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Making wine from table grapes.

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InVinoVeritas

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Hi,

I'm going to try to make wine from table grapes, because where I live I can't find wine grapes.

I think I can find the following varieties:
- Italia (white)
- Muscat (red)
- Chasselas (white)

So I was wondering if someone has already tested to make wine with a table grapes variety. And I have the following questions:

- Does it taste good ? Maybe as good as wine made from wine grapes ?

- Is the resulting wine less or more bitter/acid than with wine grapes ?

- Do the grapes contain less sugar than wine grapes ? (I think they do, so I plan to add 70g of sugar for one liter of must)
 
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NorCal

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Table grapes have about 1/2 the sugar % of wine grapes and because of their size have a lot less flavor. I would expect the resulting wine to be pretty thin and would not support a lot of additional alcohol, without tasting like a cheap mixed drink. You might look to blend with some other local fruit, that could give it flavor and body.
 
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BernardSmith

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Hi InVintoVeritas, This is not a specific answer but if you have a refractometer you can assay the amount of sugar in your grapes. I believe (but am not certain) that wine grapes are harvested at a brix of about 23 which is an SG equivalent to about 1.095 or thereabouts.
As to pH - again, my understanding is that wine grapes are at or below a pH of 3.4 (red grapes may be a little higher) - so if you have a pH meter you can test the grapes you have.
I know that almost everyone rushes to add sugar to boost the SG but an alternative solution might be to freeze the juice you extract from the grapes and collect the first runnings as the juice thaws. Those first runnings will contain almost all the sugar and flavor of the grapes so you are in fact boosting the gravity by simply removing water (which remains frozen as ice). Depending on what the original brix or gravity of your grapes are you can aim to hit 1.090 or more without adding an ounce of sugar... Of course the downside is that the volume of must you will begin with will be significantly less than you may have imagined... Perhaps 1/3 - 1/2 less but the upside is that the flavor will be far more rich.. (and see NorCal's earlier post that provides for a good reason to go this route if this is the fruit you want to use)...
 
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balatonwine

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I believe (but am not certain) that wine grapes are harvested at a brix of about 23 which is an SG equivalent to about 1.095 or thereabouts.
A little off topic, but: Brix alone is not a good indicator when to harvest. Better estimates are the brix : TA ratio or the brix times pH squared method.

See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripeness_in_viticulture#Balancing_sugar.2C_acidity_and_pH

As to pH - again, my understanding is that wine grapes are at or below a pH of 3.4 (red grapes may be a little higher)
I would say white wine grapes often should not go over a pH of 3.3 before harvest. Higher and the resulting wine can be flabby.
 
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salcoco

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one solution maybe to take table grapes and mix with white or red wine concentrate thus boosting body, ta and ph.
 

BernardSmith

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Much appreciated, balantonwine. I make meads (from honey) and wines from fruits and flowers other than grapes so my knowledge of the specifics of grapes and wine is very limited indeed.
 

InVinoVeritas

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Thanks for advices.

So I think I will make 3 experiments from the table grapes:
- with red grapes
- with white grapes
- with red grapes and other fruits, to enhance the flavor

I'm curious to know the taste of the wine made with only table grapes and sugar. I hope it will be better than the wine I made from supermarket juice.

I will try to find Chasselas variety for white, because I just read on internet it is commonly used in Swiss to make wine. But I wonder if table Chasselas is harvested too early to have enough sugar and maybe too early to have enough flavor. I also wonder if table and wine Chasselas are exactly the same variety.
 

sour_grapes

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I also wonder if table and wine Chasselas are exactly the same variety.

Wikipedia seems to imply so:
Chasselas or Chasselas blanc is a wine grape variety grown in Switzerland, France, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Romania and New Zealand. Chasselas is mostly vinified to be a full, dry and fruity white wine. It is also suitable as a table grape, grown widely for this purpose in Turkey and Hungary.
 

InVinoVeritas

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I finally found grapes that are said both for table and wine. The white variety is Danlas, and I don't remember the name of the red variety.

I bottled the wine after 2 months, and tasted it. The both wines lack of flavor, but it is a lot better than the wine I made from supermarket grape juice.

The both wines are better than some commercial wines that I found too acid or too bitter.

I don't know if there was a malo-lactic fermentation, I just let the must in the demi-john for two month, without racking into a second fermenter, because i thought letting the grapes for a longer time could improve the flavor.

I think the lack of flavor come from the variety, that is not purely for wine. I suspect these varieties to have been primarily selected for table.
 
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JohnT

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Did you press the juice, then ferment or did let the juice sit on the grape skins (maceration)?
 

InVinoVeritas

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I let the juice with the grape skins during the whole fermentation. The skins was going on the top of the must, and I put them down one time every day, maybe it wasn't enough.

I also wonder about the maturity of the grapes. I read the maturity of these varieties was around august 20, and I purchased them the 18. But maybe these varieties need to be harvested much later for wine making.

I also never found a commercial wine made with these varieties, maybe because they are bad for wine, even if some websites say they are both for table and wine.
 
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Sage

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For what it's worth, while checking my wine grapes, 22+ brix, the table grapes tested 19 brix.

I have made white from Canadise grapes that was quite good.
 

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