The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |2

The Wine Maker’s Little Black Book Published by: Umberland Bay Consulting Inc. Copyright © 2008 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, Stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise without written permission from the author. For more information contact: Scott Young Winemaker and Author E-mail:

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |3

Dear Fellow Wine Maker, I'm the Scott “Wine Making Guy” and I'm glad you're here! I understand that you're interested in learning how to make wine and I don't blame you as it is a very fun hobby and best of all, there’s a reward at the end of the tunnel ... you get to drink the fruits of your labour! ... now this is assuming of course you have the patience to get there! In my “little black book” I've included 6 different lessons to help get you on your way to improving your wine making savvy! They include:

The 7 Common Sense Tips and Tricks That Will Make Your Wine Making Experience A Whole Lot Easier! (page 4) How to Make A Bottle Of Wine for Less Than A Cup of Coffee (page 8) The Do's and Don'ts Of Wine Filtering (page 12) How To Properly Present Your Wine At A Wine Tasting Party or Intimate Dinner With Your Friends (page 14) Five Fun Things You Can Do To Really Get The Most Out of Your Wine Making Hobby (page 19) Wine Making Resources – This is a big list I put together of websites geared to wine makers from around the world (page 24)

2. 3. 4.



The purpose of my “little black book” is not to convince you that you should start making your own wine – as I'm sure you already know this. ☺ I'm also assuming that you’re interested in wine making because you have heard about it through a friend or family member and have finally decided to get involved in actually doing it! It's also possible that you've already started making a few batches of wine, are excited about what you've accomplished so far and are eager to learn more. Either way, I'm glad that you're reading this as my goal is to help you with a few tips and ideas regarding the wine making process in the hopes that it will not only ensure that you make delicious wine but also to help you enjoy your life that much more. So without further ado, let's get started!

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |4

Lesson 1 - The 7 Common Sense Tips and Tricks That Will Make Your Wine Making Experience A Whole Lot Easier!
Tip #1 - If You're Making Wine from a Wine Kit Read The Instructions First!

Each wine kit manufacturer has different processes to create the kit so reading the instructions first will keep you from making any silly mistakes down the road. For example, some will have an “F-pack” to add, some will want you to add oak shavings at the beginning, some will want you to rack the wine before you degas it while others will want you to degas before you rack. Even if you’re an experienced wine maker reading the instructions is a good thing since the manufacturer knows their kit better than you and they might have changed a few things around.

Tip #2 - Before Any Equipment Touches Your Wine Must Make Sure You Sanitize It First!

When you cook in the kitchen do you use dirty pots or put food down on a dirty counter top? Apart from being totally gross you increase the likelihood of becoming sick or at the very least adding something to your dish that you don’t want. Same thing with wine making. Make sure you clean the area that you will be making your wine in (including cleaning the floors and counter tops) as well as sanitize every piece of equipment you will be using.

If your equipment is free of debris:

If your equipment is free of debris this can easily be done by using a solution of potassium metabisulphite by dissolving 50 g (about 8 teaspoons) of the sulphite crystals, which are available at all wine equipment stores into 4L of cold water. Note: This solution has a pungent smell so be sure to clean your equipment with the solution in a well ventilated area. You can clean your equipment by either pouring the solution over the equipment, by using a cloth to spread the solution over the item to be cleaned or (my personal favourite) you can use a spray bottle to spray your equipment down as well. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the equipment with warm water once it has been sanitized. Keep remaining solution in a sealed container – can be used for up to 2 months.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |5

If your equipment is stained and/or has debris:

If your equipment has stains or smells from the previous wine and/or has debris consider using a detergent such as “Sani-Brew”, which is available at most wine making equipment stores. Dissolve 3.5 g per L of cold water to make a sanitizing solution. 5 mL (1 teaspoon equals approximately 3.8 g). Allow equipment to soak for at least 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with hot water. Soak heavily stained equipment for up to 48 hours.

Tip #3 - Record what you do!

Keep track of everything you have done so that you can maintain consistency between batches, especially if you have made some slight modifications to the kit. This will allow you to replicate that batch of wine that you love in the future or determine what might have gone wrong if the batch didn't turn out exactly as you had expected. You can download a free copy of the recipe card that I use by going to the resources page of my Blog:

Tip #4 - Be accurate with the amount of water you use

One thing you’ll notice with wine kits is that the bigger the box the higher the price. This is mainly because the bigger the box the more juice you’ll get, not to mention the fact that the quality of the juice is typically much better. The more juice you have the less water you will have to use. So be sure to follow the directions with the wine kit to so that you will ultimately achieve the full taste of the kit. Don't forget that these kits have wine concentrates and adding the wrong amount of water will change the taste of the final product.

