Writer: WineMaker Staff

Fizziness in Concentrate: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I made a Muscadine wine this year that ended up very dry with harsh flavor. I wanted it to have more of a grape flavor so I added some

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I’ve noticed crystals forming inside my Zinfandel bottles. Do you have an explanation?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making red Zinfandel wine at home with juice concentrate. I‘ve noticed crystals forming inside and they stick to the bottle. When you shake the bottle they

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Can you use a spare refrigerator on a low setting to store red wines?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have a nice little 30-bottle wine fridge in the house but it’s bursting at the seams with the fruits of my labor (or the labors of my fruit,

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Plastic charges: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I used isinglass as a clarifier in my Viognier. I have it in a 55-gallon plastic food-grade barrel. It started to settle out some of the particles but never

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Can Lambrusco wine be refrigerated for several months and then safely kept on a wine rack?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Can Lambrusco wine be refrigerated for several months and then safely kept on a wine rack? What is the expiration time frame for this wine? Jeanne Considine Boulder, Colorado

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Is it possible for the potassium metabisulfite powder I use for sanitizing to lose its strength over time?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have a question about sanitizing. I just mixed a fresh batch of potassium metabisulfite (1.5 oz. powder to 1 gallon water) to sanitize my equipment, and this latest


2003 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition Winners!

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1,499 entries 287 wine flights 221 total judging hours 41 American states 8 Canadian provinces 4 countries Walking into a large ballroom packed with 1,499 wine bottles organized into 287 wine flights

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Crystals & Wine Fridges: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making red Zinfandel wine at home with juice concentrate. I‘ve noticed crystals forming inside and they stick to the bottle. When you shake the bottle they

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Why does red wine give me a headache, but white wine doesn’t (assuming I haven’t had too much of either)?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Why does red wine give me a headache, but white wine doesn’t (assuming I haven’t had too much of either)? Jack Anders Richmond, Virginia Wine Wizard replies: The “red

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Can I use a fish aquarium as a fermenter?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Could I make wine in an aquarium or would the glue cause a problem? Dean Mehrkens Thief River Falls, Minnesota Wine Wizard replies: “This is the dawning of the

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Can I add yeast to Mountain Dew or Sprite to make it into a “wine”?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Can I add yeast to Mountain Dew or Sprite to make it into a “wine”? Dean Mehrkens Thief River Falls, Minnesota Wine Wizard replies: Whoa. Sprite or Mountain Dew?

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If a yeast packet says it makes 1-5 gallons (3.8-19L) of wine, what would be the difference between using it for 1 gallon or for 5? Will using it for 1 gallon give the wine a higher alcohol content or yeastier taste?

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Dear Wine Wizard, If a yeast packet says it makes 1–5 gallons (3.8–19 L) of wine, what would be the difference between using it for 1 gallon or for 5? Will using


Santizing & Lambrusco: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I have a question about sanitizing. I just mixed a fresh batch of potassium metabisulfite (1.5 oz. powder to 1 gallon water) to sanitize my equipment, and this latest

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What is your opinion of enzymes added to wine to improve color, mouthfeel and flavor?

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Dear Wine Wizard, Lallzyme EX is a specially-formulated enzyme that supposedly yields improved color intensity, greater mouthfeel and enhanced fruity, floral and spicy flavors in red wine. Have you ever heard of

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Is there a way to stop corks from leaking?

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Dear Wine Wizard, I recently made my first batch of white Zinfandel from a kit. I followed the directions and it’s coming along fine. I bottled and used synthetic corks in the


Weird Wines & Fish Tanks: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, My friends have been asking me weird winemaking questions. I can’t answer them. Can you? If a yeast packet says it makes 1–5 gallons (3.8–19 L) of wine, what

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Picking the Proper Yeast: Tips from the Pros

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  Winemaker: Stephen Smith attended wine appreciation classes at Denver University in 1982–84, winemaking seminars at the New Mexico Wine and Vine Society in Albuquerque from 1984 to the present, and extension

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Picking the Proper Wine Yeast: Tips from the Pros

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Stephen Smith attended wine appreciation classes at Denver University in 1982–84, winemaking seminars at the New Mexico Wine and Vine Society in Albuquerque from 1984 to the present, and extension courses at

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I was thinking of adding oak chips in cheesecloth to a gallon carboy of red Zinfandel for one month; any experience with this?

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Dear Wine Wizard: I was thinking of adding oak chips in cheesecloth to a gallon carboy of red Zinfandel for one month; any experience with this? Pierre Desocio Syracuse, New York Wine

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Can you remove excess sulfite from a batch of wine?

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Dear Wine Wizard: I had a great Riesling going this vintage, but now I’ve stuffed it up. I nursed it along until the last racking, when I seem to have put in


Grapevine Diseases

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One of the trickiest parts of being a good viticulturist is learning to deal with grapevine diseases. The literature on the subject is exhaustive in its breadth and complexity — and exhausting


Delestage Fermentation: Techniques

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As an enophile, I enjoy almost every type and style of wine. However, my true love is — and always has been — big, bold, oak-aged reds, the type built for the


Leaking Corks & Special Enzymes: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I recently made my first batch of white Zinfandel from a kit. I followed the directions and it’s coming along fine. I bottled and used synthetic corks in the

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Making Blueberry Wine: Tips from the Pros

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Two pros offer advice to make a great blueberry wine at home.


Do you have any suggestions for a wine that came out too “hot” with a higher than expected alcohol content?

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Dear Wine Wizard: Last fall I made wine from Petite Sirah grapes that were extremely sweet. I used Premier Cuvée yeast, which happened to be high in alcohol tolerance. This yielded a

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