Picking a bottle of wine may be a much more difficult decision than you may think. There are literally hundreds of different brands and flavors of wine available these days, which means you can easily become overwhelmed when you are looking to buy a bottle. This guideline will provide you with three things to consider when picking the perfect bottle. Once you have decided what type of wine you would like to purchase, head on over to a website like Wine Enthusiast or wine.com to purchase your wine and other accessories.
1. Types of WineThere are two basic types available. Those types are red and white. Of course, both are made with grapes. However, when the red version is made, the skins, seeds and stems are all used from the black or red grapes that are used to make the wine. While white wine can be made from any color grape, only the clear juice from the grape is used to make it. Generally speaking, red wine is considered to be heavier and white wine is considered to be sweeter. Before you start looking into acidity levels and the alcohol content, you should decide if you are interested in purchasing red or white. Once you have decided if you want red or white, you can then figure out what flavor and vintage you want. Many people who have never had wine before tend to prefer dessert wines because they come in flavors such as apple, strawberry and peach.
2. Acidity LevelsThere is going to be acid in every type of wine that is available. Without acid, it would go sour very quickly. Acidity in wine also goes a long way towards making the other flavors of the wine stand out. Many people do not realize that most wines have different acidity levels. If you are someone that likes sour and tart tasting, you should look for wine that has high acidity levels. Wine that has low acidity levels is great for people that prefer a flat tasting beverage. However, the shelf life of low acidity bottles is much shorter than the shelf life of high acidity bottles.
3. Alcohol ContentJust like beer, wine is available with different alcohol contents. Every single bottle of wine that is available for purchase will display the alcohol content of the wine on the label. When it comes to alcohol content, the beverage is separated into three different classes. Those classes are light body, medium body and full body. Full bodied wine often is the best tasting, but it contains extremely high alcohol contents. Light bodied wine generally has an alcohol content of 7.5 percent to 10.5 percent. Medium bodied wine will have an alcohol content that ranges anywhere between 10.6 percent and 12.5 percent, and full bodied will have an alcohol content that is 12.6 percent or higher.
Nobody goes into winemaking aiming to fail; everyone wants their first winemaking effort to be a success. It is common knowledge within the winemaking community that you just don’t choose to make your own wine for the sheer fun of it. You do it because you want to make great quality wine that you can enjoy as well. This is one good reason why it is essential to understand the foundations of winemaking and these are a few things which if done well, will help anyone seeking to create a good wine, succeed in making one which tastes as excellent as possible.
If you are making wine, it is important to make sure that you have properly sanitized equipment. This is much more than simply cleaning your winemaking equipment and a number of special solutions can be used to accomplish this task. You will have to ensure that no strains or bacteria, wild mold or anything else of that nature is present on your equipment and this is even after you have cleaned everything out. The reason why focus is placed on having clean equipment is that equipment that is unclean affects the fermentation process. Anything which is even slightly unclean can easily affect the process of fermentation. If you keep everything as clean as possible, then your wine can last for a long number of years.
You should ensure that your recipe for making wine is a foolproof one; you shouldn’t simply take notes from someone who says that they are experts of making wine. If you want to create a good wine, especially as a beginner, you should ensure that you start out your winemaking with a great recipe. You can find all these recipes on many websites that are exclusively devoted to the topic of winemaking.
Something else that will have to be sorted out if you have really decided to make wine is the purchase of a hydrometer. These devices aren’t that expensive and a number are available for around ten dollars or so. They may be cheap but the service they provide is invaluable to a lot of people. What this nifty device does is that it tells you the rate of progression of your fermentation process. It may also be used for the determination of the alcohol content present in your wine because it compares before and after figures of the fermentation process in order to supply you with the necessary data.
In order to make sure your fermentation process is working well, you have to ensure that the temperature is right. Usually, the best temperature range which wine can be fermented in is around 70 to 75 degrees. Anything above this and your wine will ferment too rapidly resulting in a wine with poor taste. Anything below this said temperature range and your wine may either ferment too slowly or not ferment at all. A thermometer is another important necessity when fermenting wine.
Lastly, you should ensure that the wine isn’t exposed to too much air during the winemaking process. The presence of too much air will result in oxidation and white wine may change color and so will red wine too. It also affects the taste of the wine adversely.