Tip #5 - Keep an eye on the temperature of the wine must

You should pay attention to the temperature of the water the instructions tells you to use as temperature is one of the main things that will mess up your batch of wine. Too warm and the fermentation happens too quickly and too cold the fermentation will occur too slowly.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |6

The instructions will usually ask you to use warm water when mixing in the bentonite and/or rinsing out the bag the grape concentrate came in, followed by cooler water to bring the primary to the 23 L mark. Using a combination of warm and cold water will help ensure that the water starts in the correct temperature range of 68 – 78 F (18 – 24 C). Maintaining the temperature of the must is also important so don’t hesitate to use something to act as an insulator such as bubble wrap or a blanket. Consider using a “brew belt” if you are making wine in a part of the house (such as your basement) where the temperature varies throughout the year. A brew belt will ensure that your wine must is kept consistently at 22 C. Wine yeast also likes a consistent temperature, hence why you should have a floating thermometer in the wine must so that you can take readings throughout the process. Also note that if the temperature fluctuates consistently in the room you are making your wine the wine yeast might decide the environment is too hostile to work in and become dormant. Your fermentation might therefore stop completely. If the temperature of the wine must falls below the optimum temperature the fermentation may become “sluggish” and/or “stuck”. You may notice over several days that the specific gravity level has stopped moving. Take a temperature reading and see if this is the culprit. If so try raising the temperature using a brew belt or move your batch to a warmer room. You might also consider speaking to someone at the wine equipment store you purchased the kit from as they might have some specific ideas on how to “bring it back from the dead”. This could include adding more yeast and yeast nutrient. You best bet is to avoid this situation from occurring in the first place ... :)

Tip #6 - Stir “hard” when it tells you to
− −

One thing that you will note in the instructions that come with your wine kit is that it will ask you to “stir vigorously” at various points throughout the process. This is usually at the beginning so that you mix the bentonite into the water, the grape concentrate with the water, and at the end of the process to remove excess carbon dioxide (also known as “degassing”) Tip 1: Use a “Fizzex” bit for your drill as it will stir the wine must without disturbing the surface (so you won’t' introduce as much oxygen) and it will be much easier on the arm. They are available at most wine making stores for around $24.95. Tip 2: Use a wine saver to create a vacuum in your carboy to pull all of the dissolved gas. You can view a video on how to do this by going to:

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |7

Tip #7 -The two ultimate determining success factors for your wine
− −

This would be both “time” and “patience” Did you know that your average wine kit is typically ready to bottle in 28 to 45 days? This doesn't necessarily mean that they are ready to drink though as most kits require some form of aging. This could be anywhere from 3 months to a year or more depending on the kit. To test this why not try your wine at various stages in the aging process to see for yourself how aging improves the wine? Be sure to take notes to describe the wine at each stage to make comparison that much easier. Have fun with it!

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |8

Lesson 2 - How to Make A Bottle of Wine for Less Than A Cup of Coffee
First, I would like to ask you what your main motivation is for making homemade wine? Here are some common reasons why people make their own wine:

Cultural: For some cultures (i.e. French, German and Italian) it is one of their traditions and so they are simply carrying it on as this is something that their family enjoys doing Hobby: It is a hobby that people enjoy doing on their own as a way to de-stress from work Social: It is an activity that people enjoy doing with members of their family, with their friends or with a club or social group As A Form of Expression: Similar to those who enjoy cooking for others and expressing their creativity through their cooking some enjoy doing the same with their wine. These types of people tend to enjoy trying to blend different fruits or wine kits together to create something very unique that they enjoy sharing with their friends. Financial: People who tend to enjoy a bottle of wine regularly with their meal might choose to save money by making it themselves.

 

... It is this last reason that I would like to focus on for this lesson. In my experience, a decent bottle of commercial wine will cost you at least $10 or so. If you are one of those types of people who like to have a glass or two with most of your evening meals then over the course of a month this begins to really add up. Now let's assume for a moment that you are a budget conscious person who has a flair for adventure but more importantly can follow instructions! So you decide to save a few bucks by making your own wine. Now as the title of this lesson suggests, you can quite easily make a bottle of wine for less than a cup of coffee. This is based on: 1. You already own your own wine making equipment (or at least know someone who you can borrow the equipment from). Some provinces or states have a “brew your own” (similar to a “U Pick” berry farm) where you get to pick the wine you want and the staff at the shop make it for you. All you have to do is typically add the yeast and bottle it when it's ready. 2. A cup of coffee at Starbucks or (for you fellow Canucks) at Second Cup costing around $5. A typical batch of wine will make you 30 bottles of wine and therefore we have $150 ($5 x 30 bottles) to play with, which is more than enough as you will see below. So where do all of the costs come from? Good question!

