5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts: Wine Wizard

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. What are your top five rookie mistakes to avoid in winemaking? Jennifer ScottBrooklyn, New York Wine Wizard replies: That’s a great request. Sometimes I forget to really distill what I believe when it comes to fine winemaking. Just like anything in life, having a concentrated, bullet-pointed list of the essence of a thing is very important. It can guide us in times of challenge and inspire us to make even better wines. So here goes: Top five rookie mistakes: Picking too early or too late: I can’t say this enough — it all starts with the raw material. Pick too early and your Cabernet will never lose that nasty green bell pepper aroma. Pick too late and your delicate Malvasia Bianca will be a flabby, high pH flop with 15.0% alcohol. Making the pick call is the single most important decision a fresh grape winemaker will make in