Sips in the City: Sediment sign of less processed vino

Sips in the City: Sediment sign of less processed vino


We drink wine with diamonds in the glass by the case, the meaning of expensive taste.”

Yup, that’s totally me. Every Friday night, in my pyjamas, with my bunny slippers, curled up in front of Netflix with my glass of wine full of diamonds. I’m with you, Lady Marmalade, living the dream.

Actually, this is kind of true. But instead of diamonds in the bottom of my wine class, I often see crystals. And they are just as lovely, if not as priceless, as the diamonds referred to in the song from Moulin Rouge.

If you do come across something shiny in the bottom of your wine glass or you go to a bottle on the wine rack and see something forming along the resting edge of the bottle, don’t panic. Your wine is just fine.

Sometimes, as you get near the bottom of a glass of better quality wine, you will notice little clear or pink crystals in the bottom of the glass. Lucky you!

I’ll compliment you on your taste in wine as well, as you clearly choose wines that go through a less mainstream filtering cycle and are probably better quality. These crystals are not the result of a mistake, being aged too long or degrading wine. They are part of the aging process. These tartrate crystals are a naturally occurring part of what makes juice into wine and don’t affect the finished product.

A while ago, we talked about wine sludge, which also occurs naturally and can be seen by some as off-putting. As a result of more and more people noticing the same thing every time they buy a bottle of wine, larger wine producers have began to filter out these naturally occurring traits.

If you see sediment in your glass, either a slurry or crystals, it’s a sign your wine has gone through less processing. I find, the less processed the wine, the more complex and nuanced it is.

And if you buy a few bottles of the same wine and hang on to them a bit, this is likely to occur regularly for you. So, what do you do with these sparkly beauties? Drink them.

Or don’t drink them, if you prefer. If you pour your wine carefully, you can avoid them escaping the bottle. You can also decant wines in darker bottles to help you see when to stop pouring. But, really, you won’t notice them once they get past your lips.

Since we have so many great wineries close to us that produce small batches, you are likely to come across this situation eventually. You may not see this phenomenon in the liquor store as it is all about resting wine. But if you hang onto a bottle and find yourself staring into a shimmering landscape at the conclusion of a toast, point it out to your guests and dazzle them with your great taste in wine and brilliant knowledge of winemaking.

Bonnie McBride is a local wine blogger. For more, go online to



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