Technique

Taking the Fear Out of Must Analysis

I have something to confess. The most perfect, most exquisite wine passed through my racking cane this fall. I’m not bragging or anything; that’s just the way it is. Now, I should be able to chalk up my success to payback from well-spent tuition and to the glory of science. But I confess that I turned my back on science and didn’t analyze or adjust anything. I just let nature take its course. I realize that this might have been only luck, and it might not happen again. Sure, you toss some grapes into a bucket and you’re going to get wine, maybe even great wine. But if grapes and yeast are left to their own devices, the process will sometimes go horribly awry. Analyzing and adjusting must — unfermented juice — is wine insurance. The job of the winemaker is to shepherd the fruit through the winemaking process, taking measurements and making adjustments when necessary to avoid spoilage or damage to the wine. Because many adjustments can be made after fermentation, you might be wondering why someone would want