So, today I am going to show you just how we go about bottling our wine and making the bottles look "pretty". I often get a lot of questions on how I make the bottles look like they were bottled professionally, so I thought I'd let you have a look. It may look like a lot of work, but Hubs and I have a sort of assembly line system down, plus it's fun to taste while we're working! The last time we bottled was around the holidays, but don't worry...there's always another batch-a-brewing, just waiting for the right time.
First I clean the bottles with a cleaning solution called BeBrite, which is basically an oxidizing solution like Oxyclean. It's safe and helps remove any seen and unseen debris, which can ruin wine. Like my sophisticated "Poison Control" label? Don't worry, we don't have kids.
After rinsing very well, I spray the inside of the bottles with potassium metabisulfite (kmeta), which is basically a sterilant used to help sterilize the bottles. Any bateria, residual yeast, or wild microorganisms that weren't removed with the BeBrite will be taken care of with this.
Next we add the wine and cork. We use a corking contraption that basically squeezes the corks into a size that can be pushed into the bottle neck. A lifesaver for sure!
After being corked, the bottles get a good wipe down with a damp rag, are dried, then labled. I do this by hand and "eyeball" the correct height and placement. I know there are little contraptions I can build with scrap wood that will help make this easier, but I haven't found the need for it for such small batches of wine.
Lastly, the bottles get their sleeves. The bottle sleeves are slid on the neck then shrink wrapped to the bottle using a heat gun. See? No fancy schmancy equipment here!
See how pretty they are? These babies are ready for some lovin'!