Writer: WineMaker Staff

Fizzy Wine & Gravity Readings: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have just made my first batch of wine, a white one. Funny things have been happening to it. Everything seemed to go well with the fermentation of the

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2001 Label Contest Winners

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Gold Medal Winners Joan Huff Louisville, Kentucky Joan won honorable mention in last year’s contest with a similarly colorful label. She and her husband ordered some Muscat grapes from California and things

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Can I have some advice on malo-lactic fermentation and its impact on acidity?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I raised the TA of the must from 0.5 to 0.6 at the beginning of fermentation for my red wine. Should I still add malolatic bacteria to start MLF

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Sugar Content & Malolactic Fermentation: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making wines for more than 20 years, but I have a problem with initial sugar determinations, added sugar requirements and subsequent alcohol content. Hydrometer readings on

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Cloudy Chardonnay & Lambrusco Grapes: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, After I stabilized my wine, I added French medium toast oak beans to the Chardonnay 3/4 cup (new beans), Sauvignon Blanc 1/3 cup (new beans), Ruisseau Blanc 3/4 cup

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I want to drip a wax coating on the top of my bottles to add that special touch. Can you advise me on how to do this?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’m bottling some mead, and wanted to add that extra special touch to the finished product. I’ve seen some bottles with a wax coating on the top, the kind


Are the lumbrusca riparia grapes I’m growing the same kind of grapes used to make lambrusco wine?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’m new to wine making but I have made beer and mead for three years. What types of grapes and yeast are used to make lambrusco wine? Also the


I added oak beans to several different batches of wine at the same time. Only my Chardonnay turned milky and hazy while the other wines were clear. Do you have any idea what happened?

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Dear Wine Wizard, After I stabilized my wine, I added French medium toast oak beans to the Chardonnay 3/4 cup (new beans), Sauvignon Blanc 1/3 cup (new beans), Ruisseau Blanc 3/4 cup

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Spring Cleaning for Winemakers: Tips from the Pros

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Spring is often seen as a time for cleaning, and there’s plenty for the home winemaker to do after a long winter. This includes scrubbing away the grime, dust and cobwebs that

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Adding Sugar & Wine Kit Chemicals: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, How can I increase the sugar content and body of my juice without using refined sugar? I am looking for cheaper alternatives. Please point me to specific recipes. Azubuike

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Can I use my copper immersion wort chiller from brewing with my mead or other wines?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I made homebrewed beer for a long time, but during the last couple of years I have gravitated more towards making wine and mead. I know that it’s safe

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Can you explain the “solera” system of aging your wine?

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Dear Wine Wizard, A few years ago I toured some wineries on a trip through Michigan and found one that was quite unique. One of the methods of this winery was called


2000 WineMaker Label Contest Winners

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After crawling our way out of the large piles of boxes, envelopes and packages that have been collecting on the floor of the editorial department for the past two months, we managed

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The Solara System & Copper Caution: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, A few years ago I toured some wineries on a trip through Michigan and found one that was quite unique. One of the methods of this winery was called

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Feeding Your Yeast & Elderberries: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I am planning to brew my first mead this weekend. I will be using a recipe that calls for “yeast extract,” which I take to be the same as

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How can I best rid my wine of tartrate crystals?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have had two five-gallon carboys in my garage at temperatures ranging from the teens to 40° F for 3 weeks. Is this long enough for the tartrates to

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I just bought my first barrel and opted for a paraffin-lined model. Will this work or do I need charred barrels for wine aging?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making wine and other spirits for a long time and have even been known to drink wine before its time. This year I decided to age

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When I opened my blueberry-Zinfandel wine I was struck by a strong acetone-type smell. Am I experiencing bottle sickness or TCA?

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Dear Wine Wizard, About a month ago I bottled my first blueberry Bordeaux. I used fresh blueberries and red Zinfandel concentrate. I adjusted the taste at bottling and it was great! The

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A sediment like fine sand is appearing in my homemade wine after it is opened. Can you tell me what’s going on?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I made a Concord wine about nine months ago and bottled it for Christmas. I put gelatin in it twice to remove sediment and to clear up my wine.


What does “surely” mean when referring to winemaking? I can’t find a definition anywhere.

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Dear Wine Wizard, Hi there! I’m a teacher of wine at the Olive Garden restaurant in Dallas, Texas. I was wondering if you could help me understand what “surely” means when referring

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Sediment Fallout & Off-odors: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I made a Concord wine about nine months ago and bottled it for Christmas. I put gelatin in it twice to remove sediment and to clear up my wine.

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Killer Bacteria & pH: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I own a small store in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I have two customers with the same problem and I have no solution. Both batches were made with a four-week

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What can cause homemade wine to have a slight “vinegar” taste?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I own a small store in Yellowknife, Northwest Terri-tories. I have two customers with the same problem and I have no solution. Both batches were made with a four-week


Is it better to separate free-run wine from the pressed wine during fermentation and should they be blended before bottling if you are making Zinfandel?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Our Zinfandel wine is now in secondary fermenters, with free-run wine separate from the pressed. Do you have advice on allowing the free and pressed wines to go their

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I did not rehydrate my yeast before I pitched it. How do I do this and what happens if I don’t?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I did not rehydrate my yeast before I pitched it. How do I do this and what happens if I don’t? John Eastwood Cleveland Wine Wizard replies: Rehydrating yeast

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