When you set your sights on making a “keeper” wine, one you plan to lay down for several years, there are certain techniques you can employ to make sure it doesn’t round the bend too soon. Learn how to make that wine worth holding on to.
For those readers who are not familiar with the article referenced, I talk about how it was likely a reader’s malolactic fermentation would pick back up again when the weather warmed up again in the spring (he wanted to over-winter his wine undergoing MLF outside in order to help it get cold stable). It sounds
As I explain in my book, The Winemaker’s Answer Book, oxygen can be a friend of wine (especially during active primary fermentation) but is more often its enemy. One of the biggest jobs of being a winemaker entails minimizing oxygen (air) contact in our aging wines by keeping our containers 100% full, or “topped up.”
Aging wines on the lees can add aromatic complexity, soften tannins, enrich mouthfeel, protect it from oxygen, feed malolactic bacteria, and add longterm stability. Learn how to get the most from sur lie aging, and techniques for removing, storing, and reusing lees.
I’ll assume you’re going to do red (not rosé) — that’s the easiest for small-volume winemaking. I’ll also assume you’ll hand-destem, so you really don’t need a de-stemmer. Just get out as many stems as you can by hand. You’ll need a good food-grade fermenter like a small, food-grade trashcan or a bin that you
Well, I suppose you could sand the varnish off if you didn’t like it very much . . . but, realistically, I don’t think it’ll affect the wine that much. If you’ve read some of my pieces on smaller barrels you know that the smaller the vessel the higher the ratio of air exposure to
Aging your wine is not the most exciting winemaking topic, but it is a critical topic. Aging wine is considered from the time after your fermentation is completed through the time spent
In deciding to bottle, age or toss this batch, I suggest you spend some quality time with your barrel. Though you’re just past the usual bottling window (typical aging time for premium red wines is 10–18 months, depending on the varietal and style) you may be able to catch it before it goes south. Especially
I would definitely try to store your wine in the dark if you can. Your wines are in what I’m assuming are clear glass demijohns and over the year or more aging you might want for the wine, it could be enough to be detrimental to your wine’s quality. Interestingly, it’s not damage to your
Not properly controlling the temperature of your grapes, must, juice, or wine can have lasting impacts. Learn when and how to take control.
Not all wines can or should be backsweetened, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn the process. Find out the basics of backsweetening.
Although most bottles of wine you purchase in the store are sold ready-to-drink, wines made with certain grapes can and will improve with age. That’s not the case for home winemakers, whose freshly bottled wines often require a minimum of a few months of bottle aging for white wines, and a year or more for
I’ll answer your last questions first and then give you my thoughts on the age-worthiness of your wine. RS (residual sugar) “Dry” (no sugar remaining) is usually considered 0.2% or less (2
Goodness, you’ve got a persistent sediment source in your wines that’s for sure. You’ve removed the gross particles by racking and filtration.You’ve cleared out proteins by using bentonite. You’ve taken out excess
Aging on fine lees has traditionally been reserved for Muscadets, white Burgundy wines, and classic champenoise-style wines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize this with other wines. Learn the hows and whys of aging your wine on lees.
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.
For many wine lovers, the subject of a wine’s aging potential can be intimidating or seem like artful science that is best left to the wine gurus of the world. Some are
You can absolutely adjust acidity in a wine when it is one year old. Though I often say that it’s best to do major adjustments early on in a wine’s life (since
If you have the freezer space I say freeze, freeze away! It’s actually somewhat common (for those grape producers who specialize in it like Brehm Vineyards, Vino Superiore, or Wine Grapes Direct) for growers to freeze grapes and ship them to areas of the country where they don’t grow so well naturally. I myself used
Home winemakers tend to ferment in glass carboys (big 5-gallon/19-L jars, essentially) because they are usually better-sized and more convenient to a home hobbyist than larger vessels like a 59-gallon (223-L) barrel.
Oak, Glass, Plastic, and Stainless Steel wine container must be sturdy enough for the purpose and not likely to introduce negative changes to the wine quality. Size is important, depending on the
Wine is a dynamic chemical soup, constantly changing, evolving, reducing and oxidizing. From the moment it is made, its fate is sealed. Yes, it will improve, mature, reach a peak, and then it will decline and eventually become undrinkable. The best we can do is make it in such a way that it ages gradually,
Over the past few years I have made larger and larger batches of wine, and as a result the number of carboys I use has really added up. Each year I try to make improvements to my home winery, and being a total wine equipment nerd variable capacity stainless steel tanks were an obvious upgrade