Writer: WineMaker Staff

I’ve started a batch of cranberry wine and added the pectic enzyme at the same time as the crushed Campden tablets — I was in a hurry!

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve started a batch of cranberry wine and added the pectic enzyme at the same time as the crushed Campden tablets — I was in a hurry! I was

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I’ve even heard of dandelion wine and wine made from grass clippings — can you make wine out of anything?

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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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Perhaps you could share your wisdom with me and offer some essential winemaking rules?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’m just getting started with winemaking and am looking for some general advice, perhaps a short list of the most important things to remember. Perhaps you could share your

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What are your top five rookie mistakes to avoid in winemaking?

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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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I really want to filter my Chardonnay like the big wineries do. Are there small-scale filters for people who only make a barrel of wine?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I really want to filter my Chardonnay like the big wineries do. Are there small-scale filters for people who only make a barrel of wine? Nathan Maas Portland, Oregon

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I’ve heard that a lot of wineries are using ozone for their sanitation programs…

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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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My thought is since I am in the TA range for a red wine, although at the low end, I am going to inoculate without any acid additions…

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The Acid Test I crushed and sulfited my Cab grapes. In doing the initial tests I got the following readings. Brix was 23.5 (+.22 temp correction) = 23.7, S.G. 1.099 (+.013 temp

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We just blended a 55 gal. 1997 oak barrel with a blend of 60% Zinfindel and 40% Merlot…

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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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I have added some complexity by blending different kits and using French wood barrels, but I haven’t resolved the tannin issue…

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Bringing up tannins I have been making wine kits for three years and want to boost complexity and tannin levels. I have added some complexity by blending different kits and using French

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In order to grow healthy grape vine root systems should I remove the first buds?

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Nip in the bud? I purchased and planted a few Nero d’Avola vines last December and have been carefully taking care of them ever since. I read that in order for the

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I am a wine lover, but unfortunately I have an intolerance to yeast…

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Yeast-free wine? I am a wine lover, but unfortunately I have an intolerance to yeast. Is there a yeast-free or low-yeast wine? John via email Though I’m no medical doctor (I limit

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As the weather warmed in May 2007, several of the wines in my basement started working again…

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MLF malfunction As the weather warmed in May 2007, several of the wines in my basement started working again, similar in appearance to a MLF fermentation. I also noticed renewed fermentation in

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I bottled an Amarone from juice about six months ago and opened a bottle last night and it has become carbonated…

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What’s with the fizz? I bottled an Amarone from juice about six months ago. I have been trying it every couple of months to see how it is coming along. I opened

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What else should I do to move from adequate wines to great wines?

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pH of non-grape wines I live in sunny Alaska and we don’t usually have a ready supply of grapes. I usually make dandelion, crabapple, blueberry, rhubarb, raspberry, rosehip and strawberry wines because

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Can I reuse bottles with screw on caps for bottling wine?

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Cap recycling Can I reuse bottles with screw on caps for bottling wine? Jim Neumeister via email What you describe, reusing commercial screwcap wine bottles for subsequent bottlings, is something no commercial


Can I visually see MLF in action like I do with standard fermentation?

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Visual MLF? I’ve got about 5 gallons of Baco Noir that just finished fermentation. I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York and I understand that both the region and

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Where do wineries buy high quality bottles from and is it possible to get my hands on a few cases?

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Bottle quest I have a few batches of wine under my belt. I have been plagued with either cheap, flat bottom bottles or stuck collecting and cleaning out empties. Where do wineries

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I have a batch of 2006 Chardonnay that tasted flabby so I had it tested for pH and TA…

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High pH and Low TA in a Chardonnay I have a batch of 2006 Chardonnay that has completed primary and secondary fermentation. It tasted flabby so I had it tested for pH

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Are any of the direct hybrids suitable for hot and dry climates?

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Grape varieties for dry climates I live in an area that gets about 10” of rain a year. I have read that Grenache and Mourvèdre do well in hot and dry climates

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We’ve all heard of comments about sulfites causing headaches…

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Shellfish and chitosan We’ve all heard of comments about sulfites or phenolic compounds causing headaches, but I use chitosan and kielsosol for clarifying agents. Chitosan is made from shellfish byproducts — could

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I’m interested in cold filtering to obtain alcohol-free wine…

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Ethanol exclusion I’m interested in cold filtering to obtain alcohol-free wine. How is this done and what equipment is needed?  Lloyd Duncan via email Alcohol removal remains a relatively infrequent process in


Some of our wine turned from still to sparkling…

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Sparkling to still? Some of our wine turned from still to sparkling. Can we change it back to still at this point? Will nitrogen sparging take care of it or do we

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I have had rosé and white wines with very low levels of CO2…

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A little fizzy I have had rosé and white wines with very low levels of CO2. They are not sparkling wines, nor as fizzy as a Vinho Verde. The wineries must inject

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Will I ruin my wine by reusing corks removed from other wine bottles with a corkscrew?

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Reusing corks? Will I ruin my wine by reusing corks removed from other wine bottles with a corkscrew? Jim Small Sultan, Washington There’s a simple answer to this question — you just


I am seeking an organic means to raise pH. Any suggestions?

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Raising pH the natural way I am seeking an organic means to raise pH. Any suggestions? Jim Romano Carrollton, Texas The most “organic,” natural way to raise the pH of your wine

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