Writer: Bob Peak

59 result(s).

Aperitifs

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When you make your own aperitif wines at home — such as sweet and dry vermouth — you can then make your own cocktails with them. Learn the basics of making these drinks, plus three cocktail recipes sure to appease even your guests who aren’t wine drinkers.


Thinking Outside the Bottle: Presenting Your Homemade Wine

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With the holiday season approaching, presenting your homemade wine to friends and family should be a point of pride. Bob Peak offers readers several pointers to take a fun and festive approach to an evening pairing of your wine with guests.

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Using Tannins: Purposes, sources, and use in winemaking

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Tannins can provide a wine with a lot more than just astringency. They can also be useful in white and rosé wines as well if used properly. Bob Peak gives a tour of the benefits of various tannin products available to hobby winemakers.


Determining Ripeness

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Determining when grapes are ready to harvest is one of the most important decisions of the entire vintage. Here’s what to look for.

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Making Wine From Juice

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You may be curious about a way of making wine intermediate between using fresh fruit and making kit wines. Increasingly popular, the hobby of making wine from grape juice comes in two

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Unconventional Additives

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There are lots of possibilities for adding extracts, flavorings, herbs, and spice when you are making wine at home. We explore a variety of options.

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Controlling Fermentation Temperature

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Many hobby winemakers believe that fermentation temperature control is beyond their reach — but this isn’t so! Discover how to keep temperatures in the proper range.

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Adjust Your Must

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There are many points throughout the winemaking process where a winemaker must make adjustments
in order to influence the final outcome. When the grapes come into the winery, the very first choices you will make as a winemaker will be done in the unfermented must.

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Crushing Grapes

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Supposedly there are many ways to skin a cat, but we’re not familiar with any of them. Luckily for winemakers, Bob Peak knows many ways to crush a grape, and is willing to explain.

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Proper Equipment Storage

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When done using your winemaking equipment, make sure it is properly cleaned and stored so it will be ready to use next harvest season.

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Fermentation and Aging Containers

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Oak, Glass, Plastic, and Stainless Steel wine container must be sturdy enough for the purpose and not likely to introduce negative changes to the wine quality. Size is important, depending on the

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Fermenter Options for any Size Home Winery

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When setting out to make wine from grapes, one of the first major decisions is what you will use as a fermentation container. For most winemaking, you will need a primary fermenter

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Tannin Chemistry in Wine

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It all starts with phenol. The tannins in wine make up one of the subgroups in a larger chemical family known as polyphenols. Those, in turn, are made up of phenol-derived molecules

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Red Wine Color Stability

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Keep the color in your reds by learning about color stability and how to achieve it.

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15 Facts About Wine Yeast

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For more than 10 years I have been a home winemaker and for almost that long I have also brewed beer. Before that, I was general manager at a company that sells

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Winemaking by the Numbers

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There are lots of ways to help winemakers learn or refine their craft. Most of those involve lists of equipment and supplies, along with step-by-step or time-based instructions for what to do


Performing Bench Trials

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At first glance, bench trials for home winemaking may seem like more trouble than they’re worth. Variously called bench trials, bench tests, or even kitchen table trials, they are focused experiments targeted

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Maceration Tips and Techniques

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“Maceration,” says the Concise Oxford Dictionary, is to “soften by soaking.” In red winemaking it is so much more! Indeed, maceration may be viewed as the very essence of what distinguishes the

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The Science of Food and Wine Pairing

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“Carignane and goat cheese,” said Tony Ross, wine educator at Passalacqua Winery near Healdsburg, California. During a judging session for a local home wine competition, Tony and I were on the same

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Fining Your Way to Clear Wine

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Fining of wine is the addition of one substance to remove another. This basic definition often stretches to include adding more than one substance at a time, stabilizing wine without necessarily removing

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Pairing Yeast with Grape

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Start with the grapes. Whether you make wine at home from fresh grapes, juice, or frozen must, there are many influences over the quality and character of your wine. Grape variety itself

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Blending Fruit and Grape Wines

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“Blending is a natural procedure, honest, necessary, and in accordance with historical events.” With that quote, eminent wine authority Emile Peynaud gives us permission to play with our wines. While he was

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Back Sweetening Wine Techniques

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In ancient Greece and Rome, honey was sometimes stirred into wine just before serving. Maybe they just liked the taste of honey. More likely, though, the sweetness of the honey corrected some

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Chaptalization and Fermentation

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“Commercially, winemakers encounter several scenarios in which they practice sugar addition. Typically, winemaking laws allow chaptalization in jurisdictions that frequently experience difficulty getting grapes ripe or in places where low-sugar grapes may

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Making Fortified Wine

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The word “fortified” is prohibited on commercial wine labels in the United States. Yet we are surrounded by a fascinating array of fortified wines when we visit a good wine shop. Fortified

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