Grape Wine Recipe - Tips For Your Success Using Grapes

This is a basic overview of a recipe is for the production of grape wines. The easy tips included will be sure to help you enjoy the wine making process as you implement your grape wine recipe. Slight adjustments to the ingredients used can yield an eclectic collection of tastes and flavors. I would recommend trying a basic fruit wine, such as grapes.

If you have never made a home made wine before, don't worry, these tips are designed to ensure your success, so that you don't end up wasting all your efforts.


Below I have included a simple overview to the recipe and how it works to remove some of the "mystery" that surrounds it, and to help you get started. I think you will enjoy it.

Grape Wine Recipe - Tips For Your Success Using Grapes

What Ingredients To Use

For this recipe you will need some basic ingredients such as 2 teaspoons pectic enzyme, sugar, 15 pounds of white grapes, white wine yeast, and Campden tablets (or strong sulphite solution).

An Overview Of The Process

The first thing you will need to do is to pick the grapes, remove them from the stalks and place them in a plastic bucket. If the grapes are fully ripe they can be crushed easily by hand or with a sterilized wooden block.

Next, add the pectic enzyme, and one crushed Campden tablet or 1 teaspoon strong sulphite solution. Stir well, cover with an upturned plate, then cover the bucket and leave for 24 hours. Press the grapes or strain through a strong nylon straining bag, squeezing the bag to extract all the juice.

Take an S.G. (specific gravity) reading of the juice and adjust with sugar syrup to 1.080. Pour into a demijohn and add an active yeast starter. Plug the jar with cotton wool and when the fermentation is active replace with an airlock.

Leave in a warm place and when the fermentation is finished, in about 10-14 days, rack the clearing wine from the lees into a clean jar and remove to a cool place. After 2 days rack again. This time adding 2 Campden tablets or 2 teaspoons strong sulphite solution.

Now you let them age and mature in for 12 months before bottling.

Finding Good Grapes

When growing grapes you need good summer weather to enable the vine to produce grapes with a high sugar level, and a low acid content. A wine made from grapes that haven't had the chance to completely ripen will be of poor quality. It will usually have a low alcohol level with high acidity.

If the grapes can be left on the vine a far superior wine should be achieved. This is because the maximum sugar level in the grapes can be achieved, which in turn, produces a higher quality wine.

Although there are a number of fruits that be used to make wine, grapes are the standard choice, and will yield the best results for your grape wine recipe.

Grape Wine Recipe - Tips For Your Success Using Grapes

David Hall is recognized as a leading expert on wine, wine making and wine tasting and is author of 'The Wine Connoisseur' ebook and audio book. Discover even more about topics such as a grape wine recipe [] as well as other wine making secrets! Get instant access to his Special Report entitled "Discovering Wine" with your free subscription to his mini-course at []

Some Simple Easy Wine Recipes

If you're into homemade wine, you know the importance of getting some good homemade wine recipes. Just throwing some fruit juice and a fermenting agent in a jar and letting it sit for awhile will get you nothing but nasty fruit juice. You can of course try your own mixtures if you're adventurous, and of course doing so is part of the fun of making your own wine, but especially if you are a beginner you'll want to follow the easy wine recipes to the tee. Once you're a bit more experienced, you can start experimenting with different fruit mixes and sugar levels, and who knows - you may even come up with some of your own homemade wine recipes over time! But to get you started, here are some basic recipes you can try.

Mulled wines are a great alternative to hot cocoas, ciders, and other such drinks. They are very easy to make, and once you get the hang of it, you can come up with your own mulled wine recipes. Usually you just take one regular bottle of any red wine and put it into a large stewing pot. Add a quarter cup of brandy, about 10 cloves, 2/3 cup of sugar, some whole cinnamon sticks, and about a teaspoon of ginger or allspice. Let it simmer over very low heat, stirring it occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. You can experiment with this type of easy wine recipe by adding some favorite pureed fruit or fruit juice, or by using honey instead of sugar as a sweetener. By using different types of red wines, you'll also be able to get either stronger or mellower flavors.


Apple wine is also a favorite for homemade wines, and while these easy wine recipes are a bit longer, they yield a very good product. Your wine mix is merely 2 containers of frozen apple juice (thawed) and 4 cups of sugar, more or less to taste, with about 2-1/2 quarts of water. As with most easy wine recipes, you boil the sugar in about a quart of the water until it is dissolved, and add this to the apple juice. Add about 6 teaspoons of acid blend, a campden tablet, a quarter teaspoon of grape tannin, a half teaspoon of pectic enzyme, and a package of wine yeast. You then prepare it as you would any other wine. Since this is one of the most basic homemade wine recipes there is, you can experiment with it by mixing the apple juice with other fruit juices. Half apple juice and half grape juice is good; cherry or blackberry juice works well too.

Some Simple Easy Wine Recipes

You can also adjust this homemade wine recipe by eliminating the apple altogether and using half grape juice and half grapefruit juice.

The important thing to remember when mixing up the fruits that you use in your homemade wine recipes is that you don't want to use all tart fruits or all sweet fruits. A good way to remember this is to think of the colors of the fruit, and use two from different colors. For instance, grape and apple, banana and cherry, and so on. These types of mixtures usually make the best easy wine recipes for homemade wines.

Some Simple Easy Wine Recipes

Alyssa Nair has written articles on the finest wines and accessories. Read the helpful tips and advice about homemade wines [], how to grow your own grapes or building your own wine cellars [].

