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So I started a batch of wine at the end of the summer, and I happen to have a bad habit of not following through on projects. Basically, I fermented it, moved it to the 2ndary after about a week, then reracked about a month afterwards. Since then, it's been sitting in my basement (cool and dark) aging in the carboys. This has probably been there 5 months (wow).

I guess at this point my question is: Do you think there's anything wrong with bottling it at this point? Is it most likely bad or do you think it's perfectly fine to let it sit that long? I may open one up to smell/taste it. Hope it will be ok so it wasn't a waste of time/energy. Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Thanks for the responses. My airlocks were still good so no Oxygen should have gotten in. I opened them up today and it tastes pretty good :) I think I'll sweeten a little and then bottle! – atkearns Mar 3 '12 at 18:46

I've bulk aged wines for up to a year with no bad consequences.

As long as:

  1. You kept oxygen out
  2. The airlocks didn't dry out
  3. There was sufficient sulphur in the wine
  4. The alcohol was sufficiently high

It'll be fine. Definielty taste it, and report back.

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I've bulk aged wines for multiple years, some big reds take that long or longer to really come into their own, I've even aged whites for that long.

Certainly there is such a thing as too much age on a wine, I got a lot of full bottles of wine from the 60s and they had all completely oxidized, though this was due to cork failure.

As long as it tastes okay, you're fine. In my experience 5 months of age on a wine is still a young wine. :)

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As long as you keep them away from light, drastic temp changes, and O2 you'll be fine. I've bottled many after four years. Often I'll keep them in the barrel for one to two years (15g). Keep an eye on the SO2 levels especially if you're barrelling. The little bit of O2 you get in the wine will help it age.

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I don't make wine, only beer, but I would absolutely taste that and then bottle it. Bulk aging in a carboy is no different than aging in bottles as long as you were keeping oxygen out of it (i.e. the airlocks didn't dry out, or you had it sealed) Even if you didn't manage to keep oxygen out, that would only speed the aging process. Taste it. If it's not obviously bad (i.e. vinegar), bottle it. You didn't let it age too long. Wine and beer both get better with time, wine on longer timeframes than beer.

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