Wine & Charcuterie

Why are there particles in my wine?

Are there times when you are sipping a glass of wine and you see particles in it? Have you ever wondered what that is? People all of the sudden begin to freak out thinking the bottle is bad. News flash, it’s not! If sediment or little white crystals appear in your glass, they are known as “wine crystals”. They won’t hurt you, the sediment is a sign the wine was made with little intervention. Rejoice!

What is Sediment?

Sediment is what you get after the wine-making process which settles to the bottom of the bottle and forms during the fermentation process or while the wine matures. Settlement is completely natural and not harmful, so don’t worry. It is only made up of seeds, grape skin, and wine crystals. Depending on the winemaker, some like to filter it out while some go the more natural way, giving the wine character. If it bothers you, carefully decant it or strain it through a couple of layers of cheesecloth before serving. 

Let’s get a little geeky about it!

Two Types of Sediment:

Lees vs. Wine Crystals

The colloids or lees of wine are made of grape skin, seeds, and stems of the grapes. It creates a more pronounced round, full flavor that may present a bit more nutty. Lees, are found in more red wines; the longer it ages in lees, the more body it develops, creating a unique flavor profile. 

“Wine crystals” are found more in white wines; these wines normally have less sediment because they are made primarily of juice and pulp. Tartrates are formed more heavily in these wines because they are served chill, forming when wines are in cold conditions. Keep in mind that this can often mean you are getting a higher-quality wine. When winemakers filter the wine it often can strip it of its true flavors.


Do not fear wines with sediment or crystals; embrace them, knowing your wine is unfiltered. You can see this with a few wines we have at Philosophie Wine Bar, such as the J. Brix Pinot Gris Nomine Amoris, which has skin contact for 14 days. 

Since sediment in your wines could mean higher quality wines, you should be excited when you get a wine with sediment. Less machine and human intervention let the flavors of the grape show out!

Next time you are out on a date night or out with a group of friends, visit us at Philosophie Wine Bar. 616 Poplar Street, Macon, GA 31210, and ask our staff which wines they have noticed with sediment floating around.

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