Wine For The Beginner - Red Wine Selection Tips For Beginners

Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot, oh my. Understanding the complexities and variety of red wine can be daunting, especially when it comes to choosing the correct wine for a dinner. Here are some wine selection tips for five of the most popular red wines for the beginner.

Cabernet Sauvignon


Considered the "King of Red Wine Grapes", Cabernet Sauvignon originated in the Bordeaux region of France and established itself in the California wine markets to become one of the world's most popular red wines. Cabernet Sauvignon is usually matured for 5-10 years to create a mellow-flavored wine. It is often blended with other grapes, most notably Merlot, to create a soft wine with lively fruit tones. Cabernets are medium to full-bodied wines high in tannins which carry rich berry, tobacco and sometimes even green pepper flavors. Cabernet pairs well with lamb, red meats, hearty red pasta dishes, strong cheese and dark chocolate.

Wine For The Beginner - Red Wine Selection Tips For Beginners

Pinot Noir

The Pinot Noir grape is very difficult to grow demanding climates with consistently warm days and cool nights. Nonetheless, it is grown in regions including Oregon, California, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Italy. Due it's strict growing requirements, Pinot Noir is produced in lesser quantities than many other popular red wines and tends to be a little pricier. It is a lighter colored and flavored red wine with sweet undertones of berries, tomatoes, cherries, plums and earthy or woody flavors depending upon where it is grown. Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile red wines and pairs nicely with poultry, fish, lamb, pork, ham, spicy seasonings and cream sauces.


Zinfandel has been a mainstay of the Californian wine market since the mid-1800s. Originally from Italy, this robust grape has found a good home in the Americas. The Zinfandel grape produces two varietals: the red Zinfandel, and the White Zinfandel (also called White Zin) which has become a popular wine for the beginner. The basic Zinfandel is a rich, dark red wine with flavors of sweet berries, plums and black pepper and undertones of oak. White Zinfandel is made by removing the grape skins shortly after the grapes are crushed. The result is a rose to pink colored wine with a lighter flavor. Red Zinfandel pairs nicely with red or white meat, hearty fish, burgers and spicy dishes. White Zinfandel is suited to a large rage of foods including Cajun and Asian flavors, BBQ chicken and heavy seafood dishes.


Merlot originates from the Bordeaux region of France and is a soft and lush, medium-bodied wine. Its juicy fruit flavors and low tannin content makes Merlot a popular wine for the beginner. Merlot has a wide range of tones including plums, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and black pepper. Merlot is often blended with other wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to soften their flavors and gain more structure and definition. Merlot is a versatile red which pairs well with pork, red meats, pastas and salads.


Known as Syrah in France, Shiraz is a bold, spicy wine which has become very popular in Australia where it gained its alternative name. It is a medium to full-bodied wine with firm tannins that give it a fuller body than most younger reds. Shiraz has an impressive range of flavors including black cherry, blackberry, plum, bell pepper, black pepper, licorice and even dark chocolate and smoked meat. Shiraz stands up well to hearty foods including grilled meats and vegetables, wild game, seasoned red meats, beef stew and meaty pizzas.

Wine For The Beginner - Red Wine Selection Tips For Beginners

You can learn about white wine for the beginner and get more wine selection tips for finding quality wines for or less at

How To Make Homemade Wine With Simple Household Utensils

To make homemade wines with the recipes and ingredients here
all one needs is a gallon-size glass bottle, a saucepan and
a polyethylene pail. Make certain to use polyethylene as
some plastics are not suitable. Do not use aluminum, copper,
or enamel vessels to make your homemade wine with.

Sterilization is mandatory for all utensils, bottles and
corks, especially corks. One should use commercialy
available plastic corks until you know how to properly
sterilize natural corks.


Ordinarily, baker's yeast and white granulated sugar are
used by the average homemade wine maker. A special wine
yeast and invert sugar makes the best wine possible.

How To Make Homemade Wine With Simple Household Utensils

Wine yeast is capable of producing eighteen per cent of
alcohol by volume (32 proof), against the fourteen per cent
of bakers' yeast.

Starting what is called a 'nucleus ferment'or nutrient. A
small jar will do for this. About a 1/2 cup of water
and a teaspoonful of sugar are boiled together for a minute
and then allowed to cool. This is then put into a
sterilized jar and the yeast added in whatever form it is
obtained. Allow to set for 3 days covered with plastic wrap
and rubberband.

Preparing the fruit: Various types of wild yeast and
bacteria are on the fruit naturally and must be dealt with.
Our method, known as the 'sulphiting' method, does
this. For more detailed information on "sulphiting" go to

How to make homemade wine:

Crush the fruit by hand in the poly pail and pour on one
quart of distilled water. Mix well. Crush one campden tablet
and dissolve the power in 1/2 cup of warm water and
mix with pulp. Leave the mixture for 1 or 2 hours. A little
discoloring may happen. After this, take 1/3 of the sugar
to be used and boil this for 1 minute in 3 pints of
water. Allow this syrup to cool and then stir into the
pulp. Then add the yeast (or nutrient) and ferment for 7

After 7 days, strain the pulp through fine cloth and wring
out as dry as you can. Put the strained homemade wine into a
gallon jar and discard pulp. Then boil another 1/3
of the sugar in one pint of water for 1 minute and when
cooled add it to the rest. Plug the neck of the jar with
cotton wool or fit a fermentation lock and continue to
ferment the homemade wine in a warm place for a further 10

At this stage, pour the homemade wine into the poly pail
leaving as much deposit in the jar as you can. Clean
out the jar, sterilize it and return the homemade wine to
this. Boil the remaining 1/3 of the sugar for 1 minute
in 1 pint of water. When this has cooled, add it to the
rest. Refit the lock or plug the neck of the jar with
fresh cotton wool.

