Dear Wine Wizard, I am in the process of vinting a Champagne, and after having read of a couple of different ways to create the “sparkling” effect, I am now thoroughly confused.
When it comes to selecting a wine kit, Canada is the place to start. It’s winemakers’ heaven with hundreds of quality wine kits to choose from and just as many home wine retail stores and wine-on-premise shops to help you along. But wait a minute. If you’re in the United States and you think of
For commercial wineries, winemaking begins long before the grapes are crushed. The quality of the wine reflects the quality of the fruit, and wineries spend lots of time, effort, and money making sure they get just the right grapes. Vineyard managers worry about how much water, how much shade, and how warm or cold the
Do you think it’s hard to make wine? Maybe that’s because of your winemaking neighbor — the one who grows his own grapes, built his own oaken press, and gives you tours of his temperature-controlled wine cellar. He speaks knowingly of fungal amylase and malo-lactic fermentation. He won’t tell you this, but you can make
Wine Wizard replies: To sulfite or not to sulfite: That is the question. It’s one that fires hot debates in the cellars of wineries worldwide. Sometimes seen as a personal choice, the use of sulfites in winemaking requires a delicate sense of balance and a light (though judicious) hand. Otherwise, your wine can be irreparably
Wine Wizard replies: Even though I’d have to see the recipe and an outline of what you do every step of the way to truly diagnose the cause, I can, however, tell you the problem. What we’re looking at here is a classic example of what happens to all wine eventually, precipitation of solids. Even
First let this Wine Wizard ruminate over the techniques mentioned above. Adding a little sugar (called priming sugar in the beer trade, dosage in the wine business) to newly fermented wine and
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
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
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: A glass or plastic container that looks like an office water-cooler bottle or a large jug. Carboys usually come in five-gallon volumes and
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.
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 in Tuscany, Italy) and vinified under a strict set of laws. However, the primary grape used to make Chianti, Sangiovese, is a delicate
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 Pinot noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet, and other notable grapes. But what about wines made from other fruits? Since the development of winemaking as a