sediment filters worth it?

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Joseph Grassa
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sediment filters worth it?

#1 Post by Joseph Grassa » June 28th, 2020, 7:55 am

When I plan to open an older bottle I generally stand it up for a few days to let the sediment settle at the bottom. Occasionally want to open something spontaneously though so I am wondering if any of the wine sediment filters out there are worth it or if they take away more of the wine than we would like.

any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#2 Post by Victor Hong » June 28th, 2020, 8:33 am

Use a metal screen coffee ground or tea leaf filter.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#3 Post by J Cangiano » June 28th, 2020, 3:29 pm

Cotton balls
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#4 Post by JonathanG » June 28th, 2020, 3:45 pm

A friend swears by using muslin cloth for a sediment filter. I use the metal screen filter like Victor mentions, but it does not get the finer sediments out.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#5 Post by Mike C. » June 28th, 2020, 3:48 pm

JonathanG wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 3:45 pm
A friend swears by using muslin cloth for a sediment filter. I use the metal screen filter like Victor mentions, but it does not get the finer sediments out.
I once had a wine decanted by cheese cloth at a restaurant and thought it changed the character of the wine, so never again.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#6 Post by Wes Barton » June 28th, 2020, 3:56 pm

Some wines have some pretty nasty stuff around the sediment, where you really need to decant to avoid. You should be able to find discussions here about it. Most typical (but not 100%, I have a '64 counter-example) with very mature Barolo. I've had it with a '68 CA Cab that got jostled, settled for a few hours, so all the big stuff that would get screened out wasn't an issue, and carefully decanted. It still had nasty bitter mucky tastes that muted the wonderful tertiary perfume all the other bottles of that wine I had showed.

The argument in favor of screening. 1) A few times we've had wines with our tasting group that were dramatically different - much better - from the later pours. This is where bottles have been stood, then carefully poured into all the glasses without bringing the bottle upright. Maybe that was from some stirring up of the sediments, or maybe denser solids that had settled down, but not out. 2) With some great mature wines that were decanted, it's worth going back and screening that last little bit. Sometimes it's clearly superior.

You can do a hybrid of these. Stand long enough for a wine to truly settle. Decant. Then screen the rest, assess it, decide if it would be good or bad to add to the decanter.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#7 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » June 28th, 2020, 4:18 pm

I still use the nuance wine finer on everything and like it.

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#8 Post by Wes Barton » June 28th, 2020, 4:20 pm

Mike C. wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 3:48 pm
JonathanG wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 3:45 pm
A friend swears by using muslin cloth for a sediment filter. I use the metal screen filter like Victor mentions, but it does not get the finer sediments out.
I once had a wine decanted by cheese cloth at a restaurant and thought it changed the character of the wine, so never again.
Cloth and paper can pick up aromas. It's a good idea for people who do choose to use them to keep them ziplocked.

As far as coffee filters go, one of our Berserker coffee experts, winemaker Eric Lundblad points out, go with bleached. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the bleaching is a neutral process, taking out impurities without adding anything.

As someone who's been using filters for coffee and myriad kitchen projects, I noticed something else. My very old bleached Mr. Coffee-type filters still seem pretty neutral. I could detect a slight difference with the unbleached pour-over filters when the bleaching issue was pointed out. That's also when I switched to Aeropress (with bleached discs). A few years later I pulled out an old unbleached pour-over one for something and it reeked. They've been in the exact same environment as the much older Mr. Coffee ones, which are still okay. So, at least with that brand, there's something in them that seriously degrades over time.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#9 Post by Marshall Manning » June 28th, 2020, 4:21 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 3:56 pm
The argument in favor of screening. 1) A few times we've had wines with our tasting group that were dramatically different - much better - from the later pours. This is where bottles have been stood, then carefully poured into all the glasses without bringing the bottle upright. Maybe that was from some stirring up of the sediments, or maybe denser solids that had settled down, but not out. 2) With some great mature wines that were decanted, it's worth going back and screening that last little bit. Sometimes it's clearly superior.

