Bordeaux Sediment

What are thoughts for a following decant treatment:

  1. Stand up bottle vertically for at least 1 week
  2. Run through final dregs (all of them) through a coffee filter and include the juice

I have found Step 2 does not work well for Burgundy and Nebbiolo, as the dregs sediment is fine enough to slip through a coffee filter and negatively impact the wine… so I discard the dregs (what I should be doing is storing at 45 degrees vs. vertically!). But I recall other posts saying Bordeaux sediment is less problematic (and this extends to cabs/syrah)… so I wonder if a straight coffee filter works for these types of wines.

My normal process in these kinds of situations would be:

  1. Stand up the bottle the previous day
  2. Pour the wine off the sediment. The final 1 cl or so should include all the sediment.

No need for ridiculous amounts of letting a wine stand up (although it doesn’t hurt - I just haven’t deemed it necessary - and I can live with only 74 cl of wine, no need to fumble with silly coffee filters just to get the final 1 cl.

I agree with Otto. I’m usually able to get all but a tablespoon or two out of the bottle without getting sediment in the decanter.

I’m quite sensitive to sediment. I find it often leaves a bitterness in the wine that I don’t enjoy. So I’m usually willing to sacrifice the last 2-3cl to ensure none gets in. Sometimes I get it down to 1cl, but often its 2-3cl.

I think for non old Italians, you don’t have to stand up for a day or longer. Earlier that day is usually fine. Of course, longer is fine too, and maybe it depends on the age and particular wine.

Fine filters can help too, though they’re not 100%. There are some wine pourers that have them.

Why not just use a funnel with a screen? I think coffee filters might reduce some particles that provide flavor.

I agree. With all the above comments actually. What is the big deal about squeezing every last drop out of a bottle?


It’s been shown that ‘flavor molecules’ still make it through a .2 micron sterile filter - I think they’ll be getting through coffee filters too.


1 Want sediment (Sediment shouldn’t be overly filtered)
3 Don’t want sediment, but its not too problematic (stand a day and discard last ounce)
1 Sediment is problematic (discard last 2-3 ounces)
1 Agrees with all the above

Suggests to me that shaking up a bottle of old Bordeaux and running through a coffee filter should be a reasonable outcome (and obviate the need for standing up the wine at all). But I realize no one explicitly said that.

I don’t find it to be a chore. I store older bottles standing… slightly less capacity than horizontal racking, but gravity works when I am sleeping… and I have found some wines to taste differently when I give them more time for fine sediment to settle (a 2011 Tre Tine being a notable example… two bottles given months standing were much better than two bottles not given the same time… perhaps that’s still too small a sample set, but it’s not a chore). That said, I am finding the coffee filters less needed when I store this way… (1) the last oz for these problematic grapes still can mess up a wine through a coffee filter (the sediment being so fine it goes through)… (2) so much more of the wine pours clear that trying to filter out the second-to-last ounce results in more spilled wine/absorbed into the filter than needed. Standing up vertically for months seems to be an easy solution (and easier than storing dozens of wines in a cradle, for which I do not have the space for). Regardless, was just curious if you could shake a bottle of older bordeaux and run it through a coffee filter with good results… sounds like no one has that answer or the answer is zero (because the last ounce should just always be disposed of).

Oh god, no.

I stand up the older wines for a few days ahead. But if I get caught napping, I try to make sure to stand it up day of.

For Bordeaux, I use a flashlight as a candle and pour off the sediment, usually to a decanter, sometimes straight to glass.

I find the Bordeaux sediment to be bitter and not enjoyable, but nebbiolo sediment doesn’t bother me as much. I still pour off when I can, but I’m much more careful on the Bdx.

I always say this when people ask about decanting, but I’ve never stood up a bottle and never had sediment in my older wines, the majority of which are Barolo where the biggest risk of sediment occurs. You get a cheap wine cradle off Amazon and you decant the wine off the sediment with it remaining horizontal as it has been stored. I take the bottle out of the cellar in the cradle, open with the durand with it in the cradle, shine a light, then pull it out of the cradle while keeping horizontal and pouring into the decanter. Never had an issue with this method on bottles back to the 1940s. Feels like a cheat code compared to standing up bottles weeks in advance so I don’t understand why this seems to be uncommon for home usage.

I do have a tip that goes on the bottle that filters the wine, which I’ve used in a few instances when I had some cork falling into the bottle. I think with Nebbiolo sediment is too fine to be filtered out properly, maybe with cabernet it is OK - not sure.

I also don’t bother trying to filter the last bit. I’ll often dump it into a spare glass and let it settle there, then sip a bit from that glass at some point, depending on how fine the sediment is.

I stand the bottle up for a day or two max. Then I decant through cheese cloth to catch the big stuff, while holding a flashlight under the shoulder of the bottle so that I can stop when the really fine stuff starts to appear. At most, I’ll lose 1-2 ounces, but I prefer that than having the fine dregs showing up in the glass.

Personally, I’ve never found any filtering method that 100% catches every type of sediment.

I’ll stand a bottle up, but I’ve never once filtered a bottle. I have a fairly high tolerance for sediment.

That method doesn’t work for Barolos though, sediment is just too fine.

I use a combination, in that I stand up the bottle for a day, use the funnel with a screen and don’t decant the last bit of the bottle; there will always be enough wine that I don’t need the extra 5% of the bottle.

No suggestions to run it through your blender… yet.

This is what I do and rarely have an issue with sediment. Standing the bottle up seems, at least to me, to be completely unnecessary. Also, I don’t have room in my wine fridge to stand a bottle up- so that would mean either on the counter or in the regular fridge- resulting in a wine that is either too warm or too cold. The only difference between what I do and what Rob does is that I’m too damn cheap to buy a Durand and so use the “poor man’s Durand” technique of a regular worm corkscrew combined with an Ah-So.

A little bit of a tangent, but I still maintain that your eye is able to detect sediment that is much finer than anything a filter can catch. I don’t see the need to bother with a coffee filter, especially since they can give off-flavors (well known phenomenon in the barista world). The only filtering that makes sense to me is a screen to catch bits of cork. Otherwise, I really wouldn’t bother.

Now, the OP was not proposing to use a coffee filter to remove sediment that he couldn’t see. His idea was to use a coffee filter to get every last drinkable drop out an old bottle of Bordeaux. I understand the sentiment, especially if it’s a super expensive or rare bottle. I don’t have enough experience to know for sure, but I would be shocked if Bordeaux wines somehow produced sediment particles large enough to be caught in a coffee filter. I’d love to be proven wrong, but, as someone with a reasonable amount of chemistry background, it goes against my intuition.

All that being said, it’s worth a try. I would advise decanting off as much clear wine as you can and then keeping the filtered wine separate. That way you won’t contaminate it with any potential sediment or off-flavors. If you do go ahead and try it, let us know the results!