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

The Wine Maker's Little Black Book - Page |9

Cost 1 – The Ingredients: Cheapest ($0 - $30):

Consider trying to make wine from fruit available for free either in your backyard or perhaps you have a friend or family member who would be happy to hand over their crab-apples from the tree in their backyard. Harvesting rhubarb from your backyard patch is an idea as well. Another idea would be to wait until a particular fruit comes into season and either pick it yourself at a “U Pick” or look for deals at your local supermarket or Costco. My wife and I were able to pick up enough blueberries from our supermarket and farmer's market to make 30 bottles of wine for under $30. Your other ingredients such as Campden tablets, sulphite, sorbate, bentonite, yeast etc can all be purchased in bulk so you can spread the cost over several batches (except the yeast). We usually use tap water and it is included in our water bill There are many recipes out there who can help turn various fruits into a delicious wine Main downside is that you really need to know what you are doing otherwise you could create a “monster” that no one will love ... :)

  

Typical ($60 - $150):
  

The typical wine maker will go to a wine making store and purchase a packaged wine kit Everything you need will be included in the kit with the exception of the water Prices vary based on the quality and quantity of juice

Cost 2 – The Bottles: Cheapest (free):

Keep empties from your store bought wine, ask your friends and family for their empties or buy them at your local bottle depot. I clean our store bought wine bottles shortly after using them so I don't have to clean them all at once. Labels are fairly easy to come off if you soak them in warm water for an hour or two then use a razor blade attached to a handle to scrape the wet label and glue off (available at your local hardware store in the window section as they are used to scrape tape and dirt off of windows). I then use a sponge with a scouring pad on it to remove any remaining evidence of the label. Be sure to clean and sanitize the inside of the bottle as well.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 10

Another alternative is to go to your local bottle recycle depot and see how much they would charge for a dozen bottles of wine. The upside is that you can usually buy a dozen for around $2 and they'll come pre-sorted so chances are that they will all look the same. Main downside is that they most likely came from a catered event such as a wedding and were used as ash trays so prepare to roll up your sleeves and do some cleaning!

Typical ($1 per bottle):

Typically people would rather start off fresh and opt to buy brand new wine bottles, which are available at all wine equipment stores, supermarkets and Costco's of the world for around $1 per bottle.

Cost 3 – The Corks:

Natural and agglomerated corks will run you in the $4 to $5 range for 30, whereas synthetic will be in the $10 range for 30.

Cost 4 – Other Optional Costs:

The first optional cost is the wine labels. This really depends on what is more important to you – the wine or the presentation. You can go all out and spend the $5 on getting matching wine labels for your wine or you can back off a “little” and make labels using masking tape. The second optional cost is renting a wine filter. Lesson 3 covers the difference between filtering and not filtering your wine (so I won't go into the details here) but filtering your wine (like buying wine labels) is purely up to you.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 11

Summary of costs: Cost Fruit/Juice Ingredients Water Bottles (used) Bottles (bought new) Corks Wine Labels (optional) Rental of filter (optional) Total Cost per bottle (30) Fruit is Free $0.00 $20.00 $0.00 $0.00 n/a $5.00 $5.00 $10.00 Fruit is From Super Market $30.00 $20.00 $0.00 $0.00 n/a $5.00 $5.00 $10.00 You Use A Wine Kit #1 $60.00 Included in kit $0.00 $0.00 n/a $5.00 $5.00 $10.00 You Use A Wine Kit #2 $60.00 Included in kit $0.00 n/a $30.00 $5.00 $5.00 $10.00

$40.00 $1.33

$70.00 $2.33

$80.00 $2.67

$110.00 $3.67

This table is a very realistic view on what you can expect your costs to be for an average wine and as you can see is well below the cost of a cup of coffee. Even with new bottles, labels and a wine filter rental you are still reasonably priced.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 12

Lesson 3 - The Do's & Don'ts of Wine Filtering
One of the more interesting conversations you will have with fellow homemade wine makers is their take on filtering the wine before you bottle it as there are many opinions on the subject. I personally have done both and from a sheer “easiness” factor I would have to say that it is an extra step that I'd rather not do, mainly because of the extra effort that goes into doing it (do it once and you’ll know what I mean). The Effort Needed To Filter Your Wine: If you are going to filter your wine you will either have to buy a filter (for around $180) or rent one (for around $8 per day) along with figuring out which filter to buy (your local wine equipment dealer can help you with this). The cost of a set of filters is around $3. Filters have different size of pores and therefore the filter you need depends on the type of wine you are filtering. Red wine require filters with larger pores then white wine. Once you bring it home you need to set it up (make sure the filters aren't put in backwards as the wine will leak all over the place) and make sure it runs properly. If you don't mind going to all this effort then go for it! The Main Goal of Filtering the Wine: The main goal of filtering the wine is to remove any extra sediment such as dead yeast, vitamin B, bentonite and other suspended solids that remain in the wine before you bottle it. In other words, you are looking to clear out items that you wouldn't normally want in your wine glass. Personally I believe that if you let the wine age for a good period of time (say 6 months to a year) and rack it several times you will remove the majority of those unwanted items anyways as aging gives the wine time to settle out. You might find that filtering actually both affects the flavour of the wine and strips some of the colour out of it as well. To Filter or Not to Filter: One Man's Quest to Find Out I had an interesting conversation one Saturday morning with a gentleman by the name of Myron who works at one of the local wine equipment store I frequent. He has made wine for the last 11 or so years and has therefore had the opportunity to see both sides of the coin when it comes to wine filtering. Myron told me about a test he did recently on an Australian Shiraz he had finished making where he filtered 24 of the 30 bottles and left 6 bottles unfiltered as he was interested to see if there was a difference. He said that he typically filters his wine but that is mainly because he got into the habit of doing it when he worked for a different wine kit company where you had to filter the wine. Is "stressing” a wine possible? One of the interesting things that Myron mentioned was that filtering is one of the harshest things you can do to wine as you are squeezing the wine molecules through a small membrane under pressure and it therefore stresses the wine.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 13

