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Wine Wizard

Bottle Selection For Sparkling Wine

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


Vinifera in Florida?

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


Post-Fermentation Acid Adjustments

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


Finding Ideal SO2 Levels

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


What Kind Of Water To Use In My Wine Kit

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


Color Problems In My Pinot Noir

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


Transporting Wine

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


Harvesting Decision Making

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


Growing Grapes In Albuquerque

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


Sluggish Fermentation Woes

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


Hangover Myths Revealed

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


Cooking With Wine

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


Using Tartaric Acid

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;


Hybrid Grapes Winemaking

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


Over-Sulfited Wine

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


Free SO2 Levels

It seems that you and Craig are going through many of the same issues (see this question and answer). Like I mentioned to Craig, it’s really impossible to add enough sulfur dioxide


Stuck Fermentations

Before you start going crazy with a fermentation restart protocol, are you sure that it is really stuck? The first thing that I would advise you to do is to taste and


Pomace Compost

Pomace, which is the skins, seeds and stems leftover from wine processing and pressing, can indeed be returned to the field as a soil amendment. You deposit it in a thin layer


Ring Around The Carboy

The short story — and the good news — is that no one will get sick from this batch because no human pathogen can survive in wine. Alcohol and acidity will kill


Transplanting Vines

Depending on the age of the grapevine, and it sounds like it could still be young since you say it’s “small,” it is indeed possible to transplant grapevines. It takes a lot


Calculating ABV

This is a great question. Luckily the answer is simple. You still only calculate potential alcohol based on the original Brix reading. “Negative Brixes,” or when the density of your fermented solution


Why The Tiny Bubbles?

There are so many microbes that can produce tiny bubbles in new wines that perhaps your question should be, what microbes will not produce tiny bubbles in dry must? Everything from (of


Adjusting Acid In An Aged Wine

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


Freezing Grape Must

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)


Over-Sulfited My Wine

I’m not sure if in the above question you are referring to having over-added to grape juice or to finished wine. Regardless, adding 45 grams of potassium metabisulfite, which is about 58%