Writer: WineMaker Staff

Fruit and Grape Blends: Tips from the Pros

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Ken Korando came to winemaking by way of entrepreneurship. Educated as an electronics engineer, he and a colleague patented technology used to decline balance debit cards – the sort of technology that

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2007 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition Results!

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From April 20–22, 2007, a record total of 3,422 different wines were judged at the Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vermont. The 2007 edition of the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition represented the

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Blending and testing: Wine Wizard

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The Zin of Blending We just blended a 55 gal. 1997 oak barrel with a blend of 60% Zinfindel and 40% Merlot. Whatever comes out, we’re going to drink it! But could

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How can I locate a specific variety of grapes to buy?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I came back from Australia six months ago and was fortunate enough to visit the Hunter Valley. I brought back some wine and among the bottles was a Chardonnay/Verdelho

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How often should wine equipment be sanitized? And are certain sanitation products preferable to others for certain pieces of equipment?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I just have a brief question regarding wine sanitation. How often should wine equipment be sanitized? If there is need for continuous sanitation, at which point in the process

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What could cause the acid levels in my wine to rise as it ages?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making wine from fresh grapes such as Chambourcin, Champanell, Mustang, Muscat Blanc and Blanc du Bois. My situation is that the total acidity (TA) rises during

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Ozone Sanitation and Filtering Facts: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve heard that a lot of wineries are using ozone for their sanitation programs. I make about ten barrels of wine a year — should I buy an ozonator

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I’ve heard both “yes” and “no” on soaking corks before bottling… So to soak or not to soak?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve heard both “yes” and “no” on soaking corks before bottling. All of the commercial wineries I’ve visited don’t soak their corks before bottling. Can you set us straight

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A friend recommended microwaving corks in a bowl of water to sanitize them…

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Dear Wine Wizard, A friend recommended microwaving corks in a bowl of water to sanitize them. Is this a better alternative to soaking them in sulfite solution? Simon Cole United Kingdom Wine

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Force-Carbonating Wine to Sparkle

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Ah! There’s nothing like a nice bottle of chilled bubbly to sip as an aperitif while preparing dinner, or for those of you who already cannot wait for summer, to sip on


Cork Questions: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve heard both “yes” and “no” on soaking corks before bottling. All of the commercial wineries I’ve visited don’t soak their corks before bottling. Can you set us straight


2006 WineMaker Label Contest Winners

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See the winning labels from the 2006 WineMaker label contest.

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pH pHacts: Tips from the Pros

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Wine and grape juice is a naturally acidic solution. A pH reading has an inverse relationship with acidity, in that, the lower the pH measure, the higher the acidity. While a wine’s

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5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve been making wine for about a year now and I’m wondering if you’d be willing to help me out with a wrap-up of some of your winemaking wisdom.

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Fermenting Anything & Pectic: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, Though most of us think “grapes” when we think wine, I live in Michigan and can’t help but notice that wineries out here make wine out of a lot

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Locating Grapes & Cleaning Presses: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I came back from Australia six months ago and was fortunate enough to visit the Hunter Valley. I brought back some wine and among the bottles was a Chardonnay/Verdelho

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What is the best way to store plastic fermentation tubs and keep them clean?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Many home winemakers have food grade plastic tubs (5 or 6-gallon volume) used for primary fermentation, stored for that fantastic next batch. I formerly used bleach to keep them

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Acidity & Aging: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making wine from fresh grapes such as Chambourcin, Champanell, Mustang, Muscat Blanc and Blanc du Bois. My situation is that the total acidity (TA) rises during

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of bulk aging in a 6-gallon (23-L) carboy as opposed to in a bottle?

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Dear Wine Wizard, What are the advantages and disadvantages of bulk aging in a 6-gallon (23-L) carboy as opposed to in a bottle. Also, is aging in the carboy for a year

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Chlorine Conundrum & Country Wines: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, Many home winemakers have food grade plastic tubs (5 or 6-gallon volume) used for primary fermentation, stored for that fantastic next batch. I formerly used bleach to keep them

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2005 WineMaker Label Contest Winners!

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View the winning labels of the 2005 WineMaker label contest.

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When using oak cubes in a recipe from concentrate, at what stage in the process should they be added?

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Dear Wine Wizard, When using oak cubes in a recipe from concentrate, at what stage in the process should they be added. Also, what’s the general time frame that they should be

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How do you prepare ahead for topping up your barrels with wine? Do you set aside wine in a carboy to use later in the barrels?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I am a novice home winemaker and have been contemplating making the move from carboy and bottle-aging to barrel-aging some of my reds. It is my understanding that a

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I noticed an oily film on top of my Norton before I racked it. What should I be worried about and how do I fix it?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve made Norton for a few years. This year I noticed an oily film on top before I racked. It smelled and tasted decent. What should I be worried

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Do you know anyone who has used non-fermentable sweeteners like stevia for adjusting a wine post-fermentation?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Our local winemaker (at Galena Cellars) can detect potassium sorbate in wine, after it is used to prevent refermentation in sweetened-back wines. I’d like to substitute a non-fermentable sweetener

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