Tasting and testing

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Dec 21, 2009
Reaction score
According to the instructions provided with my Vino Del Vida Valpolicella kit, my first batch of wine should be ready for bottling this weekend. I'm not in a big hurry to get it into bottles, but I'd like to check it out.

I was planning on taking a sample then test for specific gravity and also examine color, clarity, stillness and taste. I'd probably compare it to a bottle of Bolla Valpolicella. I know the taste won't be right as it is still so young, but I should be able to detect off flavors. Any other ideas what I should do? Who knows maybe I've got some nice wine, maybe it's 6 gallons of premium red wine vinegar.
I always save a sample from my test jar... nothing wrong with that. I read on here it is highly recommended to let it age two more weeks. My first kit was a Mosti Mondaile Summer Breeze, Black Cherry Shiraz kit. I was waiting for my floor corker to come in, so mine aged 3 more weeks than what the directions said. One thing I am getting from all this, do not be in a rush, slow down and take it easy.

HEY!!! No vinegar talk in here!! LOL Its probably just fantastic. Don't hesitate to take a taste, you should anyway. I am willing to bet you will be quite pleased with yourself. I am assuming you havien't tasted it yet, so far.

If thats the case I am excited for you to get a taste of what you have created. Keeping in mind of course, it only gets better with aging.

Let us know the results of your taste test.

I totally agree about tasting as you go . If just to know what it should taste like at different stages then if down the road you're not sure if something went wrong you have something to base your tasting and testing on . i look at it as licking the spoon when you bake so put a little on yuor finger from the thief when doing SG readings . I know our WE limited edition tasted good already when i put it in the carboy .
Darlene, you are absolutely right. I would like to know who has ever made a batch of soup, spaghetti or anything else for that matter, even though you are following a recipe without sampling as you go along, tasting is part of the overall success. An old Italian lady told me her secret was to stir often. Could be something to say ther too!! LOL

I did taste it when I racked it into the carboy - inadvertently at first while trying to get the siphon going. But then I pulled out a few ounces to sample. It was quite fruity and smelled great, but didn't seem dry enough.
I taste at every step. I'm trying to train my palate on whats going on in the wine and possible learn to "see" the future by what my senses are telling me. Okay that was a little too Spiderman-esque. Sad.

I waited another week to recover from a head cold that was interfering with my taste and aroma detection apparatus. The wine (Vino del Vida Valpolicella) has been stabilized and clarified and has been in the carboy undisturbed for 23 days. According to the instructions it should have been ready to bottle about a week ago. So today my wife and I tasted and checked it. We also compared it to a Bolla Valpolicella, not that there is anything particularly special about that brand.

SG is .998. It was a bit darker than the commercial wine and not quite as clear, but not muddy. It had more "leg" than the Bolla. The wine was much more fragrant than the Bolla. It has a fresh fruit smell which I liked, but my wife thought was a bit reminiscent of Welch's grape juice. I assume the aroma will tame down with time. Acidity seems good. Although still rough, the flavor profile was definitely Valpolicella, but again with a much stronger fruitiness to it... that will mellow out with time I guess. I was hoping for a bit more oak flavor.

No noticeable fizziness that I could detect, but I don't really know how to check if it is still enough.

I'll let it sit at least another week and check it again. Should at least clear a bit more. Any thoughts?
If you want more oak then give it more oak. Get yourself a small package of cubes or a spiral or even some chips and ad it in. I usually do this to cause I like lots of oak in my big reds. I bulk age on the oak.