Regardless of how proficient you are in the making of wine, certain things may happen which will affect your winemaking process. Things like corks may get misplaced or a bottle may not be settled right during racking. Bottles may also explode if excessive carbon dioxide is left inside them.
A common problem that may result when wine is made is when fermentation refuses to start. This may be as a result of problems with yeast or unfermented grape juice. Sometimes the yeast is actually too old and may die off instead of doing the required job of converting sugar into alcohol. This may usually result due to poor storage or if the wine is shipped in an improper manner. This may also be caused by exposure to extreme temperatures.
Some times fermentation actually starts but then it tends to stop before it usually should. This may happen because the temperature changes in a way that makes yeast stop its work or when there is a lack of nutrients to continue the process. Most times you can usually find the problem but this doesn’t happen always especially when there are a number of different reasons for no fermentation, all occurring at the same time. Adding both yeast nutrients and yeast energizers will most likely turn around the situation. You should just ensure that the temperature is placed at about 70 degrees but if it isn’t you should then increase or reduce it so that it is. This will most likely restart the process and you should allow a period of 72 hours at least before you try anything else again. If it hasn’t restarted then go right ahead and purchase the yeast known to start instant fermentation. This should get the process kicked off in a matter of hours at most.
If your wine has a flat taste then there may not be enough acid in the wine and you need to add some. You should then stir it all up after and put back the airlock. You should check in just a few hours and repeat the process until it tastes just right. If your wine smells wrong on the other hand or if it has a musty smell or taste, it may be that the wine has been left standing for too long when it should have been racked and now the sediment is causing problems. Sometimes it may be a sign that you have used the wrong sort of yeast such as substituting bakers yeast for wine yeast. However there is a solution for this little dilemma, if you simply add some activated charcoal, the problem may then be corrected somewhat easily. Despite this all its will probably take several treatments and a period of about 48 hours to solve the entire process.
If you open a bottle of wine and discover that it has the smell or rotten eggs, you need not despair because the wine may be saved. What you should do is pour wine from the receptacle you have put it in, into another one. This procedure should be repeated up to four times and each time, a few hours should be allowed to elapse. If you do this four times and there are still no changes, forget about the wine, it’s bad.
It is not an absolute necessity that wine should be made from grapes in order to become the fermented and tasty brews that they are. A number of things that can also be sought out in order to make wine include berries, herbs, spices and some fruits and even vegetables. Before people start to look for these different things which can be used to make wine, you should think of the yeast that is going to be used in the process. The most preferable kind of yeast is usually wine yeast as opposed to bread yeast. A number of people and most especially those who are into winemaking, tend to think that all kinds of yeast are the same thing but they aren’t. Bread yeast only gives rise to a wine that has an alcohol level of at least fourteen percent and it will result in a cloudy wine as well. Wine yeast tends to result in wine with a higher alcohol level of seventeen percent and it leaves its sediments at the bottom of the wine which make it easy to clear out the cloudiness. Wine yeast tends to be sold in packages which are specifically measured out to be used in the winemaking process.
With this important consideration in the making of wine clarified, all you have to do is to choose whatever you want to make your wine with. If you have berries, an elderberry wine can be made or the wine can be made from other berries such as blackberries, strawberries, blueberries or any other berry which you find interesting. Another thing that you will need to do is to pour boiling water over the berries and allow them to remain for at least a period of twenty four hours. Berries must also be strained through something which allows the juice to get past everything. After all you don’t want impurities such as the skin, pits or stems getting into your wine. As soon as you have measured how much juice that you ended with, you should then add about three pounds of sugar per gallon of juice and boil for at least an hour on low heat. You should allow it to then cool down but only to a warm level. From then on it should be placed in a fermenting container and allowed to remain for at least two weeks. In order to contribute to the fermenting process you can also add spices or brandy in it before it is covered up. After this your wine should be allowed to age for a period of at least six months.
A quick herb wine is possible to make quite easily from the following recipe. All you have to do is select the particular herb that you want to use, some of the common choices include: lavender, cloves, lemon and sage. After this is done you should get a wine which is either one that you have made yourself or bought elsewhere, but it should be a wine which accents the herb well. After the herb has been chopped up properly, it should be left in large pieces and put it together with a pint of wine and left for a period of two weeks. After this period has been completed, the herb should be strained out from the wine and wine should be put into bottles, this will result in home made herb wine.
