Articles

Live Chat with José Pizarro

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The Tale of the Stuck Fermentations

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A fermentation is “stuck” when it fails to reach the desired conversion level of sugar, usually coming to a halt somewhere below 10 °Brix. It does not refer to a failure to start,

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Less-Common Winemaking Pitfalls

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In the June-July 2019 issue we explored some of the most common wine faults you are likely to encounter, whether during your personal winemaking journey or while tasting the wines of others,


How to Become a Wine Judge

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He was about 55 years of age, short sleeve shirt, jeans, and a big grin on his face. He approached us, barely able to conceal a giggle. He had a humorous question;

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The Many Sides of Chardonnay

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If Cabernet is the King of Grapes, Chardonnay is probably the Queen. It’s the most popular wine among US drinkers with about 20% market share, and in California there’s more of this

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Cloudy Chardonnay & Lambrusco Grapes: Wine Wizard

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QAfter I stabilized my wine, I added French medium toast oak beans to the Chardonnay 3/4 cup (new beans), Sauvignon Blanc 1/3 cup (new beans), Ruisseau Blanc 3/4 cup (used beans), and

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Adding Sugar & Wine Kit Chemicals: Wine Wizard

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QHow can I increase the sugar content and body of my juice without using refined sugar? I am looking for cheaper alternatives. Please point me to specific recipes. Azubuike OgalaOxford, New Jersey

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Sugar Content & Malolactic Fermentation: Wine Wizard

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QI have been making wines for more than 20 years, but I have a problem with initial sugar determinations, added sugar requirements and subsequent alcohol content. Hydrometer readings on the initial crushed

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The Solera System & Copper Caution: Wine Wizard

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QA few years ago I toured some wineries on a trip through Michigan and found one that was quite unique. One of the methods of this winery was called “solera.” This method

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Killer Bacteria & pH: Wine Wizard

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QI own a small store in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I have two customers with the same problem and I have no solution. Both batches were made with a four-week wine kit. The

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Adding Oak & Rehydrating Yeast: Wine Wizard

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QI make wine in five-gallon batches from juice that I buy in Canada. I also buy skins, stems, and small bags of toasted oak chips, then let it all age in five-gallon

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Locating Grapes & Cleaning Presses: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I came back from Australia six months ago and was fortunate enough to visit the Hunter Valley. I brought back some wine and among the bottles was a Chardonnay/Verdelho

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When Life Gives You Lemons: Making wine from an invasive plant

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An invasive cactus plant native to the Americas has caused decades of massive economic hardships for many pastoralists of Kenya. Explore how one permaculturalist turned this scourge of the region into a nascent wine industry.

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Feeding Your Yeast & Elderberries: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I am planning to brew my first mead this weekend. I will be using a recipe that calls for “yeast extract,” which I take to be the same as

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Back To School: Q&A with Professor Hagen

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It’s been a few years since we’ve run a Backyard Vines Q&A. Wes Hagen answers several hobby vineyardists’ questions. Learn about tackling black rot, sunburnt grapes, and hedging vines.

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A Corker Conundrum, Barrel Questions, MLF Testing, and Troubleshooting

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Fresh off her winemakermag.com Live Chat, the Wiz continues to dish out advice on a wide array of topics including a misbehaving corker, barrel size considerations, malolactic advice, and troubleshooting off-odors in a Viognier.

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Wine Acid 101

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Balance is often the key to producing a winning wine. This means knowing how to measure and adjust acidity if needed. Learn the basics of wine acids.


Foxy Concord: Finding the sweet spot with this American classic

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The grape of North America, Concord has come to dominate the grape juice and jelly markets, but making a solid wine with it can require a little more care than most vinifera grapes. Chik Brenneman digs deep to come up with a solid game plan to making a worthy wine from this grape variety.

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Fresh Grape Supplier Directory

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Looking for fresh grapes this harvest season? Here is a list of select fresh grape vendors you can purchase grapes from.


Live Chat with Christina Musto

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Live Chat with Christina Musto, which took place on August 14, 2019.

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5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve been making wine for about a year now and I’m wondering if you’d be willing to help me out with a wrap-up of some of your winemaking wisdom.

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Cork Questions: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve heard both “yes” and “no” on soaking corks before bottling. All of the commercial wineries I’ve visited don’t soak their corks before bottling. Can you set us straight


Pressing Cherries & Yeast Life: Wine Wizard

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QI have made 2.5-gallon batches of pin cherry wine. Without a recipe to go by, I used my old standby: Chokecherry recipe of 20 plus years. It makes excellent wine with a

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Sediment Fallout & Off-odors: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I made a Concord wine about nine months ago and bottled it for Christmas. I put gelatin in it twice to remove sediment and to clear up my wine.

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Live Chat with Alison Crowe

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Live Chat with Alison Crowe, which took place on July 24, 2019.

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