And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. (Luke 5:37 NASB)
The secondary fermentation (really just a continuation of fermentation) takes several weeks. The must and sediment have been separated and the grapes are now immature wine. The yeast that have survived thus far will complete the fermentation process, producing as much as 30% of the total alcohol during this time. As the immature wine sits, the sediment still suspended will separate and fall to the bottom of the container. Evidence of the ongoing work can be seen as less frequent bubbles of carbon dioxide on the surface or in the airlock.
At the end of several weeks, the wine will be racked again, finally transferring it to bottles. Every bit of fermentation must be complete, however, or carbon dioxide will build up in the bottle and cause it to burst, losing all the wine the winemaker has worked so hard to produce.
During this final racking, the transfer technique is especially important. Not one bit of sediment should be transferred. The goal is not cloudy, foul tasting wine. The goal is perfect clarity, or transparency, in the wine.
Transparency should be our goal, too. We need to be so clean inside (spiritually speaking) that there is nothing to hide, and nothing of ourselves to cloud the view of Christ in us.
Consider your own heart today. Are there attitudes or "secret" sins that you hide from those with whom you desire to share Christ? Is there any sediment that needs to be cleared? In winemaking, the only way to remove the sediment is to siphon the wine away from it, making a clean and complete break between the wine and the cloudy sediment. Is there something clouding the transparent view of Christ in you? Maybe it's time to make some changes.
Pray today that we would have such transparency of spirit that our loved ones can see straight through to the Christ in us, and that the view they see will be clear rather than distorted by any "sediment" we've allowed to remain. Pray that the view of Christ we present would be so attractive that our loved ones would desire a relationship with Him for themselves and begin their own journey of transformation.