My Wine's About Done, But Tastes Terrible!

Homemade Wine Harsh AgingDear Kraus:
I am new at this wine making process. I am in the last stages and decided to take a small taste test even though I still have 2 or 3 days left in the last stage. It is terrible! Can the wine get better in that short period of time or is it to far gone and will not come out good?
Please Help, Gwen
Hello Gwen,
It is completely normal for a wine to be harsh at bottling time. Even though the wine is about to go into bottles it does not mean that it is done becoming wine.
The wine will continue to evolve through aging or maturation. This simply means it will slowly change over time–in a good way– while it is in the wine bottle. Organic changes will slowly occur over the course of the next few months that will round off the harsh corners of the wine.
You can think of wine as a living thing. Even though it is done fermenting, clearing and in the bottle, it is still going through changes. Each wine ages differently. So how long your wine will take to become its best can only be a guess, but it is safe to say that after aging for 3-6 months you will notice a remarkable improvement.  You may notice even marginal improvements up to 3 years, depending on the type of wine.
Best Wishes,
Customer Service at Adventures in Homebrewing
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

14 thoughts on “My Wine's About Done, But Tastes Terrible!

  1. I like sweet wine, so I think my wine tastes horrible also, until I sweeten it. The day before bottling I stabilize it (Potassium sorbate and camden tablet). The day of bottling I add 5 cups sugar water to my 5 gallon wine carboy. The bottle it!! Voila!! Ready to drink wine. BTW I let my wines ferment at least five months before bottling.

  2. You really did not provide enough details as to how you made the wine and what ingredients were used and how much. In the about 50 years I have been making wine the basic concept has not changed. I have used every type of fruit there is (almost) to make wine and 99% of them have been good. I also ferment and stir daily for 7 days then place under a air lock. Then double the time between each rack for up to six or seven months, i.e., 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 16 weeks etc. My first wine making "bible" was "How to Make the Finest Wines AT HOME" by George Leonard Herter © 1965, 1967, 1968, 1968, 1969, 1971..
    Good luck and don’t give up trying to make a good wine. Walker

  3. As far as sweet wine, I make mine dry, and can be sweeted with a pk of sugar per glass. If it taste rotten, it has oxydized. Let it go and it will turn into a great tasting champaign .

  4. I didn’t like the harshness of a young wine when I was new at winemaking. Technique, sanitizing, and patience are key. It’s all a learning experience! Your wine will improve. (even a med-dry wine will improve taste)

  5. I made some persimmon wine and it came out extremely sour even with added sugar at bottling. Any suggestions short of making whiskey out of it?

  6. Good news about wine getting better with age becouse I have made a putty bad bach my self and was about to give is up until I read. wine changes with time, so I am giving my wine a second chanse. thanks.

  7. Another thing to consider is that the wine was not stirred vigorously enough to release the trapped CO2 that was in the wine. I did a peach and a blackberry and it had a off smell and bitter taste. After degassing the wine again, it changed quite a lot. The smell was gone and it was smoother.

  8. my wine always seems to be weak tasting. How long am I suppose to get it to have a "hardier" taste.

  9. Rhonda, if a fermentation goes as normal it should be done making alcohol around 5 to 7 days, but it will take much more time for the wine to completely clear. You may want to take a look at the following page on our website: There you will see a basic overview of the wine making process.

  10. My wine comes out bubbly/ carbonated like soda. What can I do to avoid this problem?

  11. Ralph, this indicates one of two things. Either the fermentation was not complete when you bottled the wine and it finished fermenting in the bottles, or the wine needed more time to degas before bottling. We have a De-gassing/Mixing Paddle that you may want to consider purchasing for future batches. If you do not have a hydrometer to verify your wine’s fermentation has completed before bottling, I would suggest getting on of those as well:

    De-gassing/Mixing Paddle


  12. I made a wine from a box of supposedly top quality grapes turned into juice.
    Fermented it , tasted horrible.
    Left it in the wine rack for 6 months, still tastes horrible.
    It’s not sour, or vinegary, it’s just not nice. Bad after taste (sorry I’m not sophisticated enough to describe it more accurately but everyone who’s tried it spat it out). I’m not sure what’s wrong, because it hadn’t expired, and all the reviews of the kit were 5 star.

  13. I have made my first equally disgusting wine. It is very off-putting, but I am going to try again. The wine I want to make is from my own grapes, done the old way, with no added yeast or sugar. The first fermentation seemed to go really well, and when I siphoned the wine into a glass carboy with a stopper and airlock, I tasted it, and it had a very grapey cider taste. It tasted quite good. However after a few months in the carboy, I siphoned it to get rid of the sediment, and it tasted off – with a slight tint of nail varnish or a chemical tinge. Do you have any suggestions for me to avoid a repeat performance?

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