After this, the homemade wine should be left in a warm place
until all fermentation has ceased.

Clearing: it is usual to have a brilliantly clear homemade
wine a month before fermentation has ceased so
patience is required here. After all fermentation has
ceased, siphon the clear homemade wine (if not yet crystal
clear) into another jar leaving the deposit behind. Then
when the homemade wine is finally crystal clear it should
be siphoned into bottles and corked.

To get the maximum alcohol and to get total fermentation the
ideal temperature at which to keep a 'must' is
between 65-70 degrees F.

Fully ripe fruit is essential if we hope to make the best
homemade wine.

CHERRY WINE (A Delightful Sweet Wine):

8lb. black cherries, 7pts. water, 3 1/2lb. sugar (or 4lb.
invert), all-purpose wine yeast or Bordeaux yeast, nutrient.

PLUM WINE (Port Style):

Dark red, fully ripe fruits must be used. 10lb. plums,
7pts. water, 3 1/2lb. sugar (or 4lb. invert), port yeast,


Homemade grape wine is much more difficult and requires 20
pounds of grapes so unless you own a vineyard it is
not cost effective to make homemade grape wine.

After several batches you will get the rhythm of making
homemade wine down to a tee. With further knowledge you
will be able to make homemade wines with a strength,
clarity, flavour and bouquet of which you will be justly proud.

How To Make Homemade Wine With Simple Household Utensils

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Making Port Wine

I had a friend in college whose life's goal was to move to France, don a beret, stomp on grapes, and make wine for a living. Though I tried to tell her that there was more to wine-making than purple feet, and that berets were so "Clinton Administration," she ignored me and dreamt of grapes anyway. Though I did not share her winemaking aspirations and decided instead to dream of something much more realistic, like a marriage proposal from Brad Pitt, she did get me thinking about the process, and she got me thirsty for knowledge. This eventually led me to discover different types of wine require different recipes, with one of the most complex belonging to Port.

Prior to actually reading about making Port, I was under the impression that all it involved was people stepping on grapes in bare feet. Because of this, I often worried that I would be drinking Tinta Barroca, and find floating in my glass a human toenail or perhaps a foot corn. But, in truth, port-making is a lengthy, complicated process.


Port wine, also known as Vinho do Porto, Porto, or Porto wine, is a fortified wine that comes from the Douro Valley in the northern lands of Portugal. Produced in Portugal since the mid 15th Century, Port gained popularity in England after the Methuen Treaty of 1703. While this treaty did war-related things reserved for history books, in regards to wine it caused England to become an adopted family for Port, with Portugal being the biological parents.

Making Port Wine

There is no easy way to make Port: no kind comes in a packet with "just add water" instructions. Instead, the process initially involves picking grapes, smashing them, and then placing them in an automated tank where they are further chopped into tiny pieces. After remaining in this tank for nearly twenty-four hours, the grapes begin to ferment and their sugar climbs the food chain, turning into alcohol.

With Port wine, after fermentation begins, timing takes over. Once half of the grape's sugar has been converted, fermentation must be stopped. In order to do this, the wine is mixed with clear brandy (a strong alcoholic spirit distilled from wine) containing a proof of 150. The alcohol in the brandy kills the yeast in the wine, causing fermentation to cease. The ending result is a sweet wine that is about 20 percent alcohol. It is typically served with desserts, cheese, and, of course, desserts made of cheese.

Though there are many styles of Port - White Port, Ruby Port, Young Tawny Port, Aged Tawny Port, Vintage Character Port, Late Bottled Vintage Port, Traditional Late Bottled Vintage Port, Vintage Port, Single Quinta Vintage Port, Crusted Port, and Garrafeira Port - most styles fall into two broad categories: Bottle aged or Cask aged. Because doing the tiniest thing different will result in a different taste of wine, the two Port processes greatly dictate the flavorful outcome. While Bottle aged Ports generally behave like wine on Botox, keeping their color and their fruitiness well into maturity, Cask aged Ports lose flavor quickly. They are ready to drink right away.

The best Ports to know, the ones to introduce yourself to before sending them down your esophagus, are the Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port, W. & J. Graham's Tawny Port, Smith Woodhouse Vintage Character Port, Niepoort Vintage Port, Quinta do Infantado Single Quinta Vintage Port, and Adriano Ramos-Pinto Late Bottled Vintage Port.

As demonstrated, the process of making Port is not as simple as one might imagine; it involves a little more than simply visiting a vineyard, and being met with thousands of grapes shouting, "Pick me! Pick me!" And, it involves more than taking off your tennis shoes and having a smashing good time. After a careful, lengthy process, the smashing good time will follow.

Making Port Wine

Jennifer Jordan is the senior editor at With a vast knowledge of wine etiquette, she writes articles on everything from how to hold a glass of wine to how to hold your hair back after too many glasses. Ultimately, she writes her articles with the intention that readers will remember wine is fun and each glass of anything fun should always be savored.

Free Printable Wine Labels - Make Your Own Wine Labels

If you want to dress up a bottle of wine, you should look into free printable wine labels. This way, you can personalize your wine not only for your own enjoyment, but you can give friends and family members gifts that they will not soon forget. Giving wine bottles with a personal note, image or note is a great gift for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Not only is this a truly personal gift to give or item to include during a party or date, but these labels are inexpensive and easy to make. Consequently, making labels for wine will end up saving you a lot of time, money, and energy.

