When alcoholic fermentation is all wrapped up, most people assume that the wine is then mostly left alone to age. But winemakers know well that there are a lot of adjustments that can be made throughout the cellaring process.
I read the article you reference and I agree with the advice, to a point. That it’s OK to keep wines in the bulk-aging stage (before bottling) warmer (the referenced article says
Well, in the olden days of fortified winemaking, potassium sorbate (a potassium salt of sorbic acid) wasn’t even a thing. While sorbic acid does occur naturally in some plants (rowan berries and
Hi Larry, congrats on your new piece of equipment! I’m sure you’ll find it adds to the kinds of wine you can make. Since you just filled your barrel and it’s brand
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
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
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
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
Explore the various equipment available to home winemakers for bulk aging wine prior to bottling — from plastic and glass, to stainless steel and oak. Each has its own benefits that can help elevate your wine.
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
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
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
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)
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.