You can do a hybrid of these. Stand long enough for a wine to truly settle. Decant. Then screen the rest, assess it, decide if it would be good or bad to add to the decanter.
Interesting, Wes. I'd think that the sediment would make the wine taste gritty, at least it does to me, but supple texture of a mature wine is really important to me. I think the "bottom" of the bottle might be better because that wine has gotten more air to it, not because of the sediment. I only use a screen if I have to...I think the best results are with standing the bottle for a week and a steady decant. If you decide to pull something on the spot, keep the same side down that has the sediment, open it at an angle so the sediment goes down on one side, and pour with the same side down. If you're careful you can do it well.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#10 Post by Cris Whetstone » June 28th, 2020, 4:40 pm

I only like to do this if a cork crumbles a lot and ends up in the bottle.

For sediment you can usually just pour slowly and/or decant. If it's stirred up a lot then the stuff that will not settle out in a couple minutes probably isn't big enough for you to notice anyway. If you're worried, don't do a 'bottoms up' with your glass.

If using a filter those narrow funnel shaped ones that are of metal seem best. I'm always afraid of using paper and cloth as you are straining it though something small enough that it might catch too much. And worse, release it's own particles into the wine. Just avoid.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#11 Post by Wes Barton » June 28th, 2020, 4:44 pm

Marshall Manning wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 4:21 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 3:56 pm
The argument in favor of screening. 1) A few times we've had wines with our tasting group that were dramatically different - much better - from the later pours. This is where bottles have been stood, then carefully poured into all the glasses without bringing the bottle upright. Maybe that was from some stirring up of the sediments, or maybe denser solids that had settled down, but not out. 2) With some great mature wines that were decanted, it's worth going back and screening that last little bit. Sometimes it's clearly superior.

You can do a hybrid of these. Stand long enough for a wine to truly settle. Decant. Then screen the rest, assess it, decide if it would be good or bad to add to the decanter.
Interesting, Wes. I'd think that the sediment would make the wine taste gritty, at least it does to me, but supple texture of a mature wine is really important to me. I think the "bottom" of the bottle might be better because that wine has gotten more air to it, not because of the sediment. I only use a screen if I have to...I think the best results are with standing the bottle for a week and a steady decant. If you decide to pull something on the spot, keep the same side down that has the sediment, open it at an angle so the sediment goes down on one side, and pour with the same side down. If you're careful you can do it well.
That's screening/filtering vs decanting. Neither should be gritty.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#12 Post by Wes Barton » June 28th, 2020, 4:56 pm

Cris Whetstone wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 4:40 pm
I only like to do this if a cork crumbles a lot and ends up in the bottle.

For sediment you can usually just pour slowly and/or decant. If it's stirred up a lot then the stuff that will not settle out in a couple minutes probably isn't big enough for you to notice anyway. If you're worried, don't do a 'bottoms up' with your glass.

If using a filter those narrow funnel shaped ones that are of metal seem best. I'm always afraid of using paper and cloth as you are straining it though something small enough that it might catch too much. And worse, release it's own particles into the wine. Just avoid.
Ah, yes. The coffee geek advice with paper filters is to always rinse them off before using. I think some people do that before using for wine. Like, distilled water, then hang them up somehow so they can mostly drip out, enough ahead of use.

We did an ancient wines tasting at a friend's house. He had these fancy stainless funnel filters, but they literally sprayed the wines into the decanters. It was horrifying! It seems contradictory to have a very fine screen designed for very old wines, and maximum aeration you'd want for very young wines. Needless to say, more wines were dead than my previous experience with them and similar vintages.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#13 Post by Anton D » June 28th, 2020, 5:04 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 3:56 pm
Some wines have some pretty nasty stuff around the sediment, where you really need to decant to avoid. You should be able to find discussions here about it. Most typical (but not 100%, I have a '64 counter-example) with very mature Barolo. I've had it with a '68 CA Cab that got jostled, settled for a few hours, so all the big stuff that would get screened out wasn't an issue, and carefully decanted. It still had nasty bitter mucky tastes that muted the wonderful tertiary perfume all the other bottles of that wine I had showed.

