Sweetening A Wine Before Or After Aging

Wine Conditioner For Sweetening WineDear Sir;
I have a question concerning adding the wine conditioner (sweetener) to a batch of Zinfandel wine I just made.
If the wine has a rather harsh taste at this point (before aging) won’t that affect the determination of how much sweetener that needs to be added before bottling?  In other words will the harsh taste mask or interfere with the sweetness taste adjustment?
Hello Jay,
Yes, you are correct. You have to be careful with how much of a sweetener, such as Wine Conditioner, you add when bottling homemade wine. This is because the wine is going to develop into something much different during aging. Most noticeably, will be the mellowing of its harsher characteristics.
When bottling the wine, if sweetening is added to cover these displeasing flavors, by taste, you may be headed for a wine that will end up too sweet once the effects of aging have come to full fruition.
This is actually an argument for aging wine in bulk instead of in wine bottles. By letting the wine age in something like carboys for a few month, before bottling, you will be in a position to add any sweetening desired without worrying about getting the wine too sweet.
This is another one of my wine making tips I like to share with beginners. Bulk age your wine in wine carboys, first, if you plan of sweetening your wine at bottling time.
Happy Wine Making
Customer Service
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.

0 thoughts on “Sweetening A Wine Before Or After Aging

  1. Thank you for all your help and support in homemaking wine..I’m also new but having fun with it .I just racked 6 gallons of strawberry white zin but my error was I put the bag of strawberry juice in the beginning. Now in the finish it has a slight strawberry flavoring but dry and bitter. I want to add the conditioner but I also want to filter it..filter first or after? And I’m going to leave it in carboy to age as you recommended. Thanks ,Karen

    • Karen, it is always best to filter first then sweeten. This will put less stress on your wine filter system. When you add a sugar, such as Wine Conditioner, it thickens the wine a bit making it harder to push through the filter pads.