In fact, any time a bottle of wine is moved, transported or shaken the wine gets "stressed". Sounds funny doesn't it! Myron contends that when wine is stressed the flavours will go into “hiding” so the aroma and taste of the wine seem to be somewhat dull or muted. As an interesting exercise why not see if you believe him by taking two identical bottles of wine and vigorously shaking one of them and then do a taste test between the two and see if there is a difference. Back to Myron's experiment ... After he bottled the wine he tried the filtered wine side-by-side with the unfiltered wine and here is what he noticed: At the beginning:

There was a huge difference. The unfiltered wine had lots of flavour and was a pleasure to drink whereas the filtered wine had no flavour at all most likely because it was stressed due to the filtering process

One week later:

The non-filtered wine still had more flavour than the filtered wine

Three weeks later:

The difference wasn't noticeable

One month later:

The filtered wine was smoother than the unfiltered wine

Myron's Conclusion: Don't Filter If ...
 

You like a full-bodied wine (such as a red wine) Let it clear on its own and rack it several times

Filter If ...
    

If you like a “smooth” wine Let it sit for a month or so after filtering it to allow the wine to mellow out and “de-stress” Also a good idea to filter fruit wine so that you can remove any pulp left over White wines are also more delicate and present much better if they are crystal clear So if presentation, smoothness and clarity are important to you then filter your wine Note that once you have filtered the wine it no longer needs to clear and just needs to age.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 14

Lesson 4 - How To Properly Present Your Wine At A Wine Tasting Party or Intimate Dinner With Your Friends
The first 3 lessons covered wine making best practices, the economics of homemade wine making as well as wine filtering do's and don'ts. Now that we have the wine making basics covered I figured it would be a good idea to discuss some fun things to do with your wine once it has been made and aged. After all, you've put the time and effort into making your wine so now it's time to actually enjoy the fruits of your labour with your friends and family! One thing that my wife and I did with our friends was organize a dinner party where each couple brought a dish to share with the group and was also responsible for bringing a bottle of wine to pair with it. We “upped the ante” a little by requiring each couple to present their wine to the rest of the group. Everyone did some research on the wine they brought, the region it typically comes from, a bit about the winery as well as the grape/style of wine. They also needed to explain why they chose that particular wine with the food (i.e. the subtle plum undertones really bring out the sweetness of the sauce). Properly presenting and opening a bottle of wine My wife Michelle works as a server at one of the local fine dining restaurants and is therefore no stranger to properly presenting a bottle of wine to her guests. At the beginning of the evening she held a brief lesson on how to properly present their wine, which certainly added an air of sophistication to the evening. Here in essence is how she would present a bottle of wine to her guests at the restaurant: Step 1 – Present the bottle of wine to the person who ordered it making sure that the label is facing them and confirm with the guest that this is the bottle they ordered. Step 2 – Holding the bottle with one hand use the other hand to remove the shrink (the wrap at the top of the bottle covering the cork) using a bartender's corkscrew and be sure not to turn the bottle at all while you are doing this (this may take a bit of practice). Note: This whole bottle opening “manoeuvre” should be done while holding the bottle in the air and not done by placing the bottle on the table by the guest. Step 3 – To remove the cork push the screw from the bottle opener on an angle down the side of the neck of the bottle into the cork and then begin turning the handle of the cork screw clock wise so that the screw enters the cork.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 15

