Date: Dec 18-Jan 19
Chat with Alex RussanMEMBERS ONLY
Live Chat with Alex Russan, which took place on December 12, 2018.
Top 100 Wine Kits of 2018MEMBERS ONLY
Nearly 700 wines made from kits were entered into more than 30 different categories and judged in the 2018 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition. So which kits made the best wines? Here are the top 100 scoring wine kits according to the judges.
Get Crystal Clear About FiltrationMEMBERS ONLY
If you want to serve a crystal clear and microbial stable wine, it will require filtration. Explore the “how” and “why” of wine filtration, along with the equipment needed to do it.
Wine Kit TweaksMEMBERS ONLY
One of the best things about wine kits is that they are relatively easy to make into great tasting wine if you just follow the directions. However, once you’ve mastered that skill, you may be tempted to tweak the instructions or ingredients to customize your wine more to your liking.
When you make your own aperitif wines at home — such as sweet and dry vermouth — you can then make your own cocktails with them. Learn the basics of making these drinks, plus three cocktail recipes sure to appease even your guests who aren’t wine drinkers.
The Magic of Crush Day: Because We CanFREE
Crush day can be a roller-coaster ride of emotions: Excitement, anxiety, joy, frustration, and of course, exhaustion. A reader tells of his own personal crush day magic and why he does it year-in and year-out. (Hint: Because he can.)
Sulfites get a bad rap in the world outside of true wine aficionados. Alex Russan takes readers on a journey through the world of sulfites and describes a couple schools of thought regarding its use throughout the winemaking process.
Thinking Outside the Bottle: Presenting Your Homemade WineFREE
With the holiday season approaching, presenting your homemade wine to friends and family should be a point of pride. Bob Peak offers readers several pointers to take a fun and festive approach to an evening pairing of your wine with guests.
Aging Wine Kits: Tips From the ProsFREE
Kit wines are often consumed fairly young, but great things can happen if you allow the bottles to age longer. Two supply shop owners give guidance and teach the basics of patience and best practices for aging kit wines.
Trebbiano Family TreeMEMBERS ONLY
Grape descriptors and the region of origin were often used in the Old World in the naming of a grape. In the case of the Trebbiano family of grapes, this was indeed the case. Unfortunately what they didn’t quite know is the family is much more diverse than just a few varietals.
Cork Variability, MLF Question, pH Testing, and Aceto ProblemsMEMBERS ONLY
A concerned reader asks the Wizard why commercially-purchased wines might have their corks raised. She also answers questions on metabisulfite use before malolactic fermentation, when to re-test for pH, and dealing with Acetobacter issues.
Acetobacter ProblemsMEMBERS ONLY
Well, it seems like you have been paid a visit by a colony of Acetobacter, aka acetic acid bacteria. They love air, eat alcohol, and turn it into carbon dioxide and vinegar. Not fun. The biggest issue is that no matter what, once you’ve got them and they’ve produced a certain amount of acetic acid,
pH ReanalysisMEMBERS ONLY
The answer to your question depends on the size of your batch. The bigger your batch, especially if it’s must all mixed together with juice and skins, you need to mix quite a bit longer. Let’s say for example you have a 5-gallon (19-L) carboy of Chardonnay juice and you are adding 1 g/L tartaric
Sulfite Timing QuestionFREE
That’s a great question with a very simple answer. You should not add postassium metabisulfite (SO2, or sulfur dioxide) to your wine between primary and secondary fermentation. Because the SO2 will inhibit
Cork VariabilityMEMBERS ONLY
You’re absolutely right, raised corks can either be a problem (if they’re too high, or too high of a percentage from bottle-to-bottle) or it could be nothing at all. The devil is in the details and finding out why. Bear with me while I break down a few possible causes and their implications of what
Keys To Great White WineFREE
A beautifully crafted white wine is a thing of beauty. If done well, a winemaker can be drinking a very nice example 8 months after harvest, plenty enough to be sipping one