There are many things to consider when thinking about free printable wine labels. First, you want to think about the supplies you need. You will not only want to make sure you have high-quality paper, but you also want to make sure you know how you will attach the label, what you want printed on the label, and how you want the label to look.


There are many different computer programs that can help you make free printable wine labels. This way, all you really have to pay for is the paper, the ink, and the wine. Look on the Internet for free templates or programs. You can invest in high quality paper or you can look into buying labels that you can stick on. If you invest in labels, make sure that your printer can handle this: Some printers can only print on certain kinds of paper.

Free Printable Wine Labels - Make Your Own Wine Labels

When it comes to making free printable wine labels, be sure you have scissors and paper glue on hand. Glue sticks can work if you do not have paper glue, but stay away from thick glues that might run. You will use the glue if you decide to go with regular paper versus the labels. Additionally, be sure to have some cleaning supplies on hand in case the glue does drip. You want to print several labels so you have time to practice and can plan against any glue or application mishaps.

Try a few test runs before you try and attach your labels to the wine bottles. For example, try attaching the labels to other kinds of glass bottles first. This way, you can perfect your craft beforehand (i.e. so you will not have to invest in more wine).

Personalized wine labels are a great way to dress up a date night with your partner or to celebrate your high school or college reunion. If you put some genuine thought into the look of the label, you can end up creating some truly wonderful memories and will be sure to please the person for whom you are making the labels and giving the wine.

Free Printable Wine Labels - Make Your Own Wine Labels

Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

To learn more about free printable wine labels, please visit My Fine Wine for current articles and discussions.

Wine Tasting Appetizer Ideas

So you want to host a wine tasting party? And you want your event to be as fun and educational as possible, right? Well as much as some people like to focus just on wine alone, food and wine are a match made in heaven. Besides, when people start drinking wine and the fun discussion begins, people tend to get hungry. So even if you are not hosting a full wine dinner party, your wine tasting will be much more of a success if you have fun and delicious foods available for your guests to snack on. While simple crackers and/or bread may be enough just to cleanse your palate between flights of wines, even a small selection of more interesting wine tasting appetizers can really bring your humble event to a whole new level.

Tip 1: Try to pair your wine tasting appetizers to the theme of the wine tasting. In other words, don't pair heavy sausage stuffed mushrooms if you and your guests are tasting light, delicate white wines. Try to pair the food to the wine theme. If you are tasting several types of wine, then provide a selection of appetizers.


Tip 2: Don't get too formal. Unless you love to cook, try not to overwhelm yourself with complicated foods. Start with simple snacks that are easy to prepare or take no preparation. If you are not serving a full dinner, then try to keep it simple. Put out several plates of finger foods and encourage guests to help themselves.

Wine Tasting Appetizer Ideas

Some specific wine tasting appetizer ideas: Below is a list of some classic finger food appetizers which are perfect for a wine tasting event. They are generally easy to prepare and can be simply placed on the table for guests to help themselves. They are also pretty versatile, pairing well with many types of wine. Beyond these, get creative. There are no rules so if you have a favorite appetizer that you like to make, throw that out for your guests to enjoy as well. The only tip I have about choosing dishes is to avoid very spicy foods or odd, pungent flavors which may clash with many wines. The ideas below start with the most simple and easy to prepare and continue through some more involved appetizers that require a small amount of preparation.

  • Bread and/or Crackers: Sliced bread, such as a French Baguette or Batard, and/or simple crackers are a great basic food to have available at every wine tasting. Besides being necessary to serve some soft cheeses or other spreads, they are filling and a good neutral snack to cleanse your palate between wines.
  • Cured Olives: Most fine supermarkets now carry excellent selections of cured olives. These are extremely easy. Simply serve them in some bowl or dish and be sure to supply an empty bowl for discarded pits. There are several varieties to choose from. Try to avoid very spicy or salty ones as these can interfere with the tasting of wine.
  • Nuts and Dried Fruit: It is very common to see a selection of dried nuts and/or dried fruit slices as wine tasting appetizers, served alone or alongside olives or a cheese plate. In fact, many nuts accompany cheeses beautifully and are neutral flavored enough to accompany many wines. Spanish Marcona almonds and walnuts are great choices, as are dried apricot slices. Try to avoid very sweet fruits, particularly if you are drinking dry table wines.
  • Cheese Plate: Cheese and wine can be absolutely delicious. You can provide a selection of fine cheeses on a cheese plate, accompanied by knives or forks for firm cheeses and a spreading knife and bread for softer cheeses. Try to pair the cheese with the types of wines you are serving. If you can, find cheeses from the same regions as the wines. Short of that, try to choose more mild flavored cheeses with lighter wines and richer, more pungent cheeses with more full-flavored wines. While very rich, pungent or stinky cheeses can be delicious with rich wines, their strong aroma may detract from being able to appreciate the subtleties of the wines at the tasting.
  • Sliced Cured Sausages and Meats: Dried sausages and other charcuterie can be another easy and delicious accompaniment to a wine tasting. There are dozens to choose from. French saucisson sec, Italian salami, Pâté, terrines, Prosciutto, and many others are all delicious, easy to serve and a fine appetizer to accompany a wine tasting.
  • Bruschetta: Bruschetta is a simple Italian finger food appetizer usually consisting of slices of toasted bread topped with various chopped accompaniments such as tomatoes, shallots, cheese, garlic, and/or olive oil. There are many variations but most recipes are quite simple and quick to make. To make it a bit richer to accompany heavier red wines, add sautéed mushrooms or meats such as Prosciutto or bacon to kick up the flavor a notch.
  • Tapenade: Tapenade is a puréed olive dish usually consisting of olives, herbs, anchovies, garlic and olive oil. Because it is made by blending the ingredients in a food processor, this spread is quite easy and quick. It's also delicious! Make a big batch and serve in a big serving bowl along with bread or crackers to spread it on.

