The corking machine is simple to use. You place a bottle inside the spring-loaded mechanism and then drop a cork in a hole that is perfectly aligned to the top of the bottle. Then you press the lever down.
Today I bottled some more of the ‘09 vintage. I tasted it again and I believe it’s as good as the previous year’s award winner. However, the grapes were a little sweeter in ‘09 and I think it may have more of a kick.
The process at this point is simple: I use a plastic hose to siphon the wine from each 5-gallon carboy to five, 1-gallon wine jugs. I use cheesecloth over a small piece of screen placed in a funnel when I do this to prevent any sediment from the bottom of the carboy from entering the bottle.
I then pour the wine from the 1-gallon jugs into smaller-sized wine bottles using a funnel. I place a bottle in my manual corking machine and place a cork ontop. (Note: Just prior to doing this I boil the corks in water to soften them.) And then I pull the lever down on the corking machine. This action compresses the cork as it pushes it down into the bottle.
The wine is siphoned out of the carboys and into 1-gallon jugs below.
And there you have it.
A label and a sleeve can now be put on the bottle if desired. But I’m a little bit lazy and only do this when corking a bottle to give as a gift. Because for me, the pleasure is more in the drinking than in the preparation and presentation. Salute!