Wine Making 101

I took the plunge.  Why not venture into the world of wine making?  In the beginning of July, I purchased all of the necessary equipment to start making wine, about $300 on that first day, along with a Nebbiolo wine making kit @ $199.00.  After my Nebbiolo, with hopes to be a future Barbaresco or Barolo, was transferred into it's secondary fermentation, I started a batch of Cabernet ($194.99).  After the Cabernet was transferred (racked) into its secondary fermentation, I began a batch of Merlot ($194.99).  All of there are high end wine kits.  They are expensive because the grapes and grape juice are from a specific place or region.  For example, the Nebbiolo kit included grape skins and juice from the Piedmont region of Italy, right from where this grape grows. The Merlot and Cabernet were from a specific place in California. The Cabernet grapes skins and juice was specifically from the Lodi region in CA and the Merlot was from the Stag's Leap Vineyard in Napa, CA.

You can purchase less expensive kits or you could simply make wine from a concentrate.  You will sacrifice quality going the cheaper route.  I went with quality.  Still, approximately only $7-8 per bottle, not including the equipment, of course.  Oh how we (I) rationalize.

Each kit will yield approximately 28 bottles of wine.  The longer these wines age, the better they will taste. The Nebbiolo will be ready for bottling at the end of August and the two other will be ready to bottle mid September.  After bottling, they recommend waiting at least 6 months to open your first bottle.  I intend on storing one case of each of these wines for at least a year.  When I sample each bottle, I will record how it tastes at various stages in time. 

Now that my three lovely reds are in their third stage of the game, I decided that I'd like to try to make a wine from a fresh fruit.  Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie.....  Peaches, I thought.  The peaches in Missouri are at their peak of ripeness so, I jumped on the opportunity to learn how to make wine from scratch.  As we speak, the peaches are in their primary fermentation and they are fermenting nicely.  After talking with someone who was in line at the wine (cheese and beer) making supply store, he told me that I could make wine out of just about anything.  He goes to a local apple cider making business every fall and gets quite a few gallons of 'apple juice'.  Not the apple juice that we'd drink, I believe it the left over just after they press the apple or skins or something.  So, I'll be headed there this fall to collect some fresh 'apple juice' and start some apple wine. 

At the end of the day the intrigue for me is putting it all together, making something that is delicious that I can share with others, while I learn something new along the way.   Salute!