Writer: Alex Russan

24 result(s).

Evaluating Wine: Being mindful of the sensory experience

Using all your senses when tasting wine is always encouraged by wine evaluation experts, but make sure that you are taking in the whole experience and not simply breaking it down and compartmentalizing the elements.

Maceration Enzymes: Making the most of these additions

There are a lot of enzyme products available to winemakers, but in general they can be broken into just a few classes. Learn when and why a winemaker might use some of these various enzymes, especially during maceration.

Sur Lie Aging

Aging wines on the lees can add aromatic complexity, soften tannins, enrich mouthfeel, protect it from oxygen, feed malolactic bacteria, and add longterm stability. Learn how to get the most from sur lie aging, and techniques for removing, storing, and reusing lees.

White Wine Aromatics: Factors to guide your white wines

It’s hard not to find appeal in the aromatics of a tropical fruit or floral Sauvignon Blanc or hints of vanilla, citrus, and caramel in a Chardonnay. But the road to get to those aromas takes vastly different paths. Alex Russan helps readers navigate the maze winemakers can take to maximize their white wine aromatics.

Live Chat with Alex Russan

Live Chat with Alex Russan, which took place on December 18, 2020.

Oak and Barrel Dynamics: Do’s and don’ts when it comes to wine and oak

The role of oak in our wines can fall on a broad spectrum and the type of oak products used can change the dynamics. Make sure you’ve got the lowdown on the impacts of oak and how it can be manipulated.

Red Wine Fermentation Considerations

When I was assigned the story detailing the decisions that come up during red wine fermentations, I began to block out the options and decision trees that occur before, during, and after


Albariño is Spain’s most famous white grape, best known from the country’s northwestern most department, Galicia, particularly the Rias Baixas (pronounced “Rias Bye-shas”) Denominación de Origen (D.O.). The jury is out on

Volatile Acidity: A little goes a long way

Many wine aficionados view volatile acidity (VA) as a very fine line between a good thing and a bad thing. Find out ways to control VA so that you can walk that line between a wine boost and a wine defect.

Making Berry Good Wines

Relative to grape wine, “berry wine” is a diverse category, encompassing anything from strawberries to blueberries to uncommon local berries few have heard of. The general idea is the same as making

Racking Strategies: Why and when to employ

While racking may seem like a tedious task at times, its impact on a wine can be profound. Learn some of the techniques that you can use and the decision-making process winemakers should consider before each racking cycle.

Live Chat with Alex Russan

Live Chat with Alex Russan, which took place on December 19, 2019.

When The Acid Kicks In: Don’t just factualize, conceptualize acid in wine

Getting a wine’s acid levels right plays a big role in perception and profile, but numbers only tell part of the story. Don’t just use numbers to decide how you treat your wine — use some sense and your senses.

Extraction Decisions: Keying into the details of maceration

With harvest just around the corner, it’s time to study up on your extraction plan for this year’s grapes. Alex Russan looks at some of the key decisions that winemakers need to make after the grapes are crushed and methods to get them to their goal.

Lees and You: Dead yeast can be your friend

Aging on fine lees has traditionally been reserved for Muscadets, white Burgundy wines, and classic champenoise-style wines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize this with other wines. Learn the hows and whys of aging your wine on lees.

Dessert Wines

Perfect for after-dinner treats, dessert wines are some of the most complex wines in the world. Get tips for making your own icewine, Sherry-style, and Port-style wines at home.

Chat with Alex Russan

Live Chat with Alex Russan, which took place on December 12, 2018.

SO2 Fundamentals

Sulfites get a bad rap in the world outside of true wine aficionados. Alex Russan takes readers on a journey through the world of sulfites and describes a couple schools of thought regarding its use throughout the winemaking process.

Cherry Picking Grapes

A good grape sorter is fast, efficient, and always with a keen eye towards prioritizing what grapes to use and what grapes to discard. Alex Russan walks winemakers through some of the crucial keys to being a good sorter.

A Walk Alongside Ripeness

How ripe your grapes are when picked is one of the most important factors in determining what your wine will taste like. Here is a closer look at how a grape’s development affects the resulting wine.

Fermentation Dynamics

There are temperature ranges advisable for fermenting all wine styles, but how does each end of that range affect the aroma, taste, and body of your wine?

Matching Wine Style to Vineyard Site

Evaluate the specific aspects of your vineyard site to determine the best wine style to grow on your property.

Choosing A Wine Press

There are two common options to choose between when it comes time for home winemakers to press their grapes. Take time to weigh the benefits of a basket press and bladder press before the fall harvest and determine which one best suits your winemaking needs.

Impact of Oxygen on Winemaking

Oxygen’s presence or absence at the various stages of winemaking can have extraordinarily important and lasting effects on what our wines taste like. Too much and you risk oxidation damage, too little and you risk reduction stink. The effects of oxygen on wine, much more so with red wines, may be the most complex and least understood part of the winemaking process.

24 result(s) found.