Citrus fruits contain a lot of interesting flavors, but making wine with them can be a challenge. Get advice on removing the bitterness that comes with the rinds as well as micro-oxygenation advice for small-scale winemakers, and how to best deacidify a wine.
A winemaker has saved up a bunch of commercial screw-cap bottles and wants to know what cork size fits best in that style of bottle. Learn why it is not a good idea to cork those bottles. Also get advice on aging wine temperatures and volatile acidity in blueberry wine.
There has been growing interest in reduced alcohol wines in recent years as the health benefits and caloric reduction is lauded by the medical world. The Wine Wizard offers tips to a home winemaker looking to produce their own lower-alcohol wine. Another winemaker is trying to find ways to reduce their water usage in the winery.
The term “sacrificial tannins” is something that gets casually tossed into the winemaking lexicon by those who have been in the trade for a while . . . but what does it really mean? Get an explanation along with tips for rehydrating dry yeast and techniques to properly stabilize a fortified wine.
Winemaking may be more a science, but blending is definitely an art. The Wizard has some tips for a rookie winemaker looking to possibly blend five different wines. Also, make sure you’re up on the latest knowledge and mitigation methods surrounding the phenomenon known as smoke taint.
Maintaining wine while it ages in oak is an important task. Make sure you are taking the appropriate steps. Also, a winemaker can’t get their latest wine to start fermentation. The Wine Wizard unravels the mystery behind the unfermentable juice.
As a winemaker evolves, learning how to evaluate their wine during different stages of maturation can be key. The Wine Wizard has some thoughts on what to expect when tasting wines at various young ages as well as kegging homemade wine.
With wildfires on the rise in many wine regions around the world, smoke taint has become a common phrase. Learn about it and ways winemakers may be able to try to make the best from affected grapes. Also learn about Campden tablets, getting news on grape growing conditions, and some other pearls of wiz-dom.
Bottling is typically the final step towards producing wine where a winemaker can foul things up. Get some recommendations from the Wizard on when and how to bottle your wines. Also get some pointers on proper etiquette of being a wine judge.
Q I am using Flextanks and oak chips for my wine and am really liking the results. However, I put the oak chips in loose and they clog up the tubing and
Malolactic fermentation can be finicky even for professional winemakers, but there are protocols winemakers can follow to help avoid the headache (and heartache). Learn those along with best practices for a post-fermentation acid adjustment.
A winemaker is left scratching their head when a wine that seemingly has fermented dry is still producing bubbles. The Wizard also provides suggestions for vinegar storage and the possible cause of odd-colored speckles on a cantaloupe wine.
When a winemaker gets their hands on some highly coveted Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, he wants to make sure that the oak quality matches the grape. But he balks at the price tag of a new oak barrel. Get some tips for high-quality oak alternatives and ways to correct a raspberry wine with weird numbers.
It’s hard to get universal ripening of your grapes in a small vineyard with lots of variability. The Wizard provides some pointers as well as clues to determining grape ripeness when the refractometer is left home. Plus, the threat of contamination from “killer” yeast.
What is the best way to store oak barrels that don’t have wine in them? Get the answer from the Wine Wizard, as well as her advice for a case of oversulfited wine, removing white film from a glass carboy, and five tips for a rookie winemaker.
Get some pointers and considerations a winemaker needs to keep in mind when topping off your aging wine vessels. The Wizard also answers questions on fining agents and malolactic fermentation after cold stabilizing a wine.
Oxidation is one of the most common faults among homemade wines. The Wiz has some tips for minimizing exposure during racking along with advice for how to read fermentation temperature, reducing reductive stink with copper, and carbonating a dessert wine.
Not everyone loves a buttery Chardonnay but for those that seek out this characteristic the Wine Wizard has some sage fermentation advice to achieve buttery bliss. Also, one reader wonders about adding pectic enzymes in a red wine and another is perplexed by the numbers in his recently purchased juice.
Q I’ve heard that a lot of wineries are using ozone for their sanitation programs. I make about ten barrels of wine a year — should I buy an ozonator machine? Bernice
Q I have been making wine at home for the past five years and my friends tell me I am pretty good! They like my wine and I thought about starting to
Sometimes we get several questions that revolve around a similar theme. The Wine Wizard had several questions this go-round on volatile acidity and malolactic fermentation. She provides some specifics for winemakers who have bigger picture problems on their hands.
Using egg whites Q I’m making a white wine and want to add egg white to help with the fining before my last racking. Is there any information on how to do
A winemaker asks for some pointers on when to test for sulfite on their wines using their new sulfite testing kit. Also, learn about curing wine plating, basic equipment required for a winemaker making the jump from kits to fresh grapes, and preparing oak for wine.
Q Though most of us think “grapes” when we think wine, I live in Michigan and can’t help but notice that wineries out here make wine out of a lot of other