Egg White Fining
Definition - What does Egg White Fining mean?
Egg white fining is a winemaking technique used to correct the undesirable effects of the winemaking process. Fining is a technique that is commonly used to achieve clarity, and to enhance or correct flavor, color or the stability of wine. Different wines and different types of corrections require different fining compounds to achieve different results.
WineFrog explains Egg White Fining
Sometimes, characteristics will develop during the winemaking process that the winemaker or vintner finds undesirable, instead of discarding the wine, a technique known as fining can be used. Fining compounds are used to absorb, reduce or react with undesirable flavors or compounds and will balance the wine so that it tastes the way the winemaker envisions it. While egg white fining can be used at any time during the winemaking process, it was historically used during aging to mellow and soften the flavors and astringency in a red wine.
Egg white fining is a protein based technique that is typically used to correct red wines and is used very specifically to soften tannins in red wine. Egg whites contain the protein molecule albumen, which is colloidal with a positively charged surface. The positivity of the albumen molecules attract tannins, which are negatively charged, this will have the effect of reducing and softening astringency, while keeping the flavors and phenols intact in the wine. Fresh egg whites are placed in a 0.7% salt water solution and added to the wine for up to 14 days or until the astringency is adequately reduced.