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
“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
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
“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
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
Home winemakers know pH and acid are related when they make wine. Beyond that, the details sometimes get a little fuzzy. Shedding some light on how these important parameters are — and
There is lots of information out there about how to run various juice and wine analytical procedures at home if you want to do that. If you do not want to run
Here are some tips and suggestions on cellaring your homemade wine and maintaining the cellar itself. The cellar “The cellar” has a wide range of interpretations for home winemakers. If you have
There is more to cellaring bulk wine than meets the eye. Home winemakers heave a sigh of relief when the last of the harvest processing is done, but the job is not
As renowned French wine scientist Emile Peynaud wrote, “Bottling is a very stressful operation for a wine and the enological problems it causes are numerous: Considerable oxygen uptake, keeping out microorganisms and
Make wine at home for a few years and you will probably accumulate a lot of stuff. Pieces of equipment join the collection as the needs and resources come up. Consumable supplies
Country wine is a term often applied to just about any wine made from something other than wine grapes. Most often, that means other fruits. Sometimes, country wine is made from vegetables
Many a home winery gets by just fine with no pump at all. If your hobby grows, though, you may find that many routine tasks are made simpler with the help of
Oxidation gets a lot of attention in winemaking — and it should! WineMaker magazine has covered oxidation issues from several different angles over the past few years. While some presence of oxygen
One group of internationally famous wines — the Super Tuscans — has come to represent revolutionary change in the wine world in the last few decades. After long-held traditional principles and practices
In large wineries, functional spaces are usually separated. There may be a crush pad, one or more fermentation rooms, and a cellar or cave for barrel aging. Most of us at home
All home winemakers wish — and strive — for fermentations that go smoothly and completely to the desired finish, usually dry wine. When things go wrong, a frequent problem is a stuck
Our job isn’t finished when fermentation is over. With many wines, especially reds, you may want to go ahead and do a malolactic (ML) fermentation as well. And during cellaring you need
Getting sick of the same old Cab? Try a red wine that’s more out of the mainstream, like Carménère, Charbono, Dolcetto, Montepulciano, or Tinta Cão.
As I started working on this story, a surprising question occurred to me: “What makes wine white?” “The color” seems obvious when you look at a restaurant wine list or walk up
There are lots of reasons to try blending white wines, such as adding complexity, correcting a deficiency, or simply making something fun and new. Find out more about which white grapes work well together, and how to plan the perfect blend.
It its simplest, degas means “to remove gas from.” While the practice can apply to any unwanted gas, we have a very specific objective in mind in winemaking. We mean to remove
There are many components in wine that all need to work together to create balance. Find out how to juggle acidity, alcohol, residual sugar, tannins, color, flavor components, and more.
Perfectly ripe. That is how most winemakers — amateur and professional — want the grape crop to come in for every vintage. “Perfectly ripe” involves a whole host of factors. For home