Quantcast

wine has little "body"

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Jal5

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
446
Reaction score
215
I am still a newbie at this hobby with almost a year into it. However, of the three reds I have made now- kit valpolicella, juice buckets of merlot(Cal) and sangiovese (Chile) none of them has much if any "body" compared to commercial wines of the same type grape. What makes up the "body" of a red wine? Mine have enough alcohol and I can backsweeten to a point that I like so that is not it. Both the merlot and sangiovese are very very young wines so I know age will make them better. But am I missing something in this lack of body as I am calling it?

Joe
 

BernardSmith

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
3,260
Reaction score
1,374
Location
Saratoga Springs
I've only ever made wines from grapes once so take what I say with however many pinches of salt you think appropriate. Mouthfeel - the viscosity of a wine - I think can be increased or reduced by a variety of factors. These include your choice of yeast - some are heavier producers of glycerol others aren't; the amount of fruit in the wine - the more fruit per volume unit the greater the mouthfeel, the the amount of residual sugar in the wine - the more sugar that remains unfermented the more viscous the wine tastes; and I suspect that many commercial wineries add "thickeners" to their wines to create greater mouthfeel. You can see what these might be if you look at the catalogs produced by wine making suppliers. But you might consider adding glycerin. There may be other factors but I cannot think of what they might be as I type this.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,596
Reaction score
6,469
Location
South Louisiana
I am still a newbie at this hobby with almost a year into it. However, of the three reds I have made now- kit valpolicella, juice buckets of merlot(Cal) and sangiovese (Chile) none of them has much if any "body" compared to commercial wines of the same type grape. What makes up the "body" of a red wine? Mine have enough alcohol and I can backsweeten to a point that I like so that is not it. Both the merlot and sangiovese are very very young wines so I know age will make them better. But am I missing something in this lack of body as I am calling it?

Joe
Maybe you’re missing the body wine gets from being fermented with skins and pulp. Do a little experiment, make a 6 gallon batch of wine from grapes or frozen must, and see if that scratches your itch.......
 

Jal5

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
446
Reaction score
215
John I would love to do a batch from grapes but that is probably beyond me right now! I take it that frozen must has skins in it? Don't know if any local suppliers handle this I have to look into it. What about the level of acid or tannin will that affect body of the wine?
Joe
 

heatherd

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,917
Reaction score
1,125
Location
Maryland
John I would love to do a batch from grapes but that is probably beyond me right now! I take it that frozen must has skins in it? Don't know if any local suppliers handle this I have to look into it. What about the level of acid or tannin will that affect body of the wine?
Joe
I will either pick a kit with skins or add skins to my juice bucket to get that body, via a grape skin pack like the one from Mosti Modiali. I have also done a batch where I combine frozen must with a juice bucket for a 12 gallon batch. There are a few sources of frozen must that deliver: juicegrape.com; winegrapesdirect.com; brehmvineyards.com.
 

kyle5434

Trying to fuse frugal/pragmatic with good results
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
124
Reaction score
73
Kit wise, you could try one of the RJS Cru International red kits that comes with dried grape skins, to see if that gets you closer to what you're expecting, and if so, stick with those or move up to the En Primeur or Eclipse kits with skins.

Or as a cheaper experiment, get a Grand Cru or Vintner's Reserve kit and add some zante currants (raisins from black corinth grapes, available at some grocery stores), dried elderberries (available from Amazon & other places), and/or even some tart cherries for primary fermentation. I've been adding 3/4 cup zante currants and 1/2 cup dried elderberries to most of my reds that don't already come with skins, and while it's taking them longer to reach the point of being drinkable, I'm pretty satisfied with the body and aroma that those additions provide.

So don't be afraid to experiment a bit. I've also tried adding a 49 oz. can of Vintner's Harvest plum puree to a Vieux Chateau du Roi kit, and it appears to be headed in a good direction as well. And I recently started a WE Selection California Cabernet kit to which I added a pound of aronia berries from the backyard (this is the first year I've had any to harvest), and I think they're going to give that cab a body and earthiness that's going to be really good.
 
Last edited:

baron4406

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2017
Messages
199
Reaction score
114
Its why I stopped doing juice buckets, they way they are made they are usually thin and tasteless. I actually think a cheap kit makes a better wine if you make it like some threads here tell you how to. BTW I must give you one exception, I was at a LHBS upstate and they had juice jugs from Walker in New York, I combined one of those with 56 lbs of Cabernet grapes. I only got it because it was Noriet, A varietal I was gonna plant in my backyard. That wine is FANTASTIC and its only 6 months old. My wife begged me to bottle it. The differance was this juice container was from a winery where they process their own grapes. The juice buckets are mass produced and usually made with the worst fruit.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,596
Reaction score
6,469
Location
South Louisiana
John I would love to do a batch from grapes but that is probably beyond me right now! I take it that frozen must has skins in it? Don't know if any local suppliers handle this I have to look into it. What about the level of acid or tannin will that affect body of the wine?
Joe
If you can do a kit well, you can do frozen must. Spend a few bucks at Brehm, pick one with good BRIX, pH and TA, so no adjustments needed, thaw, pitch yeast, make wine, bucket press, presto, wine from frozen must. You will notice the difference. I’d be happy to help you along if you give it a shot.

