Award-Winning Red Winemakers Roundtable

Three amateur winemakers with shelves full of medals to their names for their homemade wines share advice for making great reds.

Enjoying Dessert Wine Kits

Drinking Port To my palate, Port is toothsome — it somehow seems to satisfy and delight all on its own. Back when I smoked a pipe (and nothing looks dopier than someone

Choosing A Wine Yeast Strain

Yeast selection is one of the most important winemaking decisions as the chosen yeast strain is, to a large extent, what shapes the wine, influences organoleptic (sensory) qualities, and reduces the risk

Tannin Chemistry

Soft, silky, velvety, youthful, puckery, aggressive, harsh, bitter, astringent: These are all adjectives used in winespeak to describe the many taste sensations from tannins in red wines. Learn about the science behind them

Oak Barrel Chemistry

The benefits of fermenting or aging wine in toasted oak barrels are indisputable and unmatched by any other type of wood. Not only do oak compounds impart aromas and flavors as well

Cold Soaking: Tips from the Pros

Melissa Burr, Winemaker at Stoller Vineyards in Dayton, Oregon. Melissa was raised in the Willamette Valley and, after completing her BS degree, studied winemaking at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, and

Cabernet Sauvignon – Syrah Wine Blends

  Home winemakers often resort to a little blending to improve their wines — to add a little more body, tweak the acid balance or deepen the color, or just because it

Sparkling Wine From Kits

 Ahh, glorious Champagne: our companion at celebrations and important events, it christens our ships, welcomes our New Year, and gently helps the caviar and oysters along the path to culinary nirvana. Sparkling

Dollars and Sense: Tips from the Pros

Home winemakers get into the hobby for a number of reasons, including making high quality wine for less money. But even though making your own wine can sometimes be an economical choice,

The Home Wine Laboratory

It is said that fine winemaking begins in the vineyard, but I’ve found that winemaking is an unending process, starting with the grapes and continuing to evolve once bottled. Wine is a

Using Enzymes: Tips from the Pros

 Ben Mayo, Winemaker at Eberle Winery in Paso Robles, California. Ben has worked with Eberle for nearly ten years. He first joined as a cellar worker, later graduating to Assistant Winemaker and

The Sensorial Profile: Techniques

This is the time of year — at least for those making wine from grapes —when you get to taste and assess wines from this past vintage to determine how good these

Maintaining fermentation temperatures: Wine Kits

When Ray Charles and Betty Carter sang the definitive version of Frank Loesser’s song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” it’s a pretty sure bet that home winemaking was the last thing on their

Sparkling Icewine: Techniques

I must confess my love for two types of wines: delectable icewine and refreshing sparkling wine, or bubbly, as it is more affectionately known. So when the wine industry in Niagara (Ontario),

Ten Tips for Kit Winemaking

Ten tips to making better kit wines (beyond just reading the instructions). If your ambitions are greater than just getting drinkable wine into a bottle on a schedule there are quite a few things you can do to make better wine from kits, from the perspective of the physical processing of the must to your storing conditions you store it in, and even the knowledge you need to judge and assess your wine.

The First Ten Years: Tips from the Pros

Does a decade make a difference? We think so! As part of our anniversary celebration, we reached out to three West Coast wine professionals that are also celebrating their first ten years

10 Winemaking Techniques You Should Know

Q. What is the difference between good and superlative wines? A. The WOW! factor. A good wine offers everything that the varietal or style is meant to provide. While it can provide

10 Tips for Better Wine

Like so many things, you get two winemakers together, you get three different opinions. But that’s probably because there seems to be nothing a professional winemaker loves to do more than talk

Myth Busting

Every area of human endeavor has its own legacy of mythopoeia (Mythmaking), where stories accrete around the changing character of human action and accumulated knowledge. Myths and stories are the way human

Understanding the Different Sizes of Wine Kits

“Quantity has a quality all of its own.” -R K Ratch Someone once said, “good things come in small packages.” I’m pretty sure this was a shopkeeper who sold very small consumer

Harvest Planning

The better you plan for grapes to come in, the smoother the big day of harvest and crushing grapes will go. Do you have all of the equipment on hand and cleaned? Is the space cleared? Start planning now.

Degassing Wine Kits with a Vacuum Pump

What could vacuums have to do with wine kits? While there have been times when a wet/dry vacuum would have been very helpful in my wine cellar, there is a specific benefit

Fruit and Grape Blends: Tips from the Pros

Ken Korando came to winemaking by way of entrepreneurship. Educated as an electronics engineer, he and a colleague patented technology used to decline balance debit cards – the sort of technology that

25 Winemaking Tips

Have you ever wished you had an experienced winemaker looking over your shoulder as you prepared to harvest your first crop of grapes or tested acid levels? How about as you scratched

Amarone-Style Wine Kits

Most wine drinkers who have been exposed to Amarone probably consider it to be another one of Italy’s signature wine styles — perhaps the most brutally powerful and distinctively flavorful, but one