Wine Tasting Appetizer Ideas

Josh Dusick is the editor of the Wine Tastings Guide at where you can get information about how to host a wine tasting party, how to serve and taste wine and even about pairing wine and food.

Substitute For Marsala Wine - Cooking Alternatives

What is Marsala wine? Can you use a substitute for Marsala wine if a recipe specifically calls for this particular wine?

Marsala wine is produced on Sicily by using various varieties of grapes such as the Inaolia, Catarratto and Grillo grapes among others. It also comes in three grades that are classified according to color and sweetness, they are: Oro which is a light gold color, Amber, a darker sweeter blend and Rubino the true red variety. Marsala wine is a very sweet wine and often used in Italian cooking with many dishes using it in their names, such as the worlds famous Chicken Marsala that is served at Italian restaurants around the world. It is also often served as an aperitf before dinner.


If you do not use alcohol of any type or are against using wine in cooking you can omit it from certain recipes without to much trouble. For example, in Tiramisu you can completely omit the wine and follow one of many nonalcoholic recipes available that are still delicious.

Substitute For Marsala Wine - Cooking Alternatives

It is a different story if you are considering using a substitute for Marsala, for example in Chicken Marsala, then it would be best to use a very sweet wine, a port or a sherry. Though this will, at times drastically alter the flavor of the recipe and it would then be best called chicken and wine instead of chicken Marsala.

All in all, there really is no substitute for Marsala wine in some recipes. This wine is often used as a base flavor for sauces. It has a very distinct flavor when it is reduced. It offers a flavor that is often key and the entire foundation of a dish.

It is good to note wine has been reported to have antioxidant properties and a reasonable amount in a moderate diet has been reported as healthy. Also, for those that do not wish to partake in alcoholic beverages, all the alcoholic properties and content of the wine cooks off during the cooking process and leaves only the essence of flavor behind. Marsala wine is also very easy to obtain and is usually available at most liquor purveyors. It is typically located by the ports and the sherry. It is reasonably priced and is a great addition to any kitchen pantry and once used, sure to become a stable in many of your favorite recipes.

Ultimately the decision is yours, substitute Marsala wine or not? Alcohol or none? Change can often be a good thing, but sometimes it is best to follow the recipe and use the list of ingredients recommend for the best results. Like the old saying goes "if it isn't broke, don't fix it."

Substitute For Marsala Wine - Cooking Alternatives

Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about substitute for marsala wine, please visit My Fine Wine for current articles and discussions.

How To Make Wine At Home

Making wine at home is not difficult, and it is a very rewarding hobby. In this article, we will go through the equipment needed and all the steps you take to make wine from fruit - grapes, apples, plums, pears, peaches, or whatever fruit you have.

You can also make wine at home from a kit, usually using grape concentrate, but the results are very variable, and it is much more satisfying to make wine from fresh fruit.


You probably thought of home wine making because you have your own fruit, or have been given some, or because fruit is in season in your area and you can get it very cheaply. Making wine is a great way of using fruit when you cannot possibly eat it all, or make all of it into jam, or freeze it all.

How To Make Wine At Home

I have made wine successfully from many kinds of fruit, including grapes, apples, apricots, plums (many varieties), quinces, pears and peaches. Make sure you discard all rotten or suspect fruit right at the start.

Assuming you have your fruit ready, here are the equipment and supplies you need.

With this all collected, follow these steps to make your wine.

Get your juice

People starting out with home fruit wine making often wonder how much fruit they actually need. Here is a tip I have found works - you need enough juice to fill the glass fermentation vessel you are using - your carboy or demijohn. Some recipes advocate watering your fruit juice to make up the quantity you need, but never do this. Use pure juice and your wine will be full-flavored and satisfying to drink.

You will either press the fruit, squeeze it by hand or use an electric juicer. If squeezing by hand (soft plums for example) you will need a large stainless steel or plastic container. If you have hard fruit like apples or hard plums, and electric juicer is a good investment if you don't own one already. You can also cut up the fruit and boil it in a little water to extract the juice, but this degrades the flavor of the final wine. If you have grapes, you can try trampling them with your feet in the traditional manner. Some fruits can be cut up and left to soak for a few days in a little water to extract the flavor and color from the skin.

Some fruit, like apples, throw a tremendous froth after juicing and you will have to siphon the juice out after the froth has risen to the top.

Note that mixed fruit wines are very successful. If you have only a few apricots but a lot of apples, mix the juice to make up your gallon.

Add the sugar

Some fruit juice, like very sweet grape juice, will not need the addition of any sugar. Most other fruit wines will need sugar to be added. I normally add 2 pound of sugar to make up one gallon of fruit juice. If you prefer a drier wine, you can reduce this amount. This is the reason it is better to use several smaller glass vessels when starting with home fruit wine making - you can vary the amount of sugar in each (record this by writing on the carboy with a felt pen); when you eventually come to drink the wines, you will know which style between dry, medium and sweet that you prefer. More sugar also means more food for the yeast, and so more alcoholic wine at the end of the process.

Add the sugar by warming the fruit juice slightly in a stainless steel pan, and stirring in the sugar to dissolve it.

Add the yeast

Sterilize your carboy or demijohn with sterilizing solution, or boiling water. Put the sugared fruit juice into your vessel. Dissolve the powdered yeast in a little warm water and sugar in a cup, and leave it for a few minutes to activate. Then add the yeast to the fruit juice. Put your air lock on the vessel.