The argument in favor of screening. 1) A few times we've had wines with our tasting group that were dramatically different - much better - from the later pours. This is where bottles have been stood, then carefully poured into all the glasses without bringing the bottle upright. Maybe that was from some stirring up of the sediments, or maybe denser solids that had settled down, but not out. 2) With some great mature wines that were decanted, it's worth going back and screening that last little bit. Sometimes it's clearly superior.

You can do a hybrid of these. Stand long enough for a wine to truly settle. Decant. Then screen the rest, assess it, decide if it would be good or bad to add to the decanter.
This.

Stand and deliver, then screen the dregs and enjoy.

Hybrid....nicely put!
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#14 Post by Cris Whetstone » June 28th, 2020, 5:06 pm

I've never seen a funnel filter "spray" wine. I'm trying to imagine how that is even possible.

In any case, it seems odd that someone would care take a wine into it's delicate sunset years. Preserving it for a careful opening and pouring and then dump it through paper or cloth. It's not like sediment is poison. It seems like risk in order to avoid having to pick something less than an olive pit from your mouth.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#15 Post by Anton D » June 28th, 2020, 5:11 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 4:18 pm
I still use the nuance wine finer on everything and like it.
Holy cow!

I checked it out, sounds amazing!!

How do you use it, but it?

Thank you for showing us that!
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#16 Post by Anton D » June 28th, 2020, 5:13 pm

Oops!

I just found the commercial version.

My first search lead me to an industrial website.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#17 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » June 28th, 2020, 5:44 pm

Basically it’s a pourer and filters sediment. Does it do anything in terms of aeration? Who knows, but it doesn’t hurt.

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#18 Post by Wes Barton » June 28th, 2020, 5:54 pm

Cris Whetstone wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 5:06 pm
I've never seen a funnel filter "spray" wine. I'm trying to imagine how that is even possible.
The wine shot out sideways out of 4 spouts, hitting the sides of the decanter. A lot of pressure from not that much volume. Not so different in appearance than how commercial bottling line fillers spray wine into bottles. Of course, those are sparged bottles, filled under a vacuum.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#19 Post by Mark Y » June 28th, 2020, 8:21 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 5:54 pm
Cris Whetstone wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 5:06 pm
I've never seen a funnel filter "spray" wine. I'm trying to imagine how that is even possible.
The wine shot out sideways out of 4 spouts, hitting the sides of the decanter. A lot of pressure from not that much volume. Not so different in appearance than how commercial bottling line fillers spray wine into bottles. Of course, those are sparged bottles, filled under a vacuum.
I have that tool. the filter part is awesome.. i don't use the funnel part. i take a regular funnel (without those 3 little holes that spray the wines).. and filter into the regular funnel.

or if the decanter has a big enough opening, i just use the filter part right into the decanter.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#20 Post by T. Hall » June 29th, 2020, 4:05 am

I found this GuildSomm video of interest. Notice she never turns the bottle upright. GuildSomm - Decanting Wine Service -
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#21 Post by Mark Y » June 29th, 2020, 11:02 am

SIDE WAY DECANT! let's go to Charlie Fu for some comments... ;)
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#22 Post by Kristoffer B r y d e r » June 29th, 2020, 11:40 am

Whenever I’m in doubt I use one of these. Aesthetically they’re less than pleasing but they get the job done:


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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#23 Post by S. Rash » June 29th, 2020, 12:29 pm

I find the best way to remove sediment is the old school way - decanter and a flashlight
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#24 Post by c fu » June 29th, 2020, 12:29 pm

Cris Whetstone wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 5:06 pm
I've never seen a funnel filter "spray" wine. I'm trying to imagine how that is even possible.

