Writer: Alison Crowe

395 result(s).

Colossal Corking: Wine Wizard

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QWhere can an amateur buy a cork for a 3-liter bottle? The one I have measures 2 1/8“ by 13/16” (54 mm by 30 mm). I have several of these bottles and

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What Could Lead To A Stalled MLF

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Malolactic fermentations tend to stall, or not catch on at all, due to these seven most common factors: High alcohol: Over 14.5% and most strains will go through slowly. Over 15.5% and

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Evaluating Wine “Numbers”

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So, stick with me for a little bit as I get a little philosophical for this one as the answer isn’t straightforward but necessitates a little rambling. My frequent readers will know

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The Oak Necessities, Wine “Numbers” and Stalled MLF

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Just like many aspects of winemaking, decisions need to be made about how much you’re willing to invest and oak barrels are one
of the biggest ticket items. The Wizard has some advice for oak
alternatives, as well as feedback on “wine numbers” and when your MLF stalls.

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The Oak Necessities

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There are a lot of benefits to aging wines in oak barrels . . . but the costs of buying one is not on that list. Luckily there are alternatives. Photo courtesy

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Carbs in Wine & Bottle Styles: Wine Wizard

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QRecently I had an inquiry from a diabetic in regards to the amounts of carbs, sugars and calories in dry white and red wines made from concentrated kits. In calling the manufacturers,

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Leaking Corks & Special Enzymes: Wine Wizard

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QI recently made my first batch of white Zinfandel from a kit. I followed the directions and it’s coming along fine. I bottled and used synthetic corks in the bottles. I let

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Fruit Flies & Hot Petite Sirah: Wine Wizard

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QI am following the recipe for tomato wine from the August-September 2002 issue. The recipe says to loosely cover the must in the primary fermenter with a plastic sheet. But after about

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Weird Wines & Fish Tanks: Wine Wizard

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QMy friends have been asking me weird winemaking questions. I can’t answer them. Can you? If a yeast packet says it makes 1–5 gallons (3.8–19 L) of wine, what would be the

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High-pH Wine, Stabilizing Whites and Cucumber Wine

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Higher pH wine can be easily fixed . . . but the question is, should they be? As is often the case, the answer is sometimes. The Wiz digs deep into one reader’s pH dilemma as well as properly stabilizing a white wine and a fermentation question on a cucumber wine.

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Concentrate vs. Acid Blend & Filtering Concerns: Wine Wizard

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QI am considering making a five-to-six gallon batch of peach or apricot wine. A friend said I can add a can of white grape-juice concentrate (100% fruit) in place of an acid

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Dry Wine & Mystery Grapes: Wine Wizard

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QI like ’em dry. Question? My last batch of Merlot (2001) came out too sweet. What can I do now if I want the finished wine to have less sweetness? R.J. Yalch

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Vanilla and Fluted Bottles: Wine Wizard

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QI often hear about the vanilla flavors in red wines. I know that those flavors are derived over time from aging in oak barrels. I wanted to know what would happen if

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Sulfite-Free Wine & A Cool Quandry: Wine Wizard

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QI am a beginning winemaker. I have yet to make my first batch, but I just got a kit that contains Pinot Noir juice. I want to make a sulfite-free wine because

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Cooking Corks & Mead “Demustified”: Wine Wizard

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QI’ve been brewing beer for about 10 years, so I’m pretty well acquainted with the cleaning process. This is my third year making wine, and I recently received some corking advice that

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Choosing Yeast, Boosting Alcohol: Wine Wizard

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QI recently inadvertently added the wrong yeast to a new batch of frozen Chardonnay juice. I had planned on using Lallemand’s ICV-D47 but picked up Red Star’s Côte des Blancs, it was

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Stench of Sulfur & Excess CO2: Wine Wizard

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QHere’s one problem you may have been asked about before. My finished wine has an aroma and taste of rubber and burnt toast, a bit like burnt rubber. Since I will be

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Fizzy Wine & Gravity Readings: Wine Wizard

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QI have just made my first batch of wine, a white one. Funny things have been happening to it. Everything seemed to go well with the fermentation of the wine. When it

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Wrecked Riesling & Adding Oak: Wine Wizard

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QI had a great Riesling going this vintage, but now I’ve stuffed it up. I nursed it along until the last racking, when I seem to have put in an overload of

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Cloudy Chardonnay & Lambrusco Grapes: Wine Wizard

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QAfter I stabilized my wine, I added French medium toast oak beans to the Chardonnay 3/4 cup (new beans), Sauvignon Blanc 1/3 cup (new beans), Ruisseau Blanc 3/4 cup (used beans), and

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Adding Sugar & Wine Kit Chemicals: Wine Wizard

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QHow can I increase the sugar content and body of my juice without using refined sugar? I am looking for cheaper alternatives. Please point me to specific recipes. Azubuike OgalaOxford, New Jersey

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Sugar Content & Malolactic Fermentation: Wine Wizard

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QI have been making wines for more than 20 years, but I have a problem with initial sugar determinations, added sugar requirements and subsequent alcohol content. Hydrometer readings on the initial crushed

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The Solera System & Copper Caution: Wine Wizard

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QA few years ago I toured some wineries on a trip through Michigan and found one that was quite unique. One of the methods of this winery was called “solera.” This method

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Killer Bacteria & pH: Wine Wizard

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QI own a small store in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I have two customers with the same problem and I have no solution. Both batches were made with a four-week wine kit. The

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Adding Oak & Rehydrating Yeast: Wine Wizard

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QI make wine in five-gallon batches from juice that I buy in Canada. I also buy skins, stems, and small bags of toasted oak chips, then let it all age in five-gallon

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