So You Want To Make Ice Wine

June 21, 2012 · Posted in Hobbies · Comment 

Making ice wine can be challenging to make, but the rewards are worth the effort. Ice wine is becoming more popular every day and home winemakers and large scale winemakers are getting in on the act. If you’re considering making ice wine, there are some key things you should know before venturing into this type of winemaking.

Ice wine overview

Ice wine is so called because of the method used when harvesting and crushing grapes. This creates a very sweet, highly acidic wine that is usually enjoyed cold and paired as you would pair a dessert wine. Because of the methods used, it’s typically created in countries that experience longer freezing times and is made with grape varietals that are hearty and can withstand such climates.

How is ice wine produced?

The goal of making ice wine is to produce very high levels of sugar, naturally creating a wine much sweeter than other dessert wines. Grapes are picked and pressed while still virtually frozen. When pressed, the water remains frozen, but the sugars are extracted and the resulting juice can have a brix of 35 to 50, vs. 20 – 25 for most red wines. This is done by allowing grapes to remain on the vine for months after a standard harvest, until the season’s first frost. Because of the characteristics of ice wine, the fermentation process typically takes much longer. If you’re used to primary fermentation taking days, prepare for weeks or months before brix levels off.

Why is it so difficult to produce ice wine?

Commercial winemakers take a great deal of risk in making ice wine, given the challenges. It’s not easy picking grapes in the freezing cold. Most are picked in the middle of the night. That’s because they must keep them frozen until they are pressed. That often means driving grape bins through difficult, snow covered terrain. If grapes are left on the vine too long, they will either fall off of the vine or be too damaged to use. Timing is essential. Once harvested, ice wine grapes must then be pressed in an unheated facility, usually with a basket press. It takes a lot of pressure to press frozen grapes and commercial bladder presses are not up to the task. That means loading frozen grapes into the press by hand and taking them out with an ice pick! The volume of free-run and pressed juice is much lower and as a result, winemakers costs are much higher, per volume. This is all in addition to the market risk of producing a product that is not yet in huge demand by a large percentage of the wine-drinking public.

How can I make my own ice wine?

Still want to make ice wine? If so, get ready for some hard work. Your first step will be to figure out if the right type of grapes are available and to determine if the weather conditions provide you with a supply of frozen grapes. If so, you’ll still need to get some very good friends to harvest grapes after the first freeze, usually in the dark of night. You will then need to transport the grapes, keeping them frozen, to a place where you can crush them fairly quickly. Make sure the grapes are still frozen when crushing, or you will not achieve the high sugar content you intend. A basket press close by the vineyard is your best bet. If you don’t have access to grapes that are frozen on the vine, hope is not lost. You can still recreate the conditions by getting fresh grapes and freezing them in a big freezer. You’ll still need to make sure that you are crushing the grapes while frozen to get a high brix. Most appellations don’t allow this type of wine to be called true ice wine, but for the homemade winemaker, you’ll not really notice the difference. Make sure you test the juice for sugar content first after free run, then again as you press. You can then mix the two juice products to achieve the brix you’re looking for. Also, use yeast made for this purpose, resistant to high sugar and high alcohol content and often used in ice wine. Once you decide to put in the time and effort, you will be able to experiment and make a wine that is ready for any after-dinner party!

If you’re thinking about making homemade wine or you’re a veteran winemaker, come check out the homemade wine source.

The Different Forms of Wine beverages

January 23, 2012 · Posted in Food and Drinks · Comment 

The most common questions you may have once you start considering making homemade liquid is what type of wine you should make. You can find certainly plenty of different types of wines to select from. Understanding the different types of wines can assist you to narrow down the choices and select the sort that would be best for your first, or perhaps your next, batch of wine.

First, you will need to understand that while wine is generally produced from grapes, you can actually use practically any kind of vegetable matter to make wine. When grapes are widely-used to make wine, they get into three categories. They are red, white and ros?; a pinkish white wine.

Red vino is not only different in color from white wines and ros? wines in addition they have flavors that are stronger and richer. The precise color of a red wine can vary from russet brown to full red to some dark purple color. It does not take skin of the grapes giving red wines their color.

White wines normally have a more delicate flavor. The specific color of white wines may differ from the palest yellow to a deep gold. Some white wines may even have a pale green color.

Ros? wines, often known as blush wines, are made with similar grapes as are used in red wines; however, these are submitted to a much shorter time period of contact with the skin of the grapes. This produces a delicate blush color.

There are numerous different types of well known white wines. Chardonnay is one of the most popular types of white wines together with Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely used types of red wines. Other popular reds include Grenache, merlot, pinot noir and Zinfandel.

It is usually important to understand the sugar content of wine. Wines with less amounts of sugar are drier. You might have noted that wines are classified in the store with numbers 1-3. Higher numbered wines have an overabundance sugar and are therefore sweeter.

You should also understand the difference between various types of wines and exactly how they are typically served.

Many wines are commonly served prior to a meal. They may be commonly produced in either herbed or non-herbed varieties. The goal of this type of wine is to stimulate hunger; however, they are not frequently served with meals.

Table wine is commonly served with dinner while dining. This type of wine is commonly dry as well as for a very specific purpose. It is meant to compliment the food as an alternative to compete with it. Typically, a white wines are served with white meat while red is served with beef. The reasoning behind this is that white wine flavors have a tendency to subtle in a similar fashion to the flavors of white meats. Red meats are stronger flavored and flourish with red wines, which are also stronger flavored. Which has a ros?, there is more flexibility. If your wine in question is somewhat dry, it is going to go with either red or white meat.

Dessert wines, obviously, are served at dessert since they tend to be quite sweet. When dessert vino is served at other times, the sweetness with the wine can seem to be overwhelming.

After-dinner vino is also sweet; however, they tend to be served as one would guess; after dinner. While after-dinner wines could be spirits they could also be wines which can be fermented. Brandy, sherry, port and liqueurs all fall into this category.

Is your winery searching for a jukebox? Visit Sell Seeburg Jukebox.