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Dry Wine & Mystery Grapes: Wine Wizard

QI like ’em dry. Question? My last batch of Merlot (2001) came out too sweet. What can I do now if I want the finished wine to have less sweetness? R.J. Yalch Poland, OH AMore experienced winemakers than yourself have spent eons trying to ponder the conundrum of a stuck fermentation. If you wanted the wine to be dry and it ended up sweet, it means that your yeast beasties, for whatever reason, could not ferment the sugar in their environment completely to alcohol. Here are some potential causes of a stuck or sluggish fermentation and some ideas on preventing them: Problem: Initial Brix of juice too high. Solution: Pick grapes less ripe, water down must or juice. Problem: Yeast bred to ferment in a lower sugar concentration. Solution: Choose the right yeast for the Brix level. Scott Labs in California (www.scottlab.com) is a good place to start. The company’s Website has lots of great information on fermentation and various yeast strains. You can also read the literature provided by leading suppliers of home wine yeast, such as White Labs,