A number of many different terms tend to be used in winemaking and unless the average person gets some knowledge as to the meaning of these terms, they may find it quite confusing when learning about winemaking and the different things involved in the winemaking process. This may make it difficult to converse with people about the subject and understand advice that is given by other people proficient in the process. The lack of knowledge about the prevalent terms in winemaking can be a problem and it because of this reason; people who want to be involved in the process of winemaking are urged to study these terms.
When a person speaks about the body of wine, it usually refers to how that wine tends to feel in your mouth. A wine may be full-bodied or rather medium and light bodied. A body of wine is made possible by a number of things and this usually includes a combination of sugar, alcohol and glycerin. A balance of wine usually refers to how well everything combines together and this can only be decided when the clarity of wine is being spoken about but certainly not the color.
An airlock is a device which is put in the fermenter and which makes sure that carbon dioxide is allowed to escape from the wine during the fermentation process. It is a very smart device which allows carbon dioxide escape without allowing oxygen to get in and ruin the wine. A bung on the other hand is a stopper which is there to ensure that the airlock stays in place. A carboy is a container which is used as a fermenter in the process of the second fermentation. It may hold as much as six gallons or as little as a gallon of wine; the amount really depends on what you’re brewing. Usually it is made from glass. An ullage is the space between the bung and the highest point of wine inside the bottle.
Yeast is a crucial element involved in winemaking. Yeast is what helps the conversion of sugar into alcohol by the means of yeast enzymes. It is an important component of wine and without yeast; your wine is no more than grape juice or fruit juice.
Trub is another terms used to describe lees. Both terms tend to refer to the sediment which accumulates at the base of the fermentation container. Anything found floating in the wine is usually under the category of flocculates. The process of removal of bits called filtering and it happens at the end of fermentation.
If something you have eaten has a bad taste, it is called an aftertaste and this is usually a terrible thing. In wine however, it’s a whole lot different. An aftertaste of a wine is the taste or flavor which you perceive after taking a glass of the wine. Great wine leaves a great aftertaste which may be anything from smooth, fruity, bitter, oaky or sour. The term aftertaste is one of the means which you use to describe the quality of wine and it is also referred to in certain quarters as the finish.
The study of how to make wine is known as oenology and it comes from the Greek word for grape. The study of how to grow the right grapes for making of wine is called viniculture. A mastery of these terms will make your experience at winemaking a much easier process.
Why should anyone make their own wine? Is it out of curiosity or the desire to do something that you have always wanted to do for a very long time? A certain number of people have attempted to make their own wine over the years. It really doesn’t take scientific genius to succeed and a number of them have set up the equipment that they need for the process in places such as their basements and their garages. Some people make as much as fifty to a hundred bottles of wine in a single winemaking process. Others have succeeded in making great wine while some have given up in frustration due to failed efforts. After all said and done, a lot of people enjoy brewing their own wine, the question is: Will you be one of these people?
If winemaking is something that you’re really serious about doing then what you first have to do is learn about it and what it entails. As soon as you have spoken to people who have had a pleasant experience in making their own wine, you should make the necessary assessments and decide if you want to make a substantial investment in buying the sort of equipment which is associated with the making of wine. You should also learn about the various terms which are associated with your hobby. If you don’t, you may discover that you are following instructions that make no sense at all because you do not understand the meaning of these terms. You can easily gain the knowledge that you need by searching the Internet and looking for websites which have something to do with winemaking. There are a lot of websites which explain the process and which will tell you what these seemingly difficult terms mean.
As soon as you have understood these terms, you will be able to communicate better with people whenever you need to purchase your winemaking equipment and associated supplies. You will also find out that the people you are purchasing from will be able to deal with you a whole lot better if you can converse intelligently about winemaking and what it entails.
This knowledge will also be required when you are trying to make the necessary decisions about which grapes that you should be trying to use to make your wine. You may also discover certain additional details which may be helpful in the winemaking process such as the use of fruits, honey and herbs as flavoring elements.
When you have successfully made your decisions, then it will be time to start. You should ensure that you adhere carefully to the instructions so that you get yourself a good batch of wine in the first year. Every little detail is important from the way you clean the bottle to the way you stack your wine. With a little focus, you will have a great winemaking experience which will make winemaking an enjoyable hobby for you for a very long time to come.
