Color loss with bentonite any options?

I have just racked my first secondary that I treated with bentonite and I noticed a loss in red color. Prior to the bentonite addition I compared it to a similar Cabernet sauvignon and the color was the same. Being new to wine making I know I will make mistakes. My wife tried the wine I made vs a mid priced store brought and like mine better. I have room in the carboy to add another wine for top off. I also have grape tannin and roasted oak chips…I already added a large handfull of oak so far. I was going to add sparkalloid to further the clarification process but that will not happen. What are my options? I would like to darken the wine but keep the character I so far have.

If you like the flavor and overall character, why mess with it??
Not trying to be snarky, but am just curious.

Hi Prof,

 Thank you for the reply. Being new to wine and beer making failures must be part of the game. I have learned at least for me bentonite and red wines are for advance wine makers. However, I like to try to get what I am making as close as possible to the original plan. Some of these, including this attempt may not be totally correctable but I have the time and if I can get it close OK. With this problem I added some oak and I topped off the carboy with a high tannin Portuguese wine and I will move on. I have two 6 gallon carboys started. One with Amarone and the other with Barolo must. 

I think beer brewing is easier buy I love wine!

Experimentation, trial and error are great ways to learn what you like and don’t like, but you might want to read up a bit more on winemaking to learn what others have found works as a good foundation for your knowledge. Winemaker magazine is a good publication that is geared towards beginners / hobbyists, check it out.

As for bentonite, it is commonly used in white wines, but very rarely used in reds. In fact, reds are commonly fined only in order to correct a specific problem with that particular batch or varietal. Red wine makers often go through great lengths to develop deep color in their wines, and finings often work against that goal.

Hi Rebuilt,

  Thank you for the reply, Most of my reading has been from the internet. I have yet to find a good wine making book in the kindle format. I was following a Basic Wine making instruction sheet from a local wine must vendor.For beer brewing I have 3 kindle books , one by Jim Palmer...nice book. I sampled my first home brew beer yesterday...not bad for a first try. The NB chat line has been helpful with questions using their products.
As far as my wine project.Well, I have my hands full. I picked up two more wine musts and they are fermenting as I type. These wines will be my winter hobby project. My cellar is not heated, but stays about 55-60 F near my hot water heater.

Thanks again,


Good wine making books seem to be difficult to find. I have yet to see anything as well-written, concise and easy to understand as Palmer’s book or for that matter many others available for brewing.

Winemaker mag is about the best I’ve seen for a beginner.

And be careful of what you read on the web. I’ve been told that not everything online is reliable.