Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve been making wine for about a year now and I’m wondering if you’d be willing to help me out with a wrap-up of some of your winemaking wisdom.
Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve heard both “yes” and “no” on soaking corks before bottling. All of the commercial wineries I’ve visited don’t soak their corks before bottling. Can you set us straight
QI have made 2.5-gallon batches of pin cherry wine. Without a recipe to go by, I used my old standby: Chokecherry recipe of 20 plus years. It makes excellent wine with a
Dear Wine Wizard, I made a Concord wine about nine months ago and bottled it for Christmas. I put gelatin in it twice to remove sediment and to clear up my wine.
, QMy pear wine is watery and flat, I have already bottled it. Is there anyway to save it? It was my first attempt at winemaking and I don’t know what went
QI’ve got a red Bordeaux-style blend with the following stats: Aged 28 months in French and American oak, with these numbers: Alcohol — 13.8%; Free SO2 — 37 mg/L; Total SO2 —
Cap recycling QCan I reuse bottles with screw on caps for bottling wine? Jim Neumeistervia email AWhat you describe, reusing commercial screwcap wine bottles for subsequent bottlings, is something no commercial winery
QI grow and make Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in southwest Idaho. The season is intense but short. In order to reach decent ripeness (~25 °Brix), I have been growing with a very
I have 7 gallons (26 L) of 2009 Chardonnay made from home-grown grapes. This was my first year of production from these vines and I did not use oak or MLF. Fermentation
Barrel tests QCan you tell me what I really need to handle one to one and a half barrels of juice annually? The TA and pH kits that I have seen are
QHow many pounds of grapes will make five gallons (19 L) of wine? Are there guidelines for reds and whites and varieties within each of those groups? How much does vintage affect
Sugar solution I am fairly new to home winemaking having only made a few kits and three batches of Muscadine wine. I have been using Daniel Pambianchi’s book Techniques in Home Winemaking
QI am planning to try a new product on some older cabernet wine (2015 vintage) that has not yet been bottled. It has a harshness that might be related to tannins. It
The Wizard explores the many sensations that tasters experience as a wine goes from grapes, through fermentation, and into the early stages of aging; in order to be a better judge of a wine’s character when finished. Also, a reader has a question about properly adding acid to a barrel.
QHow do I get copper sulfate in accurate diluted food grade form? I would like to treat 5 gallons (19 L) of stinky fruit wine to get rid of the rotten sewer
A reader wonders about the usefulness of gum arabic in their winemaking process. The Wiz also talks about chilled red wines, the ups and downs of Pinot Noir, and increasing mouthfeel in your wines.
A concerned reader asks the Wizard why commercially-purchased wines might have their corks raised. She also answers questions on metabisulfite use before malolactic fermentation, when to re-test for pH, and dealing with Acetobacter issues.
QI have a Merlot to which I added SO2 thirteen days ago and it smelled ok. but last night I pulled a sample and it had a bruised apple smell and tasted
Your nose (bruised apple/sweet smell) and your chemical analysis (loss of Free SO2) are telling me that you have an oxygen ingress problem and aldehydes and perhaps an increase in VA (volatile
I need help to prevent oxidation. I make about 40 gallons (151 L) from California grapes each year, usually finishing quite nice, but last year’s Sangiovese suffers from oxidation. After fermentation and
Dear Wine Wizard, I am in the process of vinting a Champagne, and after having read of a couple of different ways to create the “sparkling” effect, I am now thoroughly confused.
Remember, every time you open your barrel, you introduce air and potentially some undesirable spoilage organisms.
Oak barrels (and barrels made of other woods, sometimes acacia wood or even cherry wood) are really structurally amazing.
Well, I will admit I have never made a passion fruit wine (living in Napa, those pesky grapes just seem to be the most convenient sugar source at hand) but I will