As long as you have decided to start winemaking, you’ll discover that there are a number of things that you’ll have to figure out before you start off. If you start off you’ll need to think about the kind of wine that you really want to make. If you’ve decided to make fruit wine, then you’ll have to make a selection from all the different fruits available at your disposal. As long as you have enough in terms of the quantity of fruit, nothing else will matter provided that you are sure you will enjoy the taste. Different fruits exist and they range from berries, plums, apples, cherries or peaches. Wine can even be made out of bananas, if you want to attempt this as well. If you enjoy the taste if the wine and you think you’ll enjoy it you can easily opt for trying something out of the ordinary or use a fruit that has been tried and tested by other people.
One of the different reasons that you should make your own wine, is that they are so many different things that you can make wine out of. If you don’t have too much fruit at your disposal, then you can use a fruit base or fruit concentrate bought from companies that sell winemaking supplies. Despite the fact that the flavors will be a lot more limited, the thing is that you’ll be able to get ahead faster. Using a concentrate means that you can easily choose to make your wine at any time of the year especially as the issue of how much fruit is at your disposal won’t be an issue.
The question is how to decide on the kind of fruit to pick for your first winemaking venture. For fruit wine, the amount of concentrate that is used in the mix will ultimately determine the taste of the wine. If you want to make a wine which is light tasting and not heavy, you should use less concentrate. If you want to have a strong and heavy taste then you should use a lot more concentrate. Depending on what you want, you’ll use between one to five tins of concentrate.
Other than this, you might want to combine a fruit wine together with a grape wine. This may make a taste which is unusual but which is nevertheless popular. If you use a Chardonnay or Zinfandel which has the right flavor which has already been combined, then you can have a fruity grape wine that meets with your tastes.
Another consideration that you can think about when you’re making these fruit wines is the level of sweetness that you want them to have. The natural sweetness might just suit your purposes but if it isn’t, then you can easily use sugar or a wine conditioner as well. A wine conditioner is a sweetener which is in liquid form and which can be used for sweetening wine easily. Winemaking juices may also be added to the fruity wine in order to achieve the same purpose.
So many things should be considered about the winemaking process and this is especially true for people who are having their first experience with making their own wine. You have to understand all the necessary things that you need to know about the process of fermentation and all that is required to ensure that your wine ferments properly. One of the most important things that you need is nitrogen and unless you have it, your yeast won’t be able to reproduce at the high rate that is necessary to quicken the process. Yeast also helps in making the wine age a whole lot quicker, it is thus essential to ensure you find the necessary stimulant to ensure that the yeast carries out its job.
What this entails is finding a good supply of nitrogen and the simplest way to do this is to buy yeast nutrients. What this supplement does is that it puts nitrogen into the yeast. It is usually best used along with wines which have been made from grapes or berries. The ingredient which makes the yeast nutrient able to add this much nitrogen is phosphate. Such nutrients also tend to absorb the fatty acids which are in the wine in order to slow down the process of fermentation.
In some cases it is usually best to make use of a yeast energizer as this also helps in putting the needed nitrogen into the yeast but in a different manner. This is done by placing much more nutrients in the yeast followed by just the phosphate which is used up by the yeast nutrient. It also makes use of a different form of phosphate which is known as di-ammonium phosphate including proteins such as Riboflavin, Thiamin and vitamins. It can also be used for various types of winemaking. You should think in terms of wines which have been created from other fruits, vegetables and herbs and as such would need a yeast energizer. They do not have the needed nutrients present in grapes and berry wines so they need some extra boost in order to ferment properly.
Yeast energizer also tends to be useful when the wines which are being made require high alcohol content. When you talk of high alcohol content, it usually refers to anything which is more than 14 percent. It serves to encourage the second phase of fermentation which may sometimes stop for no reason at all. The yeast energizer is what initiates the process. It is what will be used if you need to restart a fermentation process which has come to a complete stop. Mixing with some fresh yeast or a minor amount of wine together with the yeast will start the fermentation process after about 12 hours.
Lipids are also found in yeast and they are another nutrient. When the yeast cells divide, the lipid tends to lessen and make it harder for the yeast to reproduce more of itself. What this means is that the yeast production slows down quickly. By adding a lipid supplement the yeast will grow much faster than expected.