Fermentation of the fruit juice should begin soon, and you will see bubbles in the air lock. This means the yeast is converting the sugar to alcohol.

Watch and wait

Put your fermentation vessel in a warm place if possible. Ideally you should leave the wine fermenting for nine months to a year. If you drink it after only a month or two it will taste rough and poor; leaving it for about a year will let it mellow out - this really makes a difference. As fermentation goes on, you will notice a white layer appear at the bottom of the fermentation vessel. This is formed by dead yeast cells. You can 'rack', or siphon the wine into a new vessel, which stops the wine becoming tainted with a yeasty aftertaste. You should do this once a month.

Bottle your wine

If the wine has not clarified, and you want it to be fully clear before bottling, leave the vessel in a very cold place for a week or so, and the clarity should improve.

When the fermentation has stopped (no bubbles coming through the air lock) you can bottle the wine and cork the bottle. Remember to sterilize the bottles and corks before you use them. If you will be making a lot of wine, remember to label all the bottles with details of the fruit, the yeast variety used and date of bottling. If you make a superb batch, you can then try to replicate it in following years.

Drink up!

Few people can resist drinking a bottle at this stage. But most fruit wines are at their best up to two years after bottling, so you can put a few bottles aside until you have some friends round, or have something to celebrate. There's nothing quite like drinking your own wine, made the way you like it!

How To Make Wine At Home

Scott Kintraw makes his own fruit wines in the fall every year. For more detail on how to make wine and more tips for home wine success, see how to make wine at

Tartaric Crystals in Wine: the "Wine Diamonds" of Quality

Have you ever come across what appear to be white flakes floating in your bottle of wine? Did you assume that this snow-globe appearance somehow meant the wine was flawed or ruined?

What you had most likely seen are tartaric crystals, commonly referred to as "wine diamonds" or Weinstein ("wine stone") in German speaking countries. So do these wine diamonds signal a bad bottle of wine?


Opinions about this issue are divided and the reason is simple: you have bought flawless wine, but you have not bought aesthetically flawless wine. Depending upon where you are from, this can matter to you more or less.

Tartaric Crystals in Wine: the "Wine Diamonds" of Quality

The American wine drinker is not used to finding wine diamonds in their bottles. Here, most wines undergo a cold stabilization process, which is when a wine is cooled down before it is bottled so that the white flakes, called crystallized tartaric acid, "fall out" and can be separated from the wine. But what price beauty? Cold stabilization influences a wine's balance and taste: as some winemakers put it, the wine is actually being ripped apart, and the rapid cooling changes the wine's colloidal structure. One might call it a clear case of style over substance.

There is another interesting correlation between wine stones and the quality of a wine: the longer the grapes hang on the vine (familiarly called "hang time"), the more wine acid will accumulate in the grape, and it is this wine acid which is the building block of wine diamonds. Furthermore, the more time the wine is given to ferment, the less wine diamonds will fall out during fermentation, but the more they will instead build up later in the bottle.

In other words, wine diamonds are an indicator that the grapes ripened for a long time, and that the winemaker fermented the wine slowly and with great care. Both are important precursors to crafting high quality wines.

Hans Gsellmann, head winemaker of the famous Gsellmann & Gsellmann winery in Austria, explains it this way: "Part of the grapes acid are tartrates, aka salt. As the wine ripens these tartaric acid crystals fall out. It's a natural process a wine will go through on its path to the peak of its development. When you see these flakes at the bottom of the bottle or on the cork, you can be almost certain that you are opening the wine at the right time. You should consider yourself lucky."

Wine aficionados in the Old World are known to seek out the bottles with wine stones as a sign of quality: it shows that the wine has not been robbed of its structure through unnatural chilling, and it is a sign of a well-matured wine. Perhaps it is due to the longer history of winemaking in these countries that people have become accustomed to wine stones and seem to accept them. At least they seem to know that, if anything, the wine diamonds will have added roundness to the wine by subtracting some of the acid from it.

There is new technology coming out of France that promises to circumvent the entire colloidal issue: electrodialysis. But until every noteworthy winery has bought one of these fancy French machines (and that will certainly be a few decades) this rule of thumb applies: cold stabilization is like tossing out the baby with the bathwater. Perhaps you are left with an aesthetically flawless wine, but you are also left with a lesser wine.

Tartaric Crystals in Wine: the "Wine Diamonds" of Quality

Stephan Schindler is a wine importer living in Los Angeles. You can read more of his wine writing, and find the great wines that he imports and sells direct to consumers, at

Counting Carbs With Wine

The recent health claims that wines have antioxidants in them that may block free radicals, prevent heart disease, cancer, and other conditions associated with aging seems to have some validity. Polyphenol, catechin, and cholesterol-reducing resveratrol are found predominately in red wines in various degrees. One suggestion as to why some of these antioxidants are present in red wines is that grapes that have been distressed during their growth will exhibit the highest level of antioxidants. Red-skinned grapes seem to have better growing success in less temperate climates but exhibit the effects of stressful weather conditions in the form of higher levels of resveratrol. Before all you wine enthusiasts start shouting, "I told you so!" let me point out that many of the same antioxidant benefits can also be found in dark beers, too.

What low-carbohydrate dieters are most concerned about with wine, however, is its carbohydrate count, loosely a function of the wine's residual sugar content. Although residual sugar levels are often made available by vintners and are a good indication as to the possible dryness or sweetness of a wine (the higher the number, the sweeter the wine), we can't, unfortunately, extrapolate the carbohydrate count of the wine from this figure without a full lab analysis.