Step 4 - Once the cork screw is approximately ¾ of the way into the cork place the lever of the cork screw on the lip of the bottle and push up slowly on the opposite end of the cork screw handle to remove the cork making sure that the cork doesn't come out with a “pop”. >> Remember: Try not to turn the bottle as you are turning the cork screw. Step 5 – Remove the cork from the cork screw and hand it to the guest who ordered the bottle so that they can examine it to determine whether or not the bottle has been stored correctly. The main thing that they are looking for is a nice moist cork and not a cork that is crumbly or dried out. Step 6 – Pour a small amount of wine into the glass of the person who ordered it to allow them to taste it to ensure that it meets with their approval. Once they have approved the wine pour an appropriate amount into the other guest's glasses at the table (beginning with the ladies) finishing off with the original person who ordered the wine. A bottle of wine should serve approximately 5 people and you should try to ensure that everyone at the table has an equal amount of wine in their glass. The wine-tasting protocol Now that everyone at our dinner party knew how to properly present and open a bottle of wine it was time to move on to learning how to properly taste a wine. Wine is meant to be enjoyed, but for many, approaching a glass of wine is still an intimidating experience. By following these ten simple steps (as provided by winery owner Mary Baker, from the Dover Canyon Winery), you will be able to determine your own flavour preferences, learn how to judge the overall quality of a wine, and feel confident about voicing your opinion. Step 1 – Examine the color of the wine Hold the glass against a white background (such as a piece of white paper towel) and tilt it sideways—a white wine should be pale straw to deep gold, and a red wine can be anywhere from brick red to deep, plumy purple. Older wines may have a brownish tinge around the edge, which is perfectly normal in an aging wine, but it may also indicate that the wine has peaked in flavour. A tinge of brown will prepare you for the flavours of an aging wine, which can range from dusky cinnamon to a rich caramel effect. In a white wine, any tinge of brown is a clear warning that the wine may be too old; the lighter, more tropical flavours of a white wine don't normally hold up well to the caramelized flavours that develop with age. Step 2 – Swirl the wine Next, swirl the wine gently. This has two purposes. The first is to prove to everyone in the room that you are a wine geek (try not to splash wine on the person next to you). The second purpose is to gently aerate the wine. When you smell the wine after swirling, your nasal receptors will pick up more bouncing esters and molecules than if you sniff a resting wine. It is not necessary to give wine the washing-machine treatment. Swirling your wine for ten minutes will only exhaust the wine and make the wine room attendants dizzy.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 16

Step 3 – Check out the “legs” of the wine After swirling, lift your glass up above eye level and watch the wine drip down the glass. (There is no real purpose to this exercise other than demonstrating that you know how to do it.) You'll see a thin film of wine cling to the glass, then gently release in long drips, called "legs." Wines with a higher alcohol content have a stronger surface tension and will cling to the glass more, having thicker "legs." Swirled water, for instance, has no legs, compared to swirled brandy, which has drips like cake frosting. Alcohol content is relative to taste. At thirteen percent alcohol, a delicate white wine like sauvignon blanc may not have the necessary flavour to survive the hot mouth feel of a strong alcohol content, but a heavier chardonnay or red wine may balance the alcohol perfectly. Step 4 – Smell the aroma of the wine Take your time and use your imagination. If it were not wine, but perfume in your glass, how would you describe it? A well-crafted wine should give hints of the fruit flavours to come, ranging from melons, peaches, and pineapple in white wines, to plum, cherry and cassis in red wine. Oak is often more evident in a wine's aroma than in its taste, and depending on the type of barrels used, you may also find esters of cedar, vanilla or cinnamon from oak aging. Although aromas of mint and herb are often attractive, wines should never have unusually "green" aromas like asparagus, fermented grass, or pureed baby food. Step 5 - Taste the wine for fruit and vegetables Savour the wine and roll it around in your mouth before swallowing. Most people have habitual methods of chewing and swallowing that probably do not include all the tasting receptors. Make sure the wine hits the middle, sides and back of your tongue, as well as the top of your palate. What is your initial impression? Is the wine tart? Soft? Caramelized? Spicy? Take another sip, and close your eyes. If it were not wine, but food in your mouth, what would you be tasting? Just as a Bing cherry is very different from the vanilla-like Queen Anne cherry, every wine varietal is different and distinctive. White wines are often described as tasting like pear, apple, or pineapple. Red wines are compared to cherries, plums and berries. Cool growing seasons and some vineyards impart slightly vegetal characteristics that may remind you of herbs or asparagus. Taster's Tip: If you like, you can also aerate wine by swizzling it behind your teeth for a moment. This is most appropriate for young, tannic reds as it aids in evaluating the fruit and longevity of the wine. It is, however, considered gross to do this in a restaurant, and it is very pretentious to do it with every wine, particularly whites.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 17