The making of wine tends to be associated with grapes most of the time. People tend to think of vineyards with their crop of different grapes hanging in bunches and just waiting to be picked and made into their favorite red or white wines. The truth though, is that many other things may be used to make wine. You have wine made from berries of all kinds and even other fruits such as plums and cherries. If you visit the Japanese then you’ll have an opportunity of seeing a special wine that they make out of rice known as sake. Wine can also be made from other plants and in this strange case; wine can be made from the Huisache flower otherwise known as the Dandelion.
If you’re interested in the making of dandelion wine, then you should know that the process isn’t that complex at all and a number of simple recipes exist which will give you what you want, provided that you adhere to them. While most people in North America tend to regard these flowers as just weeds, American Indian tribes had been using this crop a long time before the Europeans came over with their own plants. When next you’re thinking of getting rid of those yellow weeds cum flowers which have invaded your front lawn, try to remember that they make very tasty wine as well. The wine is exclusively made from the flower and no other part of the wine, everything else is unnecessary and should be disposed off as soon as the flowers have been collected.
One surefire recipe for dandelion wine is the use of dandelions along with these ingredients: sugar, oranges, water and yeast. Harvesting of the dandelions should be at high noon so that they have opened up to their fullest. When you’re waiting for the gallon of water to start boiling, you should take out all the dandelions and make sure you have no stem or any other parts but just flowers. After this the boiling water should be placed over the flowers, you should then cover everything with a cloth and let it breathe. The ensemble should be left for 48 hours at most and after this time water should be poured back into the pot. After this orange peels should be added as well, but you should remember to remove as much of the white stuff that comes with the peels as possible, because it affects the flavor of the wine. After this you should boil everything again for ten minutes.
At the expiration of the boiling period, the entire mixture should be poured through a porous cloth and into a pail or large pot which already has a huge amount of sugar within it. You should permit everything to cool before you place the orange juice together with the yeast and yeast nutrients. Following this, everything should be added in a container for fermentation and this container must be sealed tightly.
After the wine has cleared properly, it should be placed into bottles for a two month period before rebottling. After this period it should be left for as much as six months to a year in order to give it a greater taste. Such wine tends to be very favorable and the best part of everything is that you would have succeeded in making everything entirely on your own.
During aging certain things are done to wine in order to promote its flavor. There is a need to affect the flavor of the wine in a way that will be pleasing to most. Expert wine makers have been doing all this for a very long time and you can do this too. One means that professionals and experts make use of is oak barrels and not just any oak barrels. It is what they do to the barrel which makes the difference. The interior of the barrel is usually toasted but lightly so. Despite this fact, this simple act goes a long way in adding to the flavor of the aging wine, giving it a taste that most people refer to as velvety.
Red wines are usually the ones reserved for this process. Regardless of this fact, not everyone has the ability to make use of oak barrels to age their wine. At least the average person doesn’t have the ability to make use of oak barrels. The point is that they do not make so much wine that they need a barrel to store it and with the limited availability of urban space, we’re least likely to use barrels. Despite all these things, other ways exist through which we can get the necessary flavoring in wine such as you would get with a toasted oak barrel. This is usually done by using oak chips in order to give your wine some flavor. They are called toasted oak chips because thy have been toasted somewhat like the oak barrels and they render the same flavor that the aging of wine in barrels does. These oak chips have also been dried for a huge number of years in order to ensure that no moisture remains in the chips. Two main types of oak chips exist and these are the French and the American versions.
Before using oak chips, you need to boil them for a ten minute period first. They shouldn’t be placed in wine until the wine is ready for aging. As soon as the wine has been placed in bottles and is ready to be racked, some oak chips should be added. Three ounces of oak chips should be placed per five gallons of wine. The wine should be aged for three to nine months depending on the flavor that is sought. Oak chips tend to add to the flavor and they lend it a much heartier taste. Winemakers also tend to recommend that a bottle should be sampled each month to determine how well the process is going.
If toasted American oak chips are being bought, you should expect to pay as much as sixty dollars for ten pounds worth. French chips cost somewhere above fifty dollars and they all come with instructions on how they can be properly used. Care should be taken with the use of oak chips because while some affect your wine positively others give your wine a rather bitter taste due to the presence of tannic acid.