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Techniques

Making Port-Style Wine Kits

“Port is not for the very young, the vain and the active. It is the comfort of age and the companion of the scholar and the philosopher.” – Evelyn Waugh Drinking Port can


Kegging Wine

Sparkling wine usually comes packaged in either standard-sized wine bottles (750 mL), half-bottle-sized splits or Magnums, which hold the equivalent of two standard wine bottles. However, less common, larger bottle sizes include


Negative Impacts of Oxygen

Positive effects of oxidation? How can that be? Winemakers know that oxygen negatively affects wine and they process wine with the utmost care to prevent oxidation. Two common winemaking practices that have


Picking the Proper Wine Yeast: Tips from the Pros

Stephen Smith attended wine appreciation classes at Denver University in 1982–84, winemaking seminars at the New Mexico Wine and Vine Society in Albuquerque from 1984 to the present, and extension courses at


Delestage Fermentation: Techniques

As an enophile, I enjoy almost every type and style of wine. However, my true love is — and always has been — big, bold, oak-aged reds, the type built for the


7 Great Wine Kit Tips

Ah, the wine kit — is there any invention of mankind that has contributed more happiness and pleasure than the simple box of delicious juice, clarifiers, stabilizers and thoughtful, well-written instructions? Well,


The Phenol Phenomenon

A saturated, dark-ruby colored, full-bodied wine with a velvety texture and round mouthfeel, oodles of blackberry aromas and oak flavor overtones with just a hint of spiciness, all with a persistent, memorable


Organic Grape Growing Techniques

This chart illustrates the average nutrients removed from soil per acre (rounded off in pounds) in a producing vineyard per year (at 2.5 tons per acre, or about 5 pounds of fruit


Using Fining Agents

Pesky cloudy wines! Sediments in the bottle! There is nothing more frustrating to home winemakers than a wine that will not clear or that continues to throw sediments in the bottle. Making


Wine Kit First Aid

You: a happy winemaking citizen, going about your lawful fermentation business, enjoying the marvellous convenience and quality that the wine-kit industry has provided you. Your kit wine: usually a tractable and pleasant


How Sweet It Is: Chaptalization

Chaptalization — the practice of adding sugar prior to fermentation — has numerous benefits to wines with low sugar content. Chief among those is increasing the potential alcohol of the resulting wine, which can impact mouthfeel, help protect against spoilage, and more.


It’s Lysozyme Time

Home winemakers have an important new resource in the ongoing battle against spoilage organisms — it’s called lysozyme. Discovered in the 1920s and used for decades in the pharmaceutical, dairy and cheese


Measuring Residual Sugar

You are interested in your friend’s opinion on your most recent vintage — most likely a wine you have assessed to be your best ever. You meticulously withdraw a sample and pour


Picking the Right Wine Kit

The modern wine kit, with its gleaming plastic bag in a jazzy-looking box, didn’t start out as a miracle of modern technology. Arguably, the first wine kits were actually used in ancient


Barrel Care Techniques

Do you yearn to create oak-style wines that rival Bordeaux first growths, Super Tuscans, or the so-called California cult wines, but have been hesitant to invest time and effort to care and


Avoiding Wine Kit Pitfalls

There are a lot of wine kits out there today, and their variety and quality is improving. Kits wines are designed to be easy to make, but they’re not foolproof. Even kit


Using Variable-Volume Fermenters

Variable-volume fermenters have a floating-lid that transforms these tanks into variable-capacity containers for fermentation as well as short- and long-term wine storage. Learn how to get the most of one in your home winery.


Make Your Kit Wine Shine

The first “wine kits” sold in North America were bricks of compressed grapes, shipped to eastern states from California during prohibition. Home winemaking was as illegal as any other alcohol producing activity


Your Home Wine Lab

Sooner or later, most serious winemakers conclude that it isn’t good enough to simply follow a recipe blindly. That’s a bit too much like painting-by-numbers. The expression of one’s own skill and


Spring Cleaning for Winemakers: Tips from the Pros

Spring is often seen as a time for cleaning, and there’s plenty for the home winemaker to do after a long winter. This includes scrubbing away the grime, dust and cobwebs that


Choosing a Filtering System

Winemaking is not a science but rather an art. There are many opinions on the pros and cons of the various processes that winemakers use. The subject of filtration is one such area of great debate that has polarized enologists, wine sellers and wine enthusiasts alike. Some advocate the practice of filtration, others believe that fining is sufficient, while many traditionalists simply let nature take its course.


Blue-Ribbon Home Winemaking Tips

Tom Petuskey East Brunswick, New Jersey Tom has been making wine since 1981 and has won more than 100 awards in state and national amateur wine competitions. His most recent awards were


Second Press Runs to Get More from Your Grapes

As home winemakers, there’s nothing like adding a new trick to our repertoire. Anything that makes our wine a little better is definitely a good thing. For those reasons, you should explore


Adjust Wine Flavor in the Fermenter

Making the perfect wine requires a combination of experience, skill, excellent grapes and good fortune. Skill and experience are things you can acquire over time. But finding the perfect grapes is truly


From Cleaning to Bottling: Tips from Adelsheim

Did you ever notice that California is hot? You know, that exasperating kind of hot that feels like it might actually singe your lungs? Well, that same heart-stopping heat is the foundation