Grapes and skins are what you’re missing, additives help, but don’t heal. If you could make kit wines just as good as commercial wines, for only a few bucks a bottle, don’t you thing the capitalists would’ve exploited it by now?
 

Frosty

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
61
Reaction score
13
Some juice buckets actually are made from concentrate and then have water addded so quality can vary. I agree try top end kits with grape skins.
I would caution about back sweetening as the grapes you mentioned are usually dry.
 

masic2000

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
11
Location
Quebec, Canada
I've been using the Mosti Mondiale's fresh grape musts for years now and i'm also looking into adding more body (and soul) to the final product. Maybe via a grape skin pack as heatherd suggests . . . may be worth a try, at least for this year.
 

porkchopmessiah

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
208
Reaction score
163
Location
north jersey
I've been pondering the same issue, I've kinda been assuming that with out skins I'm gonna lack the tannins, I have 5 gall of sangiovese, a blend, valpocella, and syrah...was planning on hitting each 10 gram pouch of tannin rouge....any thoughts?
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,427
Reaction score
9,576
Location
near Milwaukee
That's what I would do! (I usually add 8 g Tannin Rouge to kits, even if they have skins.)
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,427
Reaction score
9,576
Location
near Milwaukee
I think Fred is correct -- but I don't know where PorkChopMessiah is in the fermentation process. How far along are you, PCM?
 

masic2000

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
11
Location
Quebec, Canada
Just added some skins to my Cab. Sauv. fermentation. They're contained in a cheesecloth mesh for easy removal upon completion.
 

whackfol

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
143
Reaction score
44
Not sure whether tannins or SIY additives will help with your problem. Another tact would be to try adding glycerine or gum Arabic. It will add a tiny bit of sweetness and body to the wine. Test it first. There is a product sold in LHBS called wine conditioner. It might be worth a try.

I totally agree with others in their suspicion your deficiency is due to the wine not being fermented on the skins. It’s a limitation of red kits and juices. I understand the makers have created ways to overcome it...Still, it’s a limitation.
 

Jal5

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
446
Reaction score
215
I think for 2019 I will either add skins to the juice buckets or raisins or currants and see how that turns out. I like experimenting.
 

porkchopmessiah

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
208
Reaction score
163
Location
north jersey
you guys are right about the rouge....it say add at crush, but in the description on morewine.com they say if your adding post ferment allow time to incorporate...im in the carboys for 2 weeks so im pretty early in my aging

To Use
Sprinkle directly onto must and either mix well with your punch down tool or pump over to ensure thorough mixing. If adding to the wine post-fermentation we recommend allowing 3-6 weeks for full integration before racking, fining, filtering or bottling.

Recommended dosage rate: 0.8-1.9 g/gal. Use at an initial rate of 1.3 gram per gallon during punch down/pump over. If you want additional tannin add at a rate of .25 g/gal.

A rough approximate of weight is 1 tsp = 2.4 grams. We highly recommend using a scale to weigh the product for an accurate dose. We do not recommend relying on these rough conversions for accurate dosage rates.

Unopened the shelf life is 5 years at 18ºC(65ºF).

sooooooo...ill give it a shot right after I rack in January...but I will ask this...
I have the of the Valpo, the Syrah, Sangiovese and a red blend (don't laugh..i didn't look at the buckets when they brought them to my car...it doesn't even say what its a blend of on the bucket) would rouge be better than complex in any of them...the website does say complex works well with Syrah..but aside from that any thoughts?
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,427
Reaction score
9,576
Location
near Milwaukee
sooooooo...ill give it a shot right after I rack in January...
I would say if you are going to add it, add it now. Give it time to integrate.

However, I am not sure if I followed your "workflow" correctly. Is it that it will be a PITA now, and easy in January?
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,574
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
I would say if you are going to add it, add it now. Give it time to integrate.

However, I am not sure if I followed your "workflow" correctly. Is it that it will be a PITA now, and easy in January?
I assume that to mean he’s gonna give it time to age first and have a better idea of how the wines tasting. Just in case he decides it may not need any tinkering after all
Personally haven’t messed with finishing tannin. Just fermentation. Once use the generic “wine tannin” powder to mask a bad batch. Didn’t work. Now when I taste that specific tannin it reminds me of that bad batch. Can’t use it anymore.
 

Latest posts

Top