Mega Purple and Glycerol

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Oct 25, 2016
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S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
Eh. Forget commercial. When it’s business there’s just too many variables that change the entire approach compared to the hobbyist.

and yeah, regardless of technicalities there is still a huge part of me that would feel like a liar w/ MP. Especially after getting there au natural. I’ve only had it once. Others were close. But last year I bucked up and got grapes from Wash St Red Mt. —-No comparison. Super Vibrant and inky- stains the glass. And the flavor? Gd! I look at it and take a sip & it’s kinda like, “ooooooh that’s right. This is what wine is supposed to taste & look like. Dump all others! goin full winemaking-snob from now on!” Lol
But if all my wines looked like that? Dilutes the superiority of the ones that do. Less special.

Profiles/varietals that don’t match the MegaPurple color?- eh. To each their own. A man can wear makeup, have hair extensions, fake nails, high heels, & fake breasts— and visually look like a gorgeous woman. But take a sip & you’ll notice the body doesn’t match the appearance-hiyoooo! 😂
No judgements. Just as long as the intention isn’t to pass off cheap table wine as expensive Napa cab ya dig? Keep it real. I like the idea of MP. But have hangups on using it personally


Senior Member
Dec 15, 2018
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Central Maryland
I am not so much a 'purist' as a lazy person without much money. I minimize my additives if neglect can do the same. Time, I forgot, that's called Time. 😃 Anyway, color concentrate and a cheap flavor bottle can make $3 gallon sweet cider look and taste good fermented? Awesome, and without the concerns I have about commercially available stuff. Kind of like making my own soda- I know it's soda and not great but know what's in it? Grape color, not artificial. The only reason I haven't used it is need. I will probably use it when I finish my lilac wine, because the rest of my family will do better with a slight color.
I wouldn't put this in grape wine, really, unless you were making the from white.whites. But it just took a few drops to make a rosé out of water, so pretty economical if companies want to boost wines to where they think color should be. What I may make is no different than some of the questionable kits out there. Or like that Romanian 'pinot noir'.


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Supporting Member
Sep 5, 2019
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I have really enjoyed this thread, it connects back to a previous post I made about how the heck they can get Meomi Pinot Noir to look and taste like it does, especially when it is released less than 12 months after harvest. The answer came back resoundingly as MP. I did a bunch more reading on MP and found out just how prevalent its use is. I was abhorred and thought never would i ever use something like that, I am a "natural" wine maker and lover....
I also stopped buying the big california reds like apothetic etc. now knowing what was actually giving them their heft.

Well.... my thoughts changed over the past year. The biggest change was reading Clark Smith's 'Postmodern Winemaking" as recommended by another member here. It is a great read and dives deep into this topic and all the other large winery techniques like long hang time to get sweet jammy fruit, then reverse osmis, flash detente and Mega Purple just to name a few. He speaks at lengths about the juxtaposition of "traditional" or natural winemaking vs modern commercial scale winemaking. I won't rewrite it all but if "traditional" wine methods make traditional wine then "traditional" needs to be clearly defined and people purchase and enjoy them as traditional wines and compare those wines to each other.
But what is the definition of "traditional", that is the rub. Just grapes and nothing else? maybe just grapes and commercial yeast? As he says, you can't be kinda pregnant. You are full traditional or not.

This has solidified in my mind due to 2 posts recently on WMT. First, a reminder to get your supplies for fall early. Good point, so checked my shopping cart: Fermiad O, Fermaid K, Luecfood, specialized renascence yeast, MLF yeast, Llalzyme and any other additions I may need to fix flaws like the H2S problems I had last year...
The second post was about the use of glycerine. I did my blending bench test of my Bordeaux blend and man if only I could reduce the harshness of the young tannins and just a touch of sweetness would make it blend work so well. Researched back-sweetning and realized I didn't want to chance re-fermentation or geranium odours and then Voila! a thread about the benefits of glycerin, problem solved. Without a second thought, went for a quick drive to the wine shop and came home with a bottle of glycerin which will be used during tomorrow's bottling.

Point being, I considered myself a traditional wine kinda guy until I examined my practices and realized the jump between what I was adding as a hobbyist and what commercial wineries were adding like MP or other additives is non-existent. Especially when you consider their businesses or share holders count on it being perfect every year, cause let's face it, the general public wouldn't accept any less.

I believe over time, as my grape quality increases, I will begin to scale back my additives but for now I want to build a cellar of wine I enjoy drinking and watch my friends delight at. If I said to them, I only used "traditional" techniques instead of saying I used all the modern tools to my disposal, it wouldn't mean a thing to them. In the end it comes down to making the best wine you can that you enjoy and can share with pride. Now if my friends were all purists well maybe that changes things.
Sorry for the long ramble, I have given a lot of thought to this topic over the past year.

Great thread.
Nov 5, 2006
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Raleigh, NC, USA
@Rocktop, excellent post. You nailed the reality of commercial wine production.

You also hit my POV on winemaking -- I'm going to make the best wine I can. No one complains when I pop a cork so I'm doing something right.

Personally, your thought about scaling back as grape quality increases is not going to work out. Mother Nature does her own thing and you can only control so much to produce quality. Some years, regardless of what you do, the quality will not be what you want. So you'll continue to make good wine by whatever method you feel appropriate. Kudos!

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