Step 6 – Taste the wine for toast and butter After the fruit and vegetable comparison, look for toast and butter characteristics. Various yeasts and wine making techniques can, if the winemaker so chooses, give wine a lingering bread-like smell, or the sweet-sour lactic aroma of buttermilk. Toasty, yeasty wines are often the result of allowing spent yeasts to remain in the barrel with the wine for a period of time, called aging sur lies. Buttery and creamy aromas are the result of a process called malolactic fermentation, a secondary, post-alcohol conversion in which a specialized yeast changes the tart, green-apple malic acids of the grape into creamier lactic acids. These characteristics apply mainly to white wines, as all reds are put through ML as a matter of course, and the deeper flavour and astringent tannins in red wines make sur lies aging more difficult to detect. (Taster's Tip: Sometimes barrels do not completely finish malolactic conversion, or winemakers will put part of their barrels through malolactic fermentation, and then blend those barrels with non-malo lots, resulting in a wine with partial malolactic. You can ask about the percentage of ML in a wine, and with practice you will be able to guess accurately.) Step 7 – Taste the wine for tannins White wines have little or no tannin, which is a woody component extracted naturally from the skins and seeds of the red grapes. If you remember Boris Karloff craving his tanna leaves in The Mummy then you may have figured out that tannins are a natural preservative which facilitates the aging of red wines. (You should drink most white wines within four years of their vintage date—they lack the preservative tannins and will darken and caramelize with age.) Although white wines are often completely dry, red wines taste even drier because the fresh tannins in a young red wine are very astringent. As these wines age, their tannins decompose in the bottle, creating an earthy effect and, one hopes, a more complex wine. The subject of aging reds before consumption is a controversy which has lasted for ages, but there is one simple guideline. If you like young wines, drink them young; if you like older wines, age them. Step 8 – Taste the wine for oak Now study the wine for oak. Can you smell it? Can you taste it? Not all wines should be oaky—the delicate fruit flavours of light white wines can be overwhelmed by too much oak, and even red wine can sometimes smell more like furniture than fruit. The effect should be subtle—wines should not taste of pine, cedar, toothpicks or planks.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 18

Step 9 – Taste the wine for body What is your overall impression of the wine's textural feel? Does the wine have body, and structure? Were its components multiplexed and interesting? Did the wine titillate all the surfaces of your mouth, and seduce your sinuses? Or did it seem to stick to just one portion of your tongue? Body generally refers to a wine's ability to satisfy a multitude of sense in your mouth. Structure implies that the wine has layers of experience—flavours that echo the initial aromas and lead into a lingering finish. Some tasters prefer a thick, viscous, high-alcohol wine, while others enjoy a wine that seems to expand on the palate, throwing out a joyous array of flavours, aromas and teasing texturals. Step 10 - Taste the wine for finish Does the wine have a nice finish, a lingering sensation of flavour? Wines designed to be pleasant, fruity gulpers should leave a clean, brisk finish; more expensive wines designed for longevity should leave hints of interesting, mysterious and pleasantly spicy flavours, much like an expensive and welldesigned perfume. So there you have it – now you can present and open a bottle of wine properly AND impress your friends with your ability to properly taste and describe a wine with 10 easy steps. > YOUR next step is to call all of your friends and organize a fun wine tasting evening next weekend. Ask each guest to bring a bottle of wine and six wine glasses. Provide fresh bread cubes or baguettes and filtered water for your guests. If you plan on serving appetizers or cheese, ask your guests to evaluate the wines first, and then try them again later with food.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 19

Lesson 5 - Five Fun Things You Can Do To Really Get the Most Out of Your Wine Making Hobby
When considering what to write for the last lesson in my little “black book” of wine making I wanted to include something that would be fun, unique and outside of the typical wine kit route people usually take. My goal was also to give you some ideas and answers to “What's next”? What can I do with my wine making hobby now that I have a bunch of successful batches under my belt? Here are some ideas on where you can take your wine making “prowess” next: 1. Instead of using a wine kit, make your wine from scratch! If you would like to really get back to basics consider ordering your wine grapes and do everything right from the beginning! Obviously this means more work for you but also means that you can really claim to be a wine maker extraordinaire if make your wine from scratch. You can typically order your grapes from a number of sources including:
   

Your local wine equipment store Your local Italian Center/store Your local wine making club Online at various providers including: M & M Grape Co. - Delta Packing – > Tip: Go to Google and search for “Wine Grapes for Sale” to see other grape providers. Also note that they will arrive fresh at harvest time or shipped to you frozen.

Some vineyards even let you pick your own wine grapes. > Tip: Go to Google and search for “Wine Grapes PYO” and see what comes up. Prices are usually quite reasonable and sometimes include free crushing and de-stemming.