In any case, it seems odd that someone would care take a wine into it's delicate sunset years. Preserving it for a careful opening and pouring and then dump it through paper or cloth. It's not like sediment is poison. It seems like risk in order to avoid having to pick something less than an olive pit from your mouth.
my funnel has a 6 holes at the bottom that "spray" the wine.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#25 Post by c fu » June 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm

T. Hall wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 4:05 am
I found this GuildSomm video of interest. Notice she never turns the bottle upright. GuildSomm - Decanting Wine Service -
this is the way to go if you don't have it standing up. Assuming the wine is in your home cellar it's probably been on its side for a far amount of time. pull it out slowly and on its side. put it in the wine basket and slowly decant off for sediment.

I hate sediment. Hate hate hate. I want clean wine. But i also don't filter for sediment. It's a night and day difference when you decant sediment off properly.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#26 Post by Victor Hong » June 29th, 2020, 12:42 pm

Sediment never bothers me. I just slurp up the wine, sediment and all.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#27 Post by Frank Drew » June 29th, 2020, 2:12 pm

I don’t like sediment and used to carefully decant with a candle. It gives acceptable results but it’s needlessly fussy, IMO, and gives ok but not great results. I now use a possibly redundant double filter on every red wine I open and will never go back. Filter #1 is a Krups brand Melita-shaped reusable coffee filter with a gold-colored super-fine screen, and I place that inside Filter #2, a Binks Strain-It paint/varnish strainer with an equally fine mesh screen. Either one alone would probably be fine but I double up because what the hey. I put them inside a small stainless funnel for straining into a decanter. And I don’t bother pouring particularly carefully.

This is in no way similar to sterile filtering — the strained wine is clear as a bell but nothing I want is removed from the wine, and no unwanted flavors or aromas are added. The filters rinse clean without soap and last (so far) forever.

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#28 Post by Marshall Manning » June 29th, 2020, 3:28 pm

c fu wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm
this is the way to go if you don't have it standing up. Assuming the wine is in your home cellar it's probably been on its side for a far amount of time. pull it out slowly and on its side. put it in the wine basket and slowly decant off for sediment.

I hate sediment. Hate hate hate. I want clean wine. But i also don't filter for sediment. It's a night and day difference when you decant sediment off properly.
I totally agree, and this is what I was trying to say above. You can do a pretty good decant with this method, although you'll lose a little more wine this way than if you stand it up for a week. Using a mesh filter doesn't get rid of all of the fine sediment and you can taste the difference in the texture of the wine. The only time I use a mesh filter is with proper decanting when the cork has crumbled into the wine.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#29 Post by Rob M » June 29th, 2020, 4:46 pm

I've never had any issue with the cradle method. I don't find I lose much wine - when I dump the wine out of the bottle after decanting it's almost pure sediment. I drink mostly Barolo/Barbaresco in terms of older bottles, so these wines tend to have very fine and bitter sediment and decanting off of it is a must.

I'm shocked more people don't seem to use the cradle method. One $40 cradle and you never need to stand up a bottle again.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#30 Post by Kirk.Grant » June 29th, 2020, 5:20 pm

Joseph Grassa wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 7:55 am
When I plan to open an older bottle I generally stand it up for a few days to let the sediment settle at the bottom. Occasionally want to open something spontaneously though so I am wondering if any of the wine sediment filters out there are worth it or if they take away more of the wine than we would like.

any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.
No...just no. I'm super sensitive to sediment and don't think a screen works unless you're just trying to get out the big chunks...
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#31 Post by c fu » June 29th, 2020, 7:17 pm

Frank Drew wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 2:12 pm
I don’t like sediment and used to carefully decant with a candle. It gives acceptable results but it’s needlessly fussy, IMO, and gives ok but not great results. I now use a possibly redundant double filter on every red wine I open and will never go back. Filter #1 is a Krups brand Melita-shaped reusable coffee filter with a gold-colored super-fine screen, and I place that inside Filter #2, a Binks Strain-It paint/varnish strainer with an equally fine mesh screen. Either one alone would probably be fine but I double up because what the hey. I put them inside a small stainless funnel for straining into a decanter. And I don’t bother pouring particularly carefully.

