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How to sample wine, without waste

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Elizajean

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Hello everyone, thank you for all your useful info!

I made my first batch of wine, WE Italian Pinot Grigio, on 9/10, and bottled on 10/26, and want to taste on 11/26. My question is, when tasting wines do you just open a bottle and if it is not ready yet, does that bottle of wine just get thrown out?

In the future, I will want to make red wines, but after reading about aging and sampling, I am wondering if you bottle some small bottles to use as taste samples so you don't waste as much if the wine is not quite ready.

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Elizajean

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Thank you! I did this at the store, so did not have that option. But will buy extra carboys for my next batches.
 

ceeaton

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Hello everyone, thank you for all your useful info!

I made my first batch of wine, WE Italian Pinot Grigio, on 9/10, and bottled on 10/26, and want to taste on 11/26. My question is, when tasting wines do you just open a bottle and if it is not ready yet, does that bottle of wine just get thrown out?

In the future, I will want to make red wines, but after reading about aging and sampling, I am wondering if you bottle some small bottles to use as taste samples so you don't waste as much if the wine is not quite ready.

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!
The 375 ml bottle size has been the answer for me. A six gallon batch usually equals two cases (24) 750's and the balance (10-12) 375's. If the wine is too young, it works great for cooking and as a marinate.

That wine should be drinkable around Christmas time, not it's best, but definitely drinkable if you can wait. Gets really nice at 10 months to a year in my past experience.
 

montanaWineGuy

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Take a sip, and put the cork back. Some air won't hurt any thing. If you are concerned add water, some marbles, or same raisins.
 

Elizajean

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Going to be hard to wait a year, I'm excited about my first batch, but don't want to be disappointed either. Maybe I will wait another month. Thank you!
 

bkisel

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You could get a Coravin: https://www.coravin.com

The Mrs. got me one for my birthday, it works great. A bit pricey, and I probably wouldn't have bought it for myself, but a very neat little gadget....
The cork is able to reseal its self after the Coravin is removed as if it had never been punctured?

Do you run a risk of pushing the cork into the bottle?

Thanx...
 

biscmc

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Generally my approach is to bottle 4 x 375 ml splits, which reduces my yield to about 28 bottles. The benefit of this is that if I want to sample a wine to determine if it is ready to drink, I only have to open a small bottle for sampling, and not worry about "wasting" a full bottle.

Any bottle that is opened will be consumed anyway. :dg
 

jgmann67

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10 weeks from start to bottle really is kinda fast.

What did it taste like before you bottled? If it wasn't very close to what you were hoping for, it's probably too soon.

Is it fully degassed and completely clear? If the answer to either of those is "no" or "I don't know," then definitely - you bottled too soon and won't be happy with it no matter how long it sits in a bottle.

Poof Test for co2: pour yourself a glass from your bottle. Put your thumb over the top and give it a strong 1-2-3 shake. Did you wine make a nice "poof" when you pulled your thumb off? Do you have a frothy head on the top of your wine? If yes - you got gas.

Pour your wine back into the carboy and degas your wine properly. Then, if your happy with the taste, bottle.

If you don't have gas, hold that glass of wine up to a bright light. Any haze? Floaters? If it's anything other than sparkling clear, your wine needs more time.

It's okay for a wine to relax in a carboy for 3 - 6 - or even 12 months.
 

Elizajean

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10 weeks from start to bottle really is kinda fast.

What did it taste like before you bottled? If it wasn't very close to what you were hoping for, it's probably too soon.

Is it fully degassed and completely clear? If the answer to either of those is "no" or "I don't know," then definitely - you bottled too soon and won't be happy with it no matter how long it sits in a bottle.

Poof Test for co2: pour yourself a glass from your bottle. Put your thumb over the top and give it a strong 1-2-3 shake. Did you wine make a nice "poof" when you pulled your thumb off? Do you have a frothy head on the top of your wine? If yes - you got gas.

Pour your wine back into the carboy and degas your wine properly. Then, if your happy with the taste, bottle.

If you don't have gas, hold that glass of wine up to a bright light. Any haze? Floaters? If it's anything other than sparkling clear, your wine needs more time.

It's okay for a wine to relax in a carboy for 3 - 6 - or even 12 months.
Jim, thank you. I did this first batch in a home brew store setting, so was pushed to bottle. It was very clear and seemed to be completely degassed, even waited longer to bottle than originally scheduled, and the taste was ok, but kind of raw. From what you said, and everything else I have read, I will wait to bottle my next batch when it might be more ready. I think I will wait a little longer to try a bottle. I will definitely test for gas, as you described.
 

Johnd

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The cork is able to reseal its self after the Coravin is removed as if it had never been punctured?

Do you run a risk of pushing the cork into the bottle?

Thanx...
That is the premise, the needle penetrates the cork, which reseals after it is withdrawn, leaving the bottle void filled with inert gas. The needle exerts very little force on the cork to penetrate it, I don't imagine that there's much risk of pushing it into the bottle.
 

vacuumpumpman

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That is the premise, the needle penetrates the cork, which reseals after it is withdrawn, leaving the bottle void filled with inert gas. The needle exerts very little force on the cork to penetrate it, I don't imagine that there's much risk of pushing it into the bottle.
Very nice concept and all - except the price 200-350 dollars and additional money for the argon capsules.

I like the idea of using 375 ml bottle - myself
 

Johnd

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Very nice concept and all - except the price 200-350 dollars and additional money for the argon capsules.

I like the idea of using 375 ml bottle - myself
Agreed, I wouldn't have made the purchase, and I bottle a few 375's with every batch I make, you know the old saying about gift horses........
 

mennyg19

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I did the 375 approach. I love wine, but don't drink a lot at a time. Especially since my wife doesn't drink ("Dont get any ideas in ur head trying to get me to drink!"). So, I got 375 bottles.
I didn't bottle yet tho...
 

Stevelaz

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I just bottled a 6 gallon batch of cali merlot about a month ago. I bottled a case of 375 (24) just because i find myself opening up a bottle after work and waste half the bottle if i cant drink in a few days. I then botteled the rest in 750s, about 12 of them. Love the 375s!! Give you 2 nice glasses of wine. I have another case of 375s for my 18 gallon batch of Chilean merlot that should be ready to bottle in feb. I also just ordered 2 more cases from http://www.homebrewing.org/375-ML-Dark-Green-Semi-Bordeaux-Mid-Punt-Bottles-24Case_p_4148.html. Awesome sale 7.99 per case plus $12 for shipping, still way cheaper that buying here.
 

Elizajean

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Stevelaz
What sized cork do you use for the 375?
 

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