So You Want To Make Wine?
Picture from virgogirl
Excellent! Having even the smallest desire to make wine is mandatory and eventually life changing. After you embrace the wine making drive it is time to put a plan into
action. However, I think I'm getting ahead of myself ...
Let's back up for just a moment and talk about where I am coming from. I am a tried and true wine making newbie. No question about it. I have a lifetime of information to learn still on this matter. So why should anyone listen to me? Not a clue. However, if you are considering to start a wine making hobby I think I can offer you a few tidbits of information.
Now let's get back to the topic at hand… starting a wine making hobby. I started my new hobby, itch, lifestyle or whatever you want to call it last Fall. I was looking for a gift for my wife and happened to get into a conversation with a fellow at work about wine making. Voila! My wife loves a good wine, sweet and fruity typically, red almost certainly and she was going to love having me turn her Strawberries and my Concord Grapes (one vine) into wine. After I learned, second hand, that the process is easy and doesn't necessarily have to take years to make I was all in.
In retrospect, the first thing I should have started doing was collecting my used wine bottles. Because I had about two months until my wife's birthday it wasn't going to work
for me. However, if you can, start saving those bottles NOW. That's step one.
My next step involved finding the wine store I heard about in town. I went in for a tour to see what some of the equipment might cost and it was reasonable and then I came across a book and started flipping pages. The Joy of Home Winemaking by Terry Garet. A great book that was written by author who loves making the fruit wines that my wife would soon enjoy. I bought the book on site. In the following month I did a lot of reading, with the book, the Internet and this great site called WineMakingTalk.com. Step two: Do some reading. Do a LOT of reading.
After you've done some reading you'll soon find that, while some of the lingo is confusing, the process of making wine doesn't sound (and isn't) that difficult.
Step three is the easy one. Go out and buy yourself a wine making equipment kit and a wine juice kit. I know some people will say buy just a few pieces of what you need. While everyone has a budget, and I respect that, just get a kit! Now this is a Wine Making Equipment Kit. Not a Wine Juice Kit. I purchased the Vinter's Best Wine Making Equipment Kit with Double Lever Corker. It was about $135 for the equipment. Included in it was the following: Primary Fermenter (7.9 Gallon Big Bucket), Airlock, 6 Gallon Glass Carboy, Siphon hose, racking cane, hydrometer, bottle filler, corker, corks, cleanser and a few other goodies.
The bottom line is that the kit will give you everything you need to make your first Wine Juice Kit. It is one less thing to stress over. If you don't have a wine store near you this place called Amazon is really good too.
I also bought a Wine Juice Kit at the same time. An Italian Sangiovese. There's lots out there and if you have a wine store ask for help they will show you the kits. The kits
are a big box of happiness, instructions, juice and materials...just add water.
Now for me this was the worst part. After I bought my kits I wrapped them up for my wife and set them out until her birthday. You have no idea how much will power it took not to rip into those babies!
Step four. Make the Wine Juice Kit. What you'll find is that the directions walk you right though everything you are trying to do. Also, remember all that reading you
did? Guess what, you start to see how the process really works. When you get done with the kit you'll find that it isn't that hard, the steps are straightforward and if all goes well you'll end up with two cases of wine that you can say “I made.”
Now for the bad news. You are going to get done with your first kit and you are going to want to make more and more batches. Okay. So it isn't that bad of news. I get yelled at by my wife and kids now because I walk through the grocery store pointing at the fruit and concentrates saying “I can make wine out of that, and that and...”
But maybe that's for another article.
So let's summarize. If you want to start wine making do yourself a favor and start! Just do the following:
- Start saving all your used wine bottles.
- Do some reading
- Buy equipment and a wine kit
- Make a kit
- Start enjoying the fruits of your labor
During each step of your first kit you'll find information and people to help you online if you have questions. You'll find articles that describe how to read a hydrometer, how to fill bottles, how to whatever. The point is this. Don't feel that the process is beyond you. Everyone has questions and there are lots of people and information to get answers from. In the end, like any project, success has never, quite literally, tasted so good.
and Tagged with