|checking for clarity|
The wine is ready to be bottled when it's perfectly clear, which is much easier to see with white wines than reds. The wine also should be free of carbon dioxide, if not, it will keep be a bit bubbly when you uncork it.
Aging wine before bottling does have the benefit of giving it time to release any residual CO2 so you can avoid potential fizzy wine.
When its time to fill them, I set up 5 or 6 bottles at a time in a large pot to minimize splashes or spills so it doesn't make too much of a mess (note, I always make QUITE a mess during this process anyway, with splashing sanitizer and all). Then it's an easy process to cork one bottle while waiting for the next to fill.
|Waiting to be labeled|
This batch of wine made 26 bottles, I did not siphon off the wine off the residue on the bottom into a new container before bottling so the bits of solids at the bottom started mixing back into the wine when there was quite a bit left. This ended up costing $3.50 a bottle with the corks, chemicals and all.
Last but not least (and certainly funnest!) will be labeling.