This is in no way similar to sterile filtering — the strained wine is clear as a bell but nothing I want is removed from the wine, and no unwanted flavors or aromas are added. The filters rinse clean without soap and last (so far) forever.
it should give you great results if done properly.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#32 Post by HoosJustinG » June 29th, 2020, 8:10 pm

I’m a hybrid guy too ... decant the wine traditionally over light, then filter the dregs and sample.
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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#33 Post by Joseph Grassa » June 30th, 2020, 3:33 pm

Thank you for the tips. Such an obvious answer keeping it on that same side as you pour. I am going to try that next time and hopefully I can get good at it enough to lose little to no wine. I may try the Krups filter too. Thank you everyone!

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#34 Post by David Glasser » July 1st, 2020, 11:29 am

HoosJustinG wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:10 pm
I’m a hybrid guy too ... decant the wine traditionally over light, then filter the dregs and sample.
Same here. Or just discard the dregs if lazy and the wine isn’t too precious.

In my experience the only sediment that gives me trouble is in old Barolo. It seems too fine for any filter. My answer for those is to plan far enough ahead to stand the bottle up for 6 weeks, then decant slowly to avoid any glugging and stop with ~3 oz left in the bottle, before I even see sediment coming into the neck.

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#35 Post by brodie thomson » July 1st, 2020, 3:10 pm

Mark Y wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 8:21 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 5:54 pm
Cris Whetstone wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 5:06 pm
I've never seen a funnel filter "spray" wine. I'm trying to imagine how that is even possible.
The wine shot out sideways out of 4 spouts, hitting the sides of the decanter. A lot of pressure from not that much volume. Not so different in appearance than how commercial bottling line fillers spray wine into bottles. Of course, those are sparged bottles, filled under a vacuum.
I have that tool. the filter part is awesome.. i don't use the funnel part. i take a regular funnel (without those 3 little holes that spray the wines).. and filter into the regular funnel.

or if the decanter has a big enough opening, i just use the filter part right into the decanter.
I use this and find it very effective, I drilled a small hole in the bottom of the funnel to increase the throughput and have been happy with the results.

Like others, I reckon that standing the wine up for an extended period before decanting and straining (if necessary) is the best option

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#36 Post by David Glasser » July 1st, 2020, 6:55 pm

Here's an inexpensive filter that can be placed in the mouth of a decanter. Very fine, imparts no taste, works well. Just don't think about its intended use.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Calculi-Stra ... /618543390

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Re: sediment filters worth it?

#37 Post by Cris Whetstone » July 1st, 2020, 9:27 pm

David Glasser wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 6:55 pm
Here's an inexpensive filter that can be placed in the mouth of a decanter. Very fine, imparts no taste, works well. Just don't think about its intended use.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Calculi-Stra ... /618543390
[rofl.gif]

The way some people talk about sediment you'd think they were being asked to swallow body refuse.
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Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
Posts: 6418
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Re: sediment filters worth it?

#38 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » July 3rd, 2020, 6:43 am

Sediment, IMO, can ruin an older red wine tasting experience. If the wine is young and the lees are left in, it's not a problem. It the wine is older (say 7-10 on and has tannins, they will preciptate out). The problem is that they will float around in the bottle/glass and the way it hits the palate.It can impact the taste and certainly the texture.

There is no downside to getting rid of it, IMO. Only upside: you can drink more of the bottle of wine.

My own "system" is to use the non-bleach white coffee filters to rid the wine of whatever it rids the wine of.
Compared to a winemakers' filtration, this is almost no filtration. What you see removed is what you want to take out. It won't sterilize the wine or...I have found, affect the taste in any way (the earlier, brown filters, with no bleach and the earlier real bleached filters might have.)

The alternative is to use your eyes and hands and...expect sediment in your wine.

To me , it's "wine refuse" and I refuse to forego what I consider an innocuous procedure to make an aged red wine show its best.

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