Great Homemade Wine

Learn How!

Wine Making Menu

Gain knowledge and insight into the world of wine!





Saratoga Wine Exchange
Waiting for your wine to be ready? Shop Wine by Region from around the world at
Saratoga Wine Exchange!

How To Make Great Homemade Wine
From Juice, Grapes and Wine Kits!


Homemade wine is a rewarding and enjoyable hobby and the quality of homemade wines today are better than ever! With a small investment in equipment you can continually make good quality homemade wine for a fraction of the cost of store bought wine.

More and more people are entering the homemade wine making hobby as the popularity grows. Greater access to high quality grapes, juice and new equipment and supplies have made wine making one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America.

Although homemade wine can be made from a variety of fruits and other sources, good quality red wines are easier for the beginner to make. Therefore the focus here is red homemade wine from juice, grapes and wine kits.

"Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771

One of the greatest pleasures of making homemade wine is you're able to taste and enjoy what you have created. Share your wonderful achievement by giving a bottle to family or friends as a gift or proudly serve homemade wine to your dinner guests. It's very rewarding to see the surprised look on people's faces when they learn that the marvelous wine they have been enjoying was your homemade wine.

I have been making homemade wine for about 20 years now and have been quite successful. My inspiration to start making homemade wine came from my brother-in-law who was born in Italy and has been making homemade wine for most of his life. He began helping his father as a child and as an adult continued on the tradition of making great homemade wine. It was through his expertise that I became successful at making my own homemade wine. So the intent here is to pass on the knowledge I have gained from my brother-in-law and my own experience on how to make homemade wine as well as simplifying the "how to make" process as much as possible.

As well as homemade red wine being easier to make, the popularity of red wine continues to grow. Europe and North America are major consumers of red wine. In the United Kingdom the consumption of red wine has increased and it remains the most consumed wine in the UK as well in Spain, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. There is still a preference for white wine in Australia but the consumption of red wine is experiencing a significant increase and in Japan, consumption of white wine has long dominated the red wine but it is no longer the case.

Not only is making red homemade wine a fun hobby, drinking red wine can benefit your health. Studies have shown that consuming red wine in moderation (one to two glasses a day) has several health benefits. One of most widely documented benefits of red wine is heart health. Researchers found that red wine inhibited the build-up of fatty material along the artery walls which helped to explain why people in France have a relatively low incidence of heart disease despite a diet rich in saturated fats. Other studies also indicated that red wine can raise HDL cholesterol (the Good cholesterol) and prevent LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) from forming. Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants which studies suggest may help protect against certain cancers.

Even though my initiation into making homemade wine started with crushing grapes, I also have made homemade wine from juice as it produces a wine of almost equal quality to the grape method and eliminates the crushing, pressing and disposing of the skins. However, if you desire a homemade wine with more body and colour, make your homemade wine from grapes.

So get started making your homemade wine today. You'll be glad you did!




About Red Wine Grapes

Viticulture, the process of growing wine grapes, has been raised from ancient art to a complex combination of science and art. Add in all the other special knowledge and skills required to produce the end product - bottled wine - and you have a gigantic (or is that Dionysian - from the Greek word Dionusos: god of wine) task.

In order to make fine red wine a host of factors have to be considered when growing wine grapes. The grape variety to be grown is dependant on the terroir as some grow better in some regions than in others. Terroir is the influence of natural elements - climate, soil type and topography. Hence, the flavour of the red wine grape is characterized by the environment in which the vines grow.

Climate encompasses temperature range, total sunlight available, annual rainfall, wind and so forth.

Soil type is essential such as the proportion of clay, of sand or silt, fertility, drainage and the ability to retain heat. Dark soils absorb heat more efficiently and rocky soils allow better drainage and provide stones that also help retain heat. Relative concentrations of nitrogen and other elements play an essential part.

Topography is the natural landscape such as mountains, valleys and rivers. The topography of a place affects the soil through the atmosphere, altitude, direction and slope.

Planting time varies from late March to early April, with harvest ranging from late September to early October, depending on location, species and individual judgment.

