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  1. Bartman

    Spectacular Petit Verdot batch

    I haven't been posting as much the last several months as my winemaking has slowed down somewhat in the last year or two - I have over a hundred bottles in storage and my wife has cut back on on wine-drinking to cut calories. I'm still making wine, just not as frequently - which also means my...
  2. Bartman

    fresh grapes had to be pressed sooner than preferred

    My fresh CA grapes purchased through Fine Vine Wines arrived a week and half ago (October 12), so I crushed and de-stemmed there at the shop when I picked them up (Sunday, Oct. 13). 3 lugs of Petite Verdot, 2 lugs of Barbera, 1 lug of Petit Syrah, and 1 lug of Zinfnadel. Pitched RC-212 yeast...
  3. Bartman

    A potential new use for any 'failed' wines...

    I came across this by accident. Not sure if I will try it, but maybe... Anybody done anything like this in the past?:?
  4. Bartman

    Dallas/Fort Worth Monthly Meeting/Dinner

    Our monthly winemaking group meeting will be this Saturday evening January 12, 2013, at 6:30 in far north Dallas, near Preston and Frankford Roads. Everyone is welcome, even if you're not local but willing to travel! :) Send me a PM and I will forward you the Evite! Or you can check out our...
  5. Bartman

    My fresh grape order keeps getting bigger!

    2 yeasr ago, I bought 3 lugs, last year it was 6. Now, after a bunch of back and forth my family and in-laws (who are paying for most of the order), I have probably over-reached and ordered 500 lbs (14 lugs) :sh of fresh grapes from California (F. Colavita & Son) through Fine Vine Wines here in...
  6. Bartman

    Beware the vindictive carboy!

    Either the tension and jealousy among the glass and plastic carboys had gotten the better of one of 'em or I wasn't being gentle enough in rinsing it out, but a 23L glass carboy 'jumped' right out of my hands into the sink and broke into 1,001 pieces. Fortunately, I had emptied its delicious...
  7. Bartman

    EC-1118 vs. Bourgovin RC 212 yeast for big red wines

    Almost all kits come standard with EC-1118 for a number of reasons, but I am wondering if RC 212 wouldn't be a better choice for someone who likes full-bodied, high-tannin, oaky red wines. With fresh grapes, I generally use RC 212, but am wondering if there is any reason not to swap out the...
  8. Bartman

    Improbable Successes

    Having been on this and FVW's forum for 3+ years, I have noticed a strong tendency for posters (beginners and veterans) to focus far more on 'fantastic' results and unexpected triumphs, whether in the course of experiments, following mistakes or purely by accident, rather than talk about the...
  9. Bartman

    WineXpert Is buying a Winexpert kit 'treasonous' to FVW?

    It feels very strange to open a Winexpert kit (Muller-Thurgau) for the first time in probably 5 years. I have already made a confession to George, as the only kitmaker that produces Muller-Thurgau is Winexpert! (I thought) As most of you know, FVW has not been allowed to carry Winexpert kits...
  10. Bartman

    A little genetic background on our beloved yeast

    Only after reading this did I remember high school biology using yeast as the prime example of 'budding', the asexual reproduction that requires just one cell to ferment a whole batch of wine. Apparently, yeast can go both ways!
  11. Bartman

    Research paper on grape-growing with global warmin

    This is an interesting, though significantly flawed, summary of some research completed in 2005 regarding future grape-growing in light of the predictions of global warming around the world. The writer of this summary for "Environmental News Network" lacks some basic knowledge of wines, and I am...
  12. Bartman

    Mosti Mondiale VN Castel del Papa - still good at 2+ years

    I made this low-priced Castel del Papa kit in June 2009, and only bulk-aged it about 5 months. Opening the first couple bottles about a month after bottling, it was pretty green and was really pretty fruity. Seemed then like it could make a really good cooking/mulled wine, and we drank most of...
  13. Bartman

    Science Fair experiment ideas?

    My 3rd-grade daughter has done science fair projects the last few years, voluntarily, but her elementary school requires 3rd graders+ to participate. In the past, she has helped me make wine, but lost interest since she really didn't care for the finished product that much (not that she would...
  14. Bartman

    Name for my Petite Sirah/Barbera (2:1 ratio)

    This was 6 gal (3 lugs) of the fresh grapes I got at FVW back in October (crushed/de-stemmed and then pressed there too). I know Petite Sirah and Barbera is a non-traditional blend, but who cares about tradition? It's still aging, but I am planning on bottling it in the next 3-6 months. I can't...
  15. Bartman

    Mosti Mondiale AJ Chianti - peaked at 2 years

    For the Super Bowl, we opened a double bottle of my MM Alljuice Chianti, and I had high hopes for it to have really blossomed. It was started in Nov. 2008, and bottled in May 2009, so it was a little over 2 years old. I made it per directions, fermenting to dry in the carboy, only adding the...
  16. Bartman

    Dextrose vs. sucrose

    Is there a difference between using dextrose or sucrose in raising the ABV of a wine kit, like an Orchard Breezin Green Apple Riesling? George/FVW sells corn sugar (dextrose) and I have added that for chaptalization of a port kit, but have added sucrose (table sugar) to a couple kits to raise...
  17. Bartman

    RJ Spagnols Grand Cru Pinot Grigio - adding Peach Nectar?

    I have one of the, ahem, less expensive Pinot Grigio kits (10 L concentrate) I am about to start, and want to add some Peach to it. Not sweet, syrupy peach, but a more subtle peach flavor. Rather than making an f-pack out of several pounds of currently-expensive fresh peaches, I plan to add...
  18. Bartman

    George lost a happy customer!!??

    Here's a Craigslist post for a whole host of winemaking goodies - <h2>"Complete Home Winemaking Kit, Many Extras - $279 (Providence Village/Denton/Aubrey)</h2> 2 more 6 gal. carboys at $40/ea., 1 3 gal. carboy $28, 1 Better Bottle $20, 1...
  19. Bartman

    Power juicer instead of steam juicer

    Even though my search for "power juicer" turned up nothing, I suspect this has been asked before... Can I use a Jack Lalanne Power Juicer in lieu of a steam juicer? Without getting into the technicalities I read about on the internet, it appears they both accomplish the same goal of preparing...
  20. Bartman

    MM Alljuice Barolo - bulk vs. bottle aging

    The question is, how much longer should I age this one? Started it on September 1, 2009 and racked to secondary about 10 days later. It was racked again in December and I am trying to decide whether to rack again and bulk age some more, or bottle it now. I know there are differences of...