This Valentine’s Day, wouldn’t it be great to break open a bottle of your own homemade bubbly? Learn from two winemakers producing highly acclaimed sparkling wines about the nuances of making them at home.
Here goes some gum arabic info . . . I was first introduced to it at Bonny Doon when Randall Grahm brought it back from one of his jaunts to France, around
Tannins can provide a wine with a lot more than just astringency. They can also be useful in white and rosé wines as well if used properly. Bob Peak gives a tour of the benefits of various tannin products available to hobby winemakers.
Your first fortified wine can be a little intimidating. What method are you going to utilize? Sweet or dry? What type of spirits are you going to use? Then again, maybe you’re
You want to start a heated and emotionally charged discussion on a controversial topic? Ask a group of amateur winemakers for their thoughts on the impact of filtration on wine. Chances are
You may be curious about a way of making wine intermediate between using fresh fruit and making kit wines. Increasingly popular, the hobby of making wine from grape juice comes in two
There are lots of possibilities for adding extracts, flavorings, herbs, and spice when you are making wine at home. We explore a variety of options.
There are many points throughout the winemaking process where a winemaker must make adjustments
in order to influence the final outcome. When the grapes come into the winery, the very first choices you will make as a winemaker will be done in the unfermented must.
Commercial winemakers and wine industry professionals don’t become experts overnight. It can take many vintages to figure out what works and what doesn’t work in a home or commercial winery. But that
Indeed, for 4–6 months of the year, the frigid and snowy landscape hardly seems like a great place to plant a vineyard. Temperatures in January and February drop sufficiently low to kill
Sherry is the fortified wine from Jerez, Spain, made in soleras and conditioned with flor yeast.
. . .lurking inside the heads of many home winemakers is the urge to make an absolute blockbuster, a jaw-dropping, mind-bending, 800-pound gorilla of a wine.
The mantra for the quest for making a big blockbuster type of wine is “more is better” — more sugar in the grapes, more alcohol in the wine, more extraction, more color
In spite of their long history as wine preservatives dating to the days of the Romans, sulfites can receive a bad rap. Many suspect that sulfites cause headaches or believe that any
We have all heard the expression that great wine is made in the vineyard. And while we home winemakers generally accept this as truth, nowhere has this been more obvious to me
Inexperienced amateur winemakers are often misled thinking that making red wine is easier — or at least more foolproof — than making white wine because reds are better protected by polyphenols from
By far, the most prolific wild grape in Texas is the widely distributed Vitis mustangensis, or Mustang grape. It was historically the major wine grape of early settlers and remains a dominant
The running gag around our place is that you’ve heard of a microbrewery or microwinery? Well, we have a nanowinery. Our winery is so small (how small is it?) we have to
Being a lover of Pinot Noir, I am intrigued and mystified by Burgundy. During my visit to Burgundy as part of a film crew working on a television series about wine, I
As we look back at the many wines we made, we cherish the memories of those winners that amazed our friends and family. But there have been failures too and perhaps some
Rules are made to be broken, and nowhere is that subversive adage more true than in home winemaking. Today’s proposed violation takes on one of the dominant conventions of modern white winemaking:
To Oak, or not to Oak, a phrase I took from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and changed the words around a little. But going a step further and delving into the tools that
At first glance, bench trials for home winemaking may seem like more trouble than they’re worth. Variously called bench trials, bench tests, or even kitchen table trials, they are focused experiments targeted