Once you have your grapes note that you will need to de-stem (remove the grapes from the stem of the grape bundle) and crush the grapes. Don't worry though as most wine equipment stores rent out the equipment needed to do this and it shouldn't be too expensive at that. If you decide to order enough grapes to make a number of batches why not involve your friends and family and make a day of it! Certainly a fun way to relax and enjoy each other's company.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 20

Don't know what you're doing? Visit your local Italian Center and I'm sure you'll be able to find someone who could help you out! :) You can also find some red and white wine recipes on the resources page of my Blog: 2. Try making wine from the fruit in your backyard, from your friend or family's backyard or fruit from the farmer's market. In part 3 we discussed the economics of wine making and I mentioned that the absolute cheapest way of making wine is to use the fruit in your backyard. Next best thing would be to buy it in bulk from your local supermarket or Farmer's market. Aside from pure economics, making wine from fruit other then grapes will open up a whole new world of wine to you. I personally have sampled very tasty wine made from rhubarb, raspberries, crab-apple and even choke cherries. I also have a batch of blueberry wine currently aging and it will be very interesting to see how it turns out. Making wine out of fruit is essentially the same as making wine from grapes so you are already ahead of the game. One resource I do encourage you to buy the next time you are at your local wine equipment store is a book written in 1976 by Raymond Massaccesi called “Winemaker's Recipe Handbook”. It will cost you under $10. It is filled with over a 100 easy-to-use tested recipes so should definitely keep you out of trouble! If fruit wine making is something that really interests you then you should check out my wine making Blog and read all of my posts for The Cherry Wine Project. You should also look at buying a copy of a book written by my friend Dominic Rivard called “The Ultimate Fruit Winemaker’s Guide”.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 21 3.

Try making a higher end wine kit. You will get a higher quality juice as well as more of it. They typically need to be aged longer (6 months to a year) but you will end up with a bottle of wine that would rival a $50 bottle of store bought wine but at a fraction of the cost Most wine kit manufacturers will produce kits of various levels of quality and you can quickly tell what this is by two things – the size of the box and the price. The larger the box the more juice you have and the higher the price the higher the quality. The more expensive kits will produce a higher quality wine but also typically require you to age it longer to really flesh out the wine's complexity. The other neat thing about the more expensive wine kits is that they may also contain different additives to increase the flavour and uniqueness of the wine. For example, I have seen some kits include freeze dried grape skins and others with a “mash” of wet crushed grapes that you can add to the primary. Note that you typically would put these into a cheesecloth type “sock” so that you can keep floating matter to a minimum. Some grape skins even come in their own cheesecloth sock – pretty “fancy schmancy” if you ask me ... :) It would be worth pointing out that if you are the type of person who likes to enjoy a glass of wine with most dinners and go through wine quite quickly that making a more expensive wine might not be in your best interest simply because these wines are to be savoured and enjoyed. They also take longer to age so you should therefore consider going with a cheaper wine that is ready in 3 to 6 months rather than a year. You might also consider building up your cellar with a combination of cheaper wines (for daily consumption) and more expensive wines for those special occasions. This will ensure that you get the best out of both worlds.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 22

4. Make wine with your friends (to share in the enjoyment and cost) or even “buddy up” with a wine making friend or two so that you each make a different wine kit then split the results once they are ready. I like this idea for a number of reasons: a) For some, wine making is a social activity where you can spend some quality time wine your friends or family member(s) and have a good time doing it b) Financially it makes sense, especially if you are trying a more expensive kit for the first time c) If you make a wine kit and your friend makes a wine kit then split your batches evenly between the two of you it means that you'll have access to a wider variety of wine rather than 30 bottles of the same thing. d) As the Chinese proverb saying goes “many hands make light work”. Ever notice how long it sometimes takes at various stages in the wine making process? Ever wish you had someone helping you clean all those bottles? Having an extra person help making wine certainly makes the wine process so much easier. 5. Make your own wine blend so that you can add a new level of complexity of flavour and aroma, as well as develop a nice balance between fruit, acid, tannin, and alcohol. Commercial wineries do it (ever heard of a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Cabernet Merlot?) so why not try it yourself? This can actually be done in a couple of ways: blending different wine kits or blending the juice right from fresh or frozen grapes. Probably the easiest way to do it is to blend the concentrate from different wine kits as the juice has already been balanced for acidity and sugars. Blending the juice from the grapes themselves is obviously do-able as well but will require a bit more experience and knowledge. You will need to consider such things as pH, acidity levels, as well as the amount of sugar in the grapes. You can certainly do some trial and error here but doing some research and asking for some help at your local wine supply store wouldn't hurt either.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 23

In terms of deciding which grape varieties to blend, here are some suggestions depending on what type of person you are:

If you are the type of person who likes to read about a movie before you see it (like my wife) then you most likely don't like surprises and need to know what you're getting into first. Consider going down to your local wine store and looking at the label of some blended wines to see what commercial wineries have come up with. They have already spent a reasonable amount of time trying various combinations of varieties to come up with something that they figure they can sell so this should give you some “safe bets” as to what you could try.

If you are the type of person who prefers not to know any great details about a movie before you see it as you like to be surprised (like myself) then go with your gut feel and experiment. Allow yourself to be surprised knowing that your wine could be either a total flop or something completely amazing.

