Ask Wine Wizard

The Wine Wizard’s “Pearls of Wiz-dom”


Stacy Beamer — San Carlos, California asks,


I really enjoy your column and have been a big fan over the years. I’ve even heard you speak at some of the WineMaker Conferences, which are always really fun. I love the way you put things and love your bits of “winemaking wiz-dom” that you share with us. Is there any way you could distill down for me some of your “pearls of wiz-dom” in one of your columns? It’d be fun to see what you think are some of the most important axioms of winemaking.

Thanks for your kind words! I always really enjoy the WineMaker Conferences and connecting with the readership — it helps me put names and faces to the invisible readership out there and I so much enjoy doing a little “Wine Wizard Live.” So, in an attempt to take up your challenge, here are some snippets of “Wiz-dom” (as you put it, lol) that I do seem to find myself repeating in the columns and in my talks . . . consider it a lovingly-edited “Best of” list from me to you! Five Golden Rules of Winemaking Your wine is only as good as your starting material. Acid is the backbone of a wine. Learn the science behind the art. Listen to your wine. Let the wine tell you the path it needs to tread, don’t force it. Don’t take wine, or yourself, too seriously. • The single most important decision a winemaker can make for a wine is when to pick or selecting raw material if you don’t buy grapes (but I assume many of you do).• Timing of the
Response by Alison Crowe.