Fining or Filtering in Wine

I read a post on one of blogs about Vegan wines and was learned about a process called fining in wine making. It was mentioned that there are many filtering agents including “egg whites” and “bone marrow” that is used to filter wines to remove undue particles like proteins and/or tartrates. Using these filting elements causes the Wine not to be considered a “Vegan” wine. While I don’t care much about being Vegan, I’m bit surprised as to how these “fining” elements do over over power the smell of the wine and cause additional unfavorable odor? Can someone please elaborate…

here is the link to the blog

Ram newhere

Not aware of any problems with fining agents hurting aromas. Would be very surprised if this had an ounce of truth to it.

Hi Brian,

I should rephrase my question. I meant to ask, how does such strong filtering agents (such as egg whites) do not impact the aroma of the wine or add other new dimensions to taste and smell?

The way I understand it is that fining agents work like magnets to suspended particles in wine.They attract the particles then drop to the bottom of the barrel where the wine can then be racked off. Egg whites are basically odorless and do not dissolve in the wine but rather only attract certain proteins that cause cloudiness.

It is possible for some fining agents to scalp some aroma, in the same manner some filtering can reduce aroma.

If you think of winemaking as soup making with one ingredient, then as difficulties arise decisions must be made.

And I am firm believer that the more you do, the less you have.

Thanks much Brian & Todd.

Egg whites in wine used to be very popular in spanish wines. Do not know how prevalent this practice is today.

I rack quite a few bottles of Arrowood Cab from various years, and that’s not fined or filtered. There’s always quite a bit of sediment, and the cork often shows tartrate crystals. Most of the sediment is either at the shoulder of the bottle (the ‘bottom’ when it’s racked properly) or can be removed with decanting. In my limited experience, I’d rather have unfined and unfiltered reds and let them age enough to have the particles drop out of solution so you’re left with as much flavor as possible.

F&F doesn’t really Add to the aroma or taste spectrum, it can however Subtract from it. There are strong arguments that by F&/orF you strip away some of the characteristics that are in the wine to make it “cleaner” - depends on the winemaker and their style or desire. Sometimes it’s super important to do and sometimes it’s economics because a “cleaner” wine will sell to a wider popular audience.