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I've read that for home winemaking the wine will start to decrease in quality after about a year in the bottle. What steps can I take to maximize how long my wine will stay fresh?

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A can think of a few factors to slow down wine aging time:

  • Quality of the must to begin with. More complex wine will age better.
  • Higher alcool content, might preserve the wine better.
  • Quality of cork used, the more air will pass, the quicker the wine will age.
  • Keep the bottles cold and away from light for best preservation.
  • Make sure enough SO2 is present

Regarding SO2, you can add campden tablets to help preserve your wine. SO2 will "evaporate" when in contact with air (in fact it binds to oxygen, to protect the wine). I personally add campden only if I plan on preserving the wine more than a year. It is a good idea to decant the wine if SO2 was added to get rid of what is left of it before drinking.

  • When you say "preserving the wine more than a year" you are specifically referring to the time inbetween brewing and drinking, yes? For the SO2 / Campden tablet infusion, do you do one big infusion in the carboy/cask or an individual infusion in the bottles? – Nathan Lafferty Aug 30 '17 at 17:30
  • Second question, I know breweries will CO2 infuse their growlers before pouring the beer in. Would CO2 infusing a wine bottle before pouring help freshness? – Nathan Lafferty Aug 30 '17 at 17:31
  • By "more than a year", I mean more than a year in a bottle. Campden is indeed added to the entire batch in a carboy (much easier this way). CO2 in the bottle will help as well, but SO2 would also take care of the little air left in the bottle. Also, if you use SO2 solution as a bottle desinfectant, it will add a little SO2 to the wine as well. – Philippe Aug 30 '17 at 18:00

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