Fortunately for the homemade wine maker once the wine grapes are harvested the real hard work has been done. Now we can begin our personal and passionate interest in selecting the grape variety to create delicious homemade wine.



Serving Homemade Red Wine

Red wines and whites, not to mention sparkling wines, have different optimal storage methods, serving temperatures and opening and pouring procedures - even different ideal drinking glasses.

Homemade red wine should be served room temperature - but that refers to a room a bit cooler than the average Mediterranean villa in summer. Start at 65F (18C) and adjust to taste. However, some fruitier red wines should usually be served substantially cooler. Cooler, not cold. A range of 52-55F (11-13C) is a good beginning. Colder and you will start to mask the flavors.

Homemade red wine should generally not be stored in a refrigerator. Apart from being too cold, if the bottle is corked food flavours can seep into the bottle.

If you need to achieve the proper temperature in a hurry, or don't have handy a wine cooling cabinet, a large serving bucket with both water and ice will do. The addition of water helps to keep the ice close to the bottle and also to conduct heat away more effectively. Fifteen to thirty minutes is usually enough.

Red wines and whites, not to mention sparkling wines, have different optimal storage methods, serving temperatures and opening and pouring procedures - even different ideal drinking glasses.

Homemade red wine should be served room temperature - but that refers to a room a bit cooler than the average Mediterranean villa in summer. Start at 65F (18C) and adjust to taste. However, some fruitier red wines should usually be served substantially cooler. Cooler, not cold. A range of 52-55F (11-13C) is a good beginning. Colder and you will start to mask the flavors.

Homemade red wine should generally not be stored in a refrigerator. Apart from being too cold, if the bottle is corked food flavours can seep into the bottle.

If you need to achieve the proper temperature in a hurry, or don't have handy a wine cooling cabinet, a large serving bucket with both water and ice will do. The addition of water helps to keep the ice close to the bottle and also to conduct heat away more effectively. Fifteen to thirty minutes is usually enough.

The ideal glass for a red wine will have a thin rim, a largish bowl, and a stem with a wide base for holding and stability. Avoid heavy cut glasses, so that clarity and color can be viewed well. Of course, glasses should be clean, but also remember to keep fingerprints away from the rim by holding down on the stem. As much as possible, dust should be kept from the interior or any other portion where the lips and tongue will come into contact with it. Both dust and oils alter the perceived taste.

While not the most important aspect of wine serving, using the proper shape and size of wine glass (one able to hold at least several ounces), helps to convey the wine to the optimal areas of the tongue and palette for the different types.

Using a corkscrew that fits your hand well, insert it into the cork. Once the spiral is fully inserted, give the handles or the corkscrew a little jerk - dynamic friction is less than static. Be careful not to splinter the cork into the bottle.


Decant any heavier red wines (port or older wines) that show evidence of sediment, by allowing them to settle then pouring carefully or using a cheesecloth if needed. Allow them, and red wine to breathe (i.e. remain open to air) for 30 to 45 minutes or so.

Pour no more than one third to half a glass to leave plenty of room for swirling. Sniff gently.

And, the most important step: taste!


Back to Top


Videos


  • How To Open Wine Without A Cork Screw

  • How To Store An Unopened Bottle Of Wine

  • How To Decant A Bottle Of Homemade Wine

View Wine Videos Here!




OliveNation is an Italian specialty online food store for the Italian food lover. Bringing the best of gourmet and authentic Italian food and recipes to your kitchen.




Make Great Homemade Wine any time of the year!

Frozen Red musts (grapes) shipped directly to your door via UPS anytime of year.




Home Winemaking Equipment and Supplies
More Wine Making

More Wine Making Adventures In Homebrewing American Wine Grape




thirstycoasters.com
Thirsty Coasters
These wine coasters are as beautiful as they are functional.


Wine Racks America
Wine Racks America
A full-service manufacturer of high quality redwood and pine wine racks and cellar systems.


Chocolate
Chocolate.com
They feature handmade, artisan chocolate gifts from world-class chocolate vendors.