Acidity in Wine is not a Bad Thing

Occasionally I’ll hear a comment that someone does not like a wine because it is too acidic. This could be true, however some people over generalize and condemn all wines from a region because they think they are too acidic. Acid in wine is necessary. It can help improve the taste and defends a wine […]

When Taste Trumps Data

I recall a conversation with Eric Fry, winemaker at The Lenz Winery on Long Island. Eric was talking about science and winemaking. He asked, “If the data indicates there is something off with the wine, but the taste is good, will you do anything to the wine?” He then contrasted with, “If the data indicates […]

Do I need a lab at home?

Recent lab work at Vint Hill Craft Winery started me thinking about doing lab work at home. If adding tartaric acid to the wine at Vint Hill improved the aroma and taste, could it do the same for my wine at home? If adding aging tannins improve the tannins in the wine at Vint Hill […]

Last Words, for now, on Topping Off

The only definitive thing learned about topping off is to do it. Whether you are a winemaker at a winery or at home, toping off barrels and carboys is a necessary task. There were different opinions on what to use to top off. Many wineries have excess wine after fermenting in bins and filling barrels. […]

Testing the Cab at Vint Hill and Determining Additions

We tasted our Cabernet Sauvignon from the barrel at Vint Hill Craft Winery this week. The Cab was certainly in the direction of what I wanted. There was fruit on the aroma and taste. There were no hints of vegetative aromas and tastes. There were tannins on the finish. After withdrawing a liter […]

Family Winemaking Roots

After talking to hundreds of winemakers, one begins to form opinions of winemakers in general. One opinion is that they are unique and different. Winemaker, Kevin Robinson, at Brassfield Estate Winery in Clearlake Oaks, California stated that, “Winemakers are like snowflakes, no two are alike.” After meeting so many winemakers it is safe […]

Tasting and Racking Wines at Home

I’ve been putting off the racking of my wines at home. However since today was another cold day in Maryland, I thought I might as well taste the wines and rack them. The first was a gallon of Zinfandel from the Russian River Valley. Five weeks ago I placed a two-inch oak infusion […]

Topping off a Barrel with What?

The home winemaker tries to keep the wine in a carboy at the neck to minimize oxygen contact. At times it may be necessary to top off the wine in the container, perhaps due to evaporation but more likely due to tasting it. If the container is small, one option to increase the […]

Angels’ Share

There are many activities that take place in a winery. One of those activities is topping off barrels of aging wine. Wine in barrels will evaporate. This is referred to as the angel’s share. I don’t know if angels are happier in California with all of its wine regions or Kentucky with its […]

Winter Edition of the WTT Quarterly now Available

Wine Trail Traveler Quarterly Winter 09/10

We just published the winter edition of the Wine Trail Traveler Quarterly. You can view the pdf file here.

This edition’s contents:

From Winery Traveler to Winemaker Home Winemaking Scene A Love Affair with Wine Perfect Locations for your Wedding/Reception California’s Wine Regions […]