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andylegate

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Having lived in Italy when I was a teen (my dad was stationed in Naples and I was there for high school), I was very fortunate in being able to try many of the wines there. And of course there is no drinking age there, other than you can walk and hand money to to the store owner.
Believe it or not, most of use teens got over the joy of leaglly getting smashed rather quickly. We were not allowed to drive until age 18, even if you had gotten your license here in the states at 16, so that was one problem solved. Most of use couldn't take the hang overs! :p So most of us practiced moderation when it came to drinking.
Most of us avoided italian beer, as Peroni and Nastra Azero were, well , not exactly what I would call good tasting beer.
Wine on the other had came in a multitude of lables. I remember going for bike rides during the summer and seeing piles of pressed grapes on the side of the road. The smell of them rotting in the hot sun is one I hope to never smell again, blah!
I've never cared for dry bitter wines. My brother in law made what I feel is an very good analogy: "Taste like roach spray."
On the other had, I do like sweet or desert wines. I'll skip the "Mad Dog" and "Night Train" versions though thank you.

What are some good recipies for Red Sweet wines?
 

cpfan

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What are some good recipies for Red Sweet wines?
Since I'm a kit kinda guy, that's what I'll recommend....

1) How about a red ice wine....quite sweet...on the scale that Vineco uses an 18

2) Make an ordinary red wine kit to a dry wine, and then backsweeten. A couple of my customers make Vineco's California Connoisseur Bourgeron Rouge (red Burgundy style) and add wine conditioner...one about 250ml (I think that's a '2'), another 500-600ml (a '3').

Steve
 

smurfe

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I have never been a fan of sweetened grape wines but fruit wines are another story. There is a multitude of sweet wines that can be made sweet. Grape wines can be as well as CPFAN stated. All you need to do is back sweeten to taste by using wine conditioner or just making a solution of regular sugar boiled in water.

Place Jack Keller in your favorite search engine and go to his site. There are numerous recipes there and great tutorials to help you along the way. Be advised that most of the recipes are for one gallon recipes but they can be converted to larger batches by multiplying everything but the yeast. A packet of yeast is good for up to 6 gallons or so.

Kit wines are great and they do have sweet wine kits. I only make Wine Expert kits due to that is what my retailer sells and they have Ice Wine Style kits (really sweet). Island Mist kits, Blush and White Zin kits etc. I still gravitate toward fruit wines though. You can make a blueberry or blackberry, or raspberry and oak it and have a wine very delightful. I have a red raspberry going now that I am going to finish semi sweet. Not dessert sweet, but just a tad more. I am oaking it and I added a couple vanilla beans to it to experiment. So essentially it is going to be a Raspberry/Vanilla wine but not a super sweet dessert wine.

Good Luck

Smurfe :)
 
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Luc

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Andy,

As I am a scratch fruitwine guy I suggest you go for the berries.
I prefer the elderberries but can also recommend the blackberries.

Make a dry wine and then back sweeten it.
Elderberries have high acid and tannins and are therefore also great for aging.

Both berries are strong tasters and therefore willing to take high alcohol, so a port style of wine will be great.
 

smurfe

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One thing I can add that Luc didn't mention about elderberries. They make probably the closest to grape (traditional) wine than any other fruit. I have tasted elderberry wines that were hard to tell that it wasn't a traditional Burgundy. Just read up or ask a bunch of question before diving in to an elderberry wine though as there are a few issues to deal with like the mess they make and some varieties can be poisonous.

Smurfe :)
 
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andylegate

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One thing I can add that Luc didn't mention about elderberries. They make probably the closest to grape (traditional) wine than any other fruit. I have tasted elderberry wines that were hard to tell that it wasn't a traditional Burgundy. Just read up or ask a bunch of question before diving in to an elderberry wine though as there are a few issues to deal with like the mess they make and some varieties can be poisonous.

Smurfe :)
We have wines made here in South and North Carolina that are made from Muscadines, and large wild grape that grows here all over (a favorite food of snakes, squirrels, and humans) :D

I've tasted proffesional wines made from both red and white muscadines, the wines range from slightly sweet to dry, and I must say that they taste rather well!
Grocery stores here (including Walmart) sell batches of musadines when they are in season (around August and September).

Thanks for the advice guys!
Andy
 
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