melding while allowing one to better judge when things have developed to an enjoyable/amazing product.
 
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It is certainly a good idea to age sweetened wine. How long, is a different question completely. I point to one of the first wines I made, actually two wines. Both peach, but made using two different recipes. (It's going back about 10 years now and I don't recall the differences other than to say there were differences.) But I digress. After about 3 or 4 months, both of them were just kinda boring, nothing special, little peach taste. We finished drinking the bottles or so we thought. After about 3 years I found one last bottle of one of the wines. Opened it, expecting nothing special, boy were my wife and I surprised. The peach nose almost overwhelmed just at opening the bottle, the taste was wonderful, if you liked peach things. So you can age them, but like all wines there is a lifespan and what that lifespan is depends on the wine.

Also, when I make a sweetened wine, the last step I take is to add the sugar. I pull out three or four measured amounts, add various amounts of sugar to each, re-arrange the wines, then my wife and I, and hopefully some extras give a taste. We then decide which one we like the best, mix up a bit more and let it sit overnight and decide if we still like it. We also try to use a bit less sugar than we calculate. With aging (unless you invert the sugar) it will get sweeter with time.
 

mikewatkins727

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It is certainly a good idea to age sweetened wine. How long, is a different question completely. I point to one of the first wines I made, actually two wines. Both peach, but made using two different recipes. (It's going back about 10 years now and I don't recall the differences other than to say there were differences.) But I digress. After about 3 or 4 months, both of them were just kinda boring, nothing special, little peach taste. We finished drinking the bottles or so we thought. After about 3 years I found one last bottle of one of the wines. Opened it, expecting nothing special, boy were my wife and I surprised. The peach nose almost overwhelmed just at opening the bottle, the taste was wonderful, if you liked peach things. So you can age them, but like all wines there is a lifespan and what that lifespan is depends on the wine.

Also, when I make a sweetened wine, the last step I take is to add the sugar. I pull out three or four measured amounts, add various amounts of sugar to each, re-arrange the wines, then my wife and I, and hopefully some extras give a taste. We then decide which one we like the best, mix up a bit more and let it sit overnight and decide if we still like it. We also try to use a bit less sugar than we calculate. With aging (unless you invert the sugar) it will get sweeter with time.
This brings to memory what happened to me back in the 80s/90s while living in CA. Sometime in the mid 80s I made a batch of plum wine (Santa Rosa?). At the 8/9 month mark I popped a cork on one bottle. I had backsweetened it but the wine was unremarkable, more blah then anything. I stashed three bottles in a linen closet. Twelve to fifteen years later I discovered them. They had fully cleared but maybe a bit over prime time but very drinkable.
 

Noontime

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Absolutely, and in my opinion you should. If you're in no rush, take the opportunity to get your wine complete before bottling. Again, completely my opinion, but it's better to know your wine is stable and at a point where you're not monkeying around with it anymore, when you bottle. I've never liked the idea of doing anything to the wine right at bottling.
 

Ericphotoart

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I read several times here and there that folks sweeten the wine, wait a few days to 2 weeks to make sure the wine is stable and bottle. I want to age wine that is sweeten, lets say 75% and see close to bottling time what has changed and adjust. Thanks for all your input. I decided to sweeten it now. I gave a sample to my wife and she loves it. She expected strawberry wine to be very sweet, that she doesn't like, and this is just right. I'm very curious how it will change over time.
 
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