Wine Wizard

The Sulfite Blues

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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

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Passion Fruit Wine

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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

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Brown Colored White Wine

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Sorry to say, but it sounds like you’ve got a no-bueno situation. White grapes should always be pressed as soon as possible after picking in order to reduce juice (and subsequent wine)

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Fining Red Wines

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Red wines are typically not fined as often as white wines, to which we often add bentonite in order to remove potentially haze-causing proteins. The tannin from the skins of red wines

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Use Of Bleach In A Winery

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My rule is no chlorine bleach in my wineries, never, nohow. Anything containing chlorine might contribute to the dreaded “corked wine aroma,” 2-4-6 trichloroanisole (TCA), in your finished wines. It can be

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Questionable ‘Premium’ Grapes

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That’s an interesting data set you present there. What I’m about to tell you, please take with many grains of salt because I am not privy to the growing locations of your

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Ripper Test On Red Wine

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The short answer to your question: yes, if you dilute your wine sample before running a Ripper analysis for SO2, you then need to multiply your result by the dilution factor you

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Wine Pump Options

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Wow, can I fly to the Philippines for a little research and equipment-scouting trip? We can sample some of your wine, do a little research into tropical fruit winemaking, go see what

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How To Date A Country Wine

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Well well, what do you know? That’s a question I’ve never been asked before in all my years of writing this column! The spirit of the vintage laws for commercial wine is

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Over-yeasting?

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There are a few effects on a wine if you add more yeast. Number one, the fermentation might start a little faster and go to completion faster because there are simply more

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Bottle Selection For Sparkling Wine

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Ah, the Wiz has visions of broken bottles in your future and it’s a prognostication I wouldn’t like to see become reality. Let’s just say my Fermentation Magic 8 Ball says, “See

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Vinifera in Florida?

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I would be very cautious (or at least very realistic) about buying Vitis vinifera vines for your Florida vineyard. Most states in the country have their own burgeoning vineyard and winery region

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Post-Fermentation Acid Adjustments

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I would only adjust with tartaric acid, and not an “acid blend” that contains either malic or citric acids. Both of the latter can be fermented by organisms in the bottle. On

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Finding Ideal SO2 Levels

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You do an excellent job of outlining one of the major conundrums we all experience in the winemaking world. How much SO2 do we need to add to our wines to keep

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What Kind Of Water To Use In My Wine Kit

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To address your first question: A chemistry teacher in high school once mentioned that since distilled water was free of minerals and many dissolved gasses, it behaved differently in osmotic equilibrium situations

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Color Problems In My Pinot Noir

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I had this exact problem happen to me this year with one of my lots of Russian River Pinot. Thankfully, the original brick-red color disappeared and was replaced by bright red once

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Transporting Wine

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When moving wine, the main thing to be concerned about is temperature change and since you’ve got carboys, spillage! For the first factor, any kind of moving truck where the back payload

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Harvesting Decision Making

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That is indeed a situation I face every year and is part of the delicate dance of being a winemaker. As many of my readers know, I believe that picking is the

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Growing Grapes In Albuquerque

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I’m thrilled for your new move because Albuquerque is just about as far north in New Mexico as you want to be planting traditional wine grapes of Vitis vinifera. Many grape types

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Sluggish Fermentation Woes

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Hmmm, it sounds like you’ve got a little bit of sugar left there. I would start, however, with a quick check of your numbers to be sure. A °Brix of -1.0 (0.995

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Hangover Myths Revealed

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I just read the article you refer to, which seems to claim that “natural wine” (an ill-defined term, which in the article seems to mean “minimal sulfites added except at bottling” or

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Cooking With Wine

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Making a red wine reduction is a great way to create a concentrated, flavorful sauce! I do it frequently myself when I’m cooking and it works great with red, white or sweet

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Using Tartaric Acid

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I absolutely recommend that you bring your TA up and your pH down after MLF is complete. This is best accomplished by tartaric acid, because wine bacteria will not consume tartaric acid;

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Hybrid Grapes Winemaking

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Good for you for planting a nice selection of grapes! You’re absolutely right, that with Utah’s higher latitude, often-high altitude, and warmer summers, you get a bit more extreme growing season than

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Over-Sulfited Wine

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Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Sounds like you have a lot of sulfur dioxide in that wine! Assuming standard FSO2 for bottled wine being around 25 ppm, am I correct in

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