Some wine-related Web sites say that there are no carbohydrates in dry wine, a glaring example of people who have no idea of the mechanics of fermentation. The process of converting sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide during fermentation is limited by the attenuation of the yeast or the manipulation of the fermentation by the vintner. In order for a wine to have no carbohydrates in it, it would have to be pure alcohol, in other words, distilled. Of course at that point, the liquid would no longer be wine, but brandy or cognac. All--and I repeat--all wines, including dry wines, have some residual sugar left behind after the fermentation process ends. Residual sugar equals carbohydrates. If it were possible to use fermentation to convert a sugary liquid into a drink that was free of carbohydrates, the process of distillation would be a meaningless procedure. Only after distillation, when the resultant liquid is transformed into ethyl alcohol (ethanol), will a once-fermented liquid truly become carbohydrate-free.

Counting Carbs With Wine

You might notice while shopping for wine that some fruit-blended wines actually carry a nutritional analysis statement on them. For any wine with an alcohol content of less than 7% by volume, the Food and Drug Administration actually has jurisdiction over the nutritional labeling of the product. However, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has jurisdiction over the mandated government warnings that are also found on the labels of these wines and of all alcohol-based products. This is one of the few times that the FDA gets involved in the realm of spirited beverages with the TTB. You'll also find nutritional information on ciders under 7%.

What kind of a margin of error does the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau allow in the measurement of carbohydrates in wine? From the TTB ruling: Statements of carbohydrates and fat contents [on wine labels or advertising materials] are acceptable provided the actual carbohydrate or fat contents, as determined by ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the former alcohol trade regulatory agency) lab analysis, are within a reasonable range below, but in no case more than 20% above, the labeled amount.

If you're on a low-carbohydrate diet and enjoy the occasional pressings from "the noble grape," the following list of wines with their carbohydrate counts should help you keep your daily carb intake in check:

Barton & Guestier

Cabernet Sauvignon ('02) 5 oz 1.70 g Chardonnay ('02) 5 oz 1.10 g French Tom Cabernet Sauvignon ('02) 5 oz 1.30 g French Tom Chardonnay ('02) 5 oz 1.10 g French Tom Merlot ('01) 5 oz 1.40 g

Ecco Domani

Cabernet Sauvignon ('01) 5 oz 4.00 g Chianti ('01) 5 oz 3.60 g Merlot ('01) 5 oz 4.05 g Pinot Bianco ('96) 5 oz 3.50 g Pinot Grigio ('02) 5 oz 3.15 g

For more information on the carbohydrate count of more than 1000 worldwide brands of beer, 400 wines, 60 liqueurs, and distilled products, go to [out].

© Bob Skilnik, 2004

Bob Skilnik is a Chicagoland freelance writer who has written for the Chicago Tribune, the Collector Magazine, the American Breweriana Association's Journal and the National Association Breweriana Advertising's Breweriana Collector on the subjects of beer, brewery history and breweriana. He is a 1991 graduate of the Chicago-based Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the United States, with a degree in Brewing Technology.

His interests in beer and brewing were cultivated while serving as a German translator in West Germany for the United States Army. Skilnik is the Associate Editor for the ABA Journal and The Tap newspaper, and a member of the Society of Midland Authors and the Culinary Historians of Chicago. He has appeared in the Chicagoland area on Media One's television program, The Buzz, WTTW's Chicago Tonight with Bob Sirott and Phil Ponce, Chicago's Public Radio station, WBEZ , Springfield, IL's WUIS Radio and the WOR Morning Show with Ed Walsh in New York. Skilnik's national television appearances have been on the Cold Pizza morning show on ESPN2 and Fox News Live.

Counting Carbs With Wine

Bob Skilnik is a Chicagoland freelance writer who has written for the Chicago Tribune, the Collector Magazine, the American Breweriana Association’s Journal and the National Association Breweriana Advertising’s Breweriana Collector on the subjects of beer, brewery history and breweriana. He is a 1991 graduate of the Chicago-based Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the United States, with a degree in Brewing Technology.

His interests in beer and brewing were cultivated while serving as a German translator in West Germany for the United States Army. Skilnik is the Associate Editor for the ABA Journal and The Tap newspaper, and a member of the Society of Midland Authors and the Culinary Historians of Chicago. He has appeared in the Chicagoland area on Media One’s television program, The Buzz, WTTW's Chicago Tonight with Bob Sirott and Phil Ponce, Chicago’s Public Radio station, WBEZ , Springfield, IL's WUIS Radio and the WOR Morning Show with Ed Walsh in New York. Skilnik's national television appearances have been on the Cold Pizza morning show on ESPN2 and Fox News Live.

Skilnik's latest effort is The Low-Carb Bartender, published by Adams Media. This reference book of hundreds of beers, wines, liquors, and liqueurs with their carbohydrate counts and a collection of over two hundred low carb mixed-drink recipes will be available in bookstores in November, 2004.

Red Wine and White Wine

I have been wondering about the difference between red wines and white wines. To me, they taste quite different. Red wines are heavier and more complex than white wine, and often tend to be less sweet. Why is this? Actually red and white wines are made quite differently. The differences between red and white wines include the kinds of grapes used, the fermentation and aging process, and the character and flavor of the wine.

White wines are almost always made from white grapes, although they can be made from black grapes, since the juice in most black grapes is clear. When white wine is made, the skins of the grapes are separated from the juice when they are put into a crushing machine. Then yeast is added to the juice for fermentation, until the juice becomes white wine. After filtering etc, the wine is aged by storing it in stainless steel or occasionally oak containers and bottled after a few months. White wines, then, are made without skins or seeds and are essentially fermented grape juice. They have a light character and have crisp fruit flavors and aromas. They can be sweet or dry or somewhere in between. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/ Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc are all white wines.


Red wine is usually made from red or black grapes, although all the kinds of grapes usually have a clear juice. The process of making red wine is different from the one of making white wine. After the grapes have been in the crushing machine, the red grapes with their skins and everything sit in a fermentation vat for a period of time, typically about one to two weeks. . The skins tend to rise to the surface of the mixture and form a layer on top. The winemaker frequently mixes this layer back into the fermenting juice (which is called must). After fermentation is over, the new wine is taken from the vat. A little "free run" juice is allowed to pour and the rest of the must is squeezed into "press wine". The wine is clarified and then is stored, usually in oak containers, for several months until it is ready to be bottled. The oak containers add additional wood tannins and flavors to the wine which help to intensify it and add richness to it. The result of this process is that red wines exhibit a set of rich flavors with spicy, herby, and even meaty characteristics. Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel are all red wines.

Red Wine and White Wine

The main difference between red and white wines is the amount of tannins they have. Since tannins largely come from the grape skins, red wines have more of them than white wines. Red wine acquires it's tannins in the process of maceration (leaving juice to mix together with the skin, seeds and woody bits). It is the tannins and skins of the red grapes which are released into the wine that contribute to the deep color and flavor of red wine. Tannins have a slightly bitter taste and create a dry puckery sensation in the mouth and in the back of the throat; and often lend a wonderful complexity to red wine. They also help preserve the wine. This is why red wines are usually aged longer than white wines.

There are as many different flavor profiles among red wines as there are among white ones. Some red wines are sweet and fruity, while some whites ( such as Chardonnay) have tannins from being stored in oak containers. Some German white wines have lasted for centuries, while some red wines are made for immeadiate consumption. For wines meant for consumption right away the winemaker takes out the bitter tannins, creating a fruity, fresh, and approachable wine. So, apart from the color, there are no hard and fast rules about the differences between red and white wine.

Is it true that red wine is better for you? The research of Dr Frankel has shown that red wine contains more antioxidants than white wine, although the total amount varies according to the variety of grape, region it was grown, the climate and soil it was grown in, and whether it was stored in oak (since wines stored in oak have more antioxidants) and the filtration techniques used. However the antioxidants in white wine are apparently more effective. The research of Dr Troup shows that the antioxidant molecules in white wine are smaller and thus more effective because they can be more easily absorbed. It seems that white wine is just as healthy as red wine.

In summary, the primary difference between red and white wine is the amount of tannins they contain, although there are no hard and fast rules about the differences between them outside of the color of the wine. Usually red wines are more complex, richer, and heavier, with spicy, herby, and even meaty characteristics. White wines are usually sweeter, and lighter, and have crisp fruit flavors and aromas. Neither is significantly better for you. Which wine is best for you to drink is simply a matter of taste.

Red Wine and White Wine

Tracy Crowe enjoys good food and wine.

For more information about wine, visit []

Wine Storage - Wine Cellar VS Wine Cooler

Wine has become more than just an enjoyable drink shared by the fireplace. Today it is treated by many as an investment. It is very important to familiarize yourself with the three biggest enemies of wine in a bottle. They consist of heat, dryness and light. The perfect storage area will keep wine at a fairly low temperature with a good amount of humidity and very little light. Any drastic changes in temperature or humidity are sure to damage your drink.

Wine cellars are normally some type of room or cabinet in the home used to store as well as to protect the liquid but in most cases this term is referring to someplace underground. Those that are located above the ground is generally referred to as a wine room. The smaller wine refrigerators located in the home are typically referred to as a closet or cooler.


Now that we have gone over the different descriptions between the two, we will go over the actual benefits. Some cellars come with three different temperature zones: The first zone is typically used for storage (also good for light reds). The second is typically used for chilling whites. The final zone is typically used for chilling sparkling wines. What this is essentially doing is combining a wine cellar with a wine refrigerator. Of course this makes the wine cellar ideal but also impractical. An average cellar will cost around ,000.00. Whether you enjoy a simple dinner wine or a fine cabernet, the wine cooler is the perfect answer to protecting your investment. It will serve its purpose protecting from the enemies of wine and will cost somewhere around 0.00.

Wine Storage - Wine Cellar VS Wine Cooler

So now we know some of the differences lets go over some of the temperatures that will be used more frequently and with which type of wines they will be used. Rich, red, and full-bodied wines are best served between 59-66 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees C). When using wine coolers to store your wine, always go with the lower range as this will produce the best results. 55 degrees Fahrenheit or (13 degrees C) is the perfect temperature for storing light red wines. Blush, rose and dry white wines are normally served between 46-57F (8-14C). If using wine coolers, pick a temperature that you prefer. Sparkling wines and champagnes will generally taste best at 43-47F (6-8C). If using wine coolers, set the temperature somewhere right in that range.

The decision you will have to make will be based on preference at this point. The differences between the two are so very minuscule that it becomes a money and size factor. You have to ask yourself how much wine will I really be storing at any given time and how much am I willing to invest into protecting my wine? This really makes the decision a simple one. Just know that no matter which decision you come to, your investment will be protected and you will be ultimately enjoying this investment for years to come.

Wine Storage - Wine Cellar VS Wine Cooler

We review the best wine coolers on the market today like the Whynter Wine Cooler. We offer the most detailed and un-biased reviews you're likely to find for wine coolers and wine chillers. Please visit to see our full selection of Wine Coolers