Either way, make sure you document your recipe so that if it does turn out really well you can recreate it. If you’re interested in learning more about how to blend your wine read “Blending Homemade Wine – The Keys To Creating A Truly Unique Wine You Can Call Your Own”.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 24

Thank you for reading “The Wine Maker’s Little Black Book”!
I certainly hope that you have enjoyed these lessons and have learned something from it. If you have any questions about wine making, comments about either this manual (if you loved it I'd love to get a testimonial from you) or my Blog please feel free to contact me at: Website: Blog: Email: Bookstore: Wine Making Community:

To Your Wine Making Success!

If you’re interested in learning more about wine making I recommend you check out the resources on the next page!

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 25

“The Wine Maker’s Little Black Book” just scratches the surface of wine making! You can dive even deeper by ordering my wine making manual I call “Delicious Wine Making Made Easy” You will learn:

An important detail you won't find in store bought instructions that ensures a great batch of wine every time ... (Page 25) The secret to cleaning your wine equipment so you never spoil a batch of wine due to bacteria and other air born "pests" that can take control ... (Page 12) A super simple calculation so that you can tell how much alcohol is in your wine ... (Page 20)

An excellent explanation on how to properly read the hydrometer so that you know when it is time to move on to the next important step in the wine making process. (Page 19) How to use your cordless drill to ensure that your wine bottles don't explode on you in your wine cellar ... (Page 46) Discover the difference between aging the wine in the carboy or in the wine bottle so that you can make an informed decision on which route you would like to go .. (Page 42) And much more!

Click Here to Get Your Copy Now!

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 26

Wine Making Resources:
    

My Wine Making Blog The Cherry Wine Project Community (for fruit wine makers) My Wine Making Recipe Card (Free Download) My Wine Making Resources List WineMaker Magazine

“How-To” Articles From
          

Acid Titration Adjusting Acidity Citric Acid and Sufilte Barrel Preparation Inspection and Care for Your Barrel Rack Wine Simple “How-To” for Red Wine Simple “How-To” for White Wine Use of Accuvin’s Malic Test Use of the Pearson Square Using Bentonite for Wine Clarification Vinoferm Acid SO2 Test Kit

Wine Recipes:
 

Recipezaar - Search for “wine” EC Kraus - Fruit wines, wines from grapes, high alcohol wines etc.

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 27

Home Study Courses/Manuals: This list can also be found in my bookstore (
       

Delicious Wine Making Made Easy How To Build Your Own Wine Cellar! The Ultimate Fruit Winemaker’s Guide Fool-Proof Wine Values The Complete Grape Growing Guide Making Great Wine The Complete Illustrated Guide to Homemade Wine The Wine Connoisseur

… and if you’re interested in learning how to make beer:
   

641 Home Brew Recipes Home Brewing Training Home Brewing Success Bundle

Wine Kit Manufacturers:
    

Winexperts RJ Spagnols Heron Bay Wines Cellar Craft Wine Mosti Mondiale

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 28

Wine Making Books: This list can also be found in my bookstore (
        

Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook Brew Magazine WineMaker Magazine The Way to Make Wine The Wine Maker’s Answer Book A Taste For Wine: 20 Key Tasting To Unlock Your Personal Wine Style Gary Vaynerchuk’s “101 Wines” From Vines To Wines The Joy of Home Winemaking

Yeast Manufacturers:
● ● ● ● ●

WineMaker Magazine’s Yeast Strain Chart “Lallemand (Lalvin)” Brand Yeast “Red Star” Brand Yeast “White Labs” Brand Yeast “Wyeast” (pure liquid yeast)

Wine Storage:
● ●

Rosehill Wine Cellars Chris Milley’s “How To Build YOur Own Wine Cellar” Manual

Fruit Trees, Plants & Wine Grapes:

• • • • •

Willis Orchard Co. M & M Wine Grape Co. Walker’s Wine Juice Delta Packing The Nursery At TyTy

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

T h e W i n e M a k e r ' s L i t t l e B l a c k B o o k - P a g e | 29

Online Wine Making Supply Stores:
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Clickabrew (Canada) 5Gallons (Canada) EC Kraus (USA) HomeBrewIt (USA) MidWest Supplies (USA) Grapestompers (USA) Country Wines (USA) HopShop (UK) Art of Brewing (UK) Home Winemaking (UK)

Oak Wine Barrel Manufacturers: • • Barrel Mill Barrels Unlimited

Wine Filters & Bottle Fillers: • Buon Vino Manufacturing

Cork Manufactures: • Nova Cork

Wine Bottle Labels: • • • • My Own Labels Stoney Creek Wine Press 4th & Vine

Commercial Wine: • • • • • - Fine Wine at competitive prices Cellars Wine Club California Wine Club - Delivering hand-selected, boutique wines each month The Wine For Newbies Podcasts Wine Library TV

Copyright 2008 – Umberland Bay Consulting Inc.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful