fbpx

Articles

Mastering Merlot

Merlot has become an important red grape throughout world. Merlot grapes, also known as Merlot Noir in Bordeaux, have been used to soften wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon for many years. Merlot


Adding Oak: Tips from the Pros

Winemaker John Fletcher of Hillside Estate Winery in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada offers his thoughts on adding oak to your wine: Oaking Hillside Wines Many of the Hillside Estate


Build Your Own Garage Wine Cellar

I have been making wine for about 27 years starting with a small winemaking kit I received as a Christmas gift. I had an interest long before that time as I had


Create Your Own Great Labels

Labels are an extension of your personality; they mirror the winemaker’s soul. The wine in the bottle is the culmination of months, sometimes years of effort. Labeling your wine can further express


Flavors That Make Cabernet Great

Judging is highly subjective, and there are as many methods of evaluating wines as there are tasters. That’s a good thing. If wines could be rated objectively, we’d all be buying Microsoft


Mead: Nectar of the Gods

Is there a beverage that conjures up more images than mead? Whether you associate it with Druids, pre-Roman civilizations of central Europe, Vikings and Teutonic raiders, Celts ancient or modern, it is


Sparkling Wine, Step-by-Step

Ah, another summer season come and gone. The family thought your two-year old Chardonnay was great at cousin Bob’s wedding dinner, and the after-dinner crowd at the late summer supper on the


The Sweet Rewards of Dessert Wines

Classic dessert wines are wonderful, complex, and delicious beverages. The range of dessert wines is considerable and growing. With today’s high-quality kits, you can make terrific dessert wine at home and, with


Troubleshoot a Stuck Fermentation

It’s hard to dispute that winemaking is an art. And it’s no surprise that winemakers sometimes act like artists. Now imagine, if you will, a room full of artists who meet to


Build Your Own Crusher

Plans to build your own grape crusher.


Growing Grapes in Cold Climates

The availability of grape and fruit concentrates makes the home production of fine wines possible no matter where you live. But for some of us, the hours spent in the vineyard, orchard,


Hot Rhônes: Syrah & Carignan

No group of grape varieties has generated as much enthusiasm among winemakers recently as Rhône varieties. So great is the demand for them that interested wineries scramble to find the best vineyard


Juicy Secrets

Commercial wineries spend tens of thousands of dollars on all kinds of fancy equipment. Can a home winemaker really expect to create the same type of high-quality wines the pros can without


Making Seyval Blanc: Tips from the Pros

Bill Hopkins followed a path taken by many American winemakers. A dairy farmer who saw his business fading in the 1970s — at the same time the wine industry was taking off


More Practical Wine Terms

Hydrometer: An inexpensive and widely available analytical device that measures the specific gravity (relative density) of a solution. Very useful to measure the amount of sugar (in Balling or degrees Brix) in


Take Control of Must Temperature–And Reap the Benefits

Yeast, like most living things, have a climate that they prefer. Just as people like warm, sunny weather, yeast, too, like their atmosphere temperate. When things get cold, around 40 °F (4


Bottling, Start to Finish

The sages of winemaking uniformly counsel patience. Yet what could be more frustrating than, after patiently stomping, crushing, adjusting, fermenting, and racking, to be told to wait? But many of wine’s great


Making Riesling: Tips from the Pros

Winemaker Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda, California goes back to his early roots by offering his thoughts on making Riesling. Back in 1973, he and his wife made their very


Practical Wine Terms

Antioxidant: Compound that retards oxidation and slows its effects in wine (browning, sherry-like aromas). Sulfur dioxide, SO2, is the most widely used winemaking antioxidant. It also serves as an antimicrobial agent. Carboy:


Preventing Off-Flavors

Sometimes things go wrong, and the result is off-flavors. But most wine defects are easily prevented with good sanitation and a few simple winemaking techniques.


Sangiovese: Varietal Focus

Literally spoken, creating Chianti in the United States is not possible. Chianti is a style of wine that can only be derived from specific grapes grown in a specific area (in Chianti


There’s More to Wine Than Just Grapes

It seems as though when we think of wine, we think of grapes. Walk into your local wine shop, and you’ll find the racks are filled with dozens of wines produced from


Wine Tasting Made Easy

You un-bung one of your barrels, thief a little wine out into your glass, and bring it up to your nose for a sniff and a taste. Immediately a little voice in