People tend to stick to the familiar and pleasurable in life, and while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your favorite Chardonnay or Zinfandel on a regular basis, remember the last time you tried a new varietal and were pleased by new and delicious flavors and aromas? It was probably an immediate addition to your favorites
As autumn rolls into winter, the average person’s appetite for a chilled white wine, ice-cold beer or slushy blender drink wanes. A hearty red wine with deep fruit and nice tannins can
I have to confess, I love glossaries. They’re the second section I check when I pick up a text or non-fiction book (the first is always the author’s picture: would I listen to this person in real life? If not I don’t buy the book. That’s why I hired an actor to stand in for
Once you’ve mastered the art and craft of making kit wines, what do you do with them? Drink them, of course! We don’t need to teach you how to drink and appreciate wine, but there are some finer points to cellaring, decanting and pairing wine with food that you may findhelpful. Building a wine collection
Winemaking takes some practice. Even the most careful kit winemaker can end up scratching his or her head and calling the local kit supplier or a kit manufacturer for help. It’s ok. Take a deep breath and take solace in the fact that many winemakers have come before you, many of them running into (and
Kits wines are designed so that the average person can produce a nice, drinkable wine. However, for the home winemaker interested in making the highest quality wine possible, there are several avenues to getting the best performance from your starting materials and making a truly great wine. As with any style of winemaking — whether
Wine kits contain all the ingredients you need to make a great wine, but the catch is that you have to actually make it. To get from a collection of ingredients to sharing a bottle of wine with some friends, you will need the proper equipment, an understanding of your kit’s contents and a feel
If you want your kit wine to turn out great every time, and avoid the pitfalls that crop up time and again, here are the seven highly fermentative habits you need to
Your wine won’t ferment. It ferments too quickly. It ferments too slowly. It won’t quit fermenting at all! The wine won’t clear in the carboy. No, wait: It’s clear in the carboy
When it comes to clarifying your wine kit, there are five “S’s” that will guide your way: Start, stir, smash, sweep, and suppress.
“A letter is an unannounced visit, the postman the agent of rude surprises. One ought to reserve an hour a week for receiving letters and afterwards take a bath.” -Friedrich Nietzsche Man, that Nietzsche was a grumpy Gus. I happen to love getting letters. Oh we get letters here at the “Wine Kits” column. We
The two changes we are going to discuss in this article are alcohol levels and tannin. It’s important to remember before we start that any change you make is completely interconnected to the character of the wine in what can be very subtle ways.
Grapes . . . they do seem to inspire metaphor, but not as much as they inspire winemakers and wine drinkers. It is the source of wine, the beverage we all know and love so much. (Well, one source: if there’s one thing I’ve learned in more than two decades of working in the consumer
This article we’ll be discussing immediate and intermediate strategies for making table wines that can be consumed very young while still delivering the full and delightful wine experience. Strategy one: go cheap — but not too cheap Value-priced wine kits, which are usually smaller-sized (two to three US-gallons/7.5-11-L in the box), are inexpensive because they
Unless you work in the industry, you’ll likely never have seen the inside of a wine kit manufacturer’s facility. For liability reasons, they don’t give tours to civilians. There’s something about running
In a recent study commissioned in the UK, researchers studied the sociological data of people who expressed a preference for either red or white wine. In addition to mundane facts (red wine drinkers have a slightly higher rate of college degrees, white wine drinkers are content stay-at-homes) a couple of very interesting things emerged: fans
Most home winemakers have limits on their winemaking space, equipment, cellar capacity or the ability of their liver to keep up. If you are one of those who has to pick and choose, this article could be a sort of personal bucket list, especially if like a lot of folks you’ve found a “house” wine
I had a very interesting conversation with a couple of veteran winemakers at a guided wine tasting I conducted this fall. Together, they had made dozens of batches of wine, were using advanced techniques and had won medals; most recently two gold, one silver and three bronze medals between them in the WineMaker International Amateur
The failure rate of wine made from kits is very low. Looking back at my database for the last 14 years and eliminating the weirder stuff (you simply would not believe how many pets find their way into fermenting vessels) it turns out that if you follow the instructions closely and have generally sound sanitation
While kegged wine has become fairly common in some bars, home winemakers still traditionally bottle. Learn some of the basics to kegging your wine.
You might not achieve perfection on the first try, but it’s certain that changing up your game can make a huge difference to your finished kit wine. What kind of difference? You can make a difference so big that when you’re done it might seem like a completely different wine altogether. When you know the
In this article I’m going to go into detail on the reasons behind two of the four most confusing concepts in kit winemaking: 1) Temperature, and why higher is better, and 2)
Try some new grape varieties similar to the tried and true varieties you already know you enjoy drinking.
When we tackle a big project it isn’t the immediate effort that pays off, but all of our work combined into one glorious enterprise. It’s the same with winemaking: A single effort to make better wine isn’t likely to pay big dividends, but persisting on a path of careful repeated efforts will yield big gains.