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The 6 Wines You Should Have On Hand

The 6 Wines You Should Have On Hand


Be ready for any occasion with this list of need-to-have wines

With the end of summer approaching, it is easy to get caught with one’s proverbial pants down. All this sun and warm weather has turned our brains to mush and lulled us into a false sense of security. The first snap of fall will change all of that.

We all know it’s going to happen, that evening after a great day outside when we neglect to prepare. It’s like getting caught out with only your prescription sunglasses as night falls. You might look cool, but you’re regretting not be being prepared.

The same will happen when we start getting the chills on that first autumn evening and reach for the right wine to pair it with, only to find that we are (gasp!) unprepared.

So, here’s a little warning and some recommendations for six wines you should have on hand right now. Be prepared for the end of summer, the beginning of fall and, with any luck, a little bit of an Indian summer to laze away a few more precious weekends before we return indoors for our annual hibernation.

Find out which six wines you should always have on hand.

— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth


Six wines you should keep in house

Some of us real winos keep a lot of wine around the house. Some winos have a basement or cellar or electronic coolers to store wine. Some crazy (or very serious) winos move from one city to another and realize they have a lot of wine.

But most people don’t buy by the case or half case. I know serious wine aficionados who buy a bottle or two at a time. There is nothing wrong with either approach. But with the holiday season fast approaching, maybe it’s time to keep a small supply on hand.

I’d suggest you always keep six bottles of wine in your home. It keeps you prepared for any meal and any guest. The list should include two reds, two whites, a Rose’ and a sparkling wine.

It’s easiest to start with the two reds. One of those reds should probably be Cabernet Sauvignon. Cab goes best with steak and big flavors. Any decent wine shop and even liquor store will offer several Cabernets at reasonable prices below $20. Mondavi, Louis Martini, Concannon, and many others offer good value and varietally correct wines.

Your second red wine should probably be on the lighter side. Personally, I’d recommend a Pinot Noir. Pinot is lighter on the plate. It’s excellent with seafood and other dishes not quite as bold as beef entrees. There are lighter style Pinots, think Oregon and Burgundy, and bigger bold Pinots often from California. If you want something other than Pinot, try a Spanish tempranillo, French Beaujolais, of Italian Dolcetto.

It’s easy to start the whites with Chardonnay. But do you like them buttery and oaky or clean and crisp? California’s big buttery, woodsy Chard has dominated the market for years. That style of Chardonnay pairs great with food. But in recent years unoaked Chardonnay has really boomed. The unoaked Chards usually give a fresher fruit taste, crisp, and nice acidity. If you want sheer elegance for a special occasion, buy white burgundy or Chablis Cru at your nearby wine shop.

Your second white wine is a little trickier because of the wide range of choices. Lighter whites which drink easy include the entire family of Pinot whites. Pinot Grigio is often the lightest of the family and is made around the world. If you like a bit drier white wine, move to the Pinot Blancs. Riesling is a favorite of many and is made from very dry to very sweet. Arguably, the world’s best Riesling comes from Germany or the Alsace region. But you’ll also find great Riesling from Canada, New York, Washington, and upper Michigan.

Keep one Rose’ in-house because it’s the most flexible wine on your small wine rack or cardboard wine box. There are a few great Pinot Rose’ wines from California and Oregon but real devotees will tell you the best Rose’ comes from Provence in Southern France. World-class Rose’ comes at less than $20 a bottle. That funky pink wine is about as far from white zinfandel as wine can get. French Rose’ is a great food wine for lighter dishes.

Sparkling wine sales are growing around the world. Drink more and you’ll want more. Too many people have very dry Champagne memories from weddings past stuck in their mind. Today’s entry-level bubbles should start with Italian Prosecco and Spanish Cava. Both offer tremendous values with top bottles available for under $20 and often less. You don’t have to spend $300 a bottle to get the best French champagne either. You can buy great grower bubbles, grower meaning grown and produced usually in small lots, in the $50-$100 range.

The holidays are here and you need wine handy. Enjoy it with guests or keep the bottles around as a great gift. These six wines will help you be prepared. The only better advice is double down and buy a case!


The 6 White Wines To Try To Help You Understand White Wine

White wine, some people love it, others swear they only drink red. But you shouldn’t overlook a nice glass of white wine without first diving in to see what you like and don’t like, avoiding sweeping judgments or assumptions along the way. This might surprise you, but there are a plethora of white wine styles out there, and they go fantastically well with all types of food, even steak. The trick to figuring out what you like, though, is trying a sampling of some of the more popular styles out there, which will help you be more informed about how to tell your server or wine shop professional what you enjoy, so they can help point you in the right direction as you drink more and more bottles of white in the future.

With that idea in mind, these are the six wine varieties and styles that will give you a great introduction to the world of white wine. Take this list to your local wine shop and have them recommend a bottle that falls under each category. Then head home, and get to studying!

Oaked Chardonnay:

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine on earth, so it’s a good variety with which to start on your white wine journey. But Chardonnay has some haters, especially those who aren’t very fond of the oaked version, but give it a try, because you might love it. Those who are fond of oaked Chardonnay love the wine’s rich vanilla flavors and the luscious, rich and often rounder mouthfeel the wood aging can often provide. It’s this backbone that allows Chardonnay to even stand up to a steak – if you dare. If you find you’re fond of this style you will probably be a fan of other white wines that see oak, including some white Bordeaux as well Gruner Veltliner and Viognier. If you’re not a fan, it’s time to try unoaked Chardonnay instead.

These Are Our All-Time Favorite, Best Selling Everyday Wine Glasses

Unoaked Chardonnay:

These are wines that are either aged in stainless steel, or sometimes placed for a short time in neutral oak – meaning the oak barrel has been used so many times prior that it won’t impart its rich vanilla flavor in the wine. Unoaked Chard – popularized by Chablis in Burgundy – has none of those buttery vanilla flavors you might find displeasing. Instead it’s just delicious green apple, lemon and maybe even a bit of pineapple. If you find yourself loving this flavors, you might want to try Chenin Blanc next.

Sauvignon Blanc:

Summer in a glass, this is a wine that was born in France, but really saw its rise come when it found a new home in New Zealand. Chances are most people you know who love Sauvignon Blanc love the New Zealand version: it smells of fresh cut grass with a nice zippy acidity that is as refreshing as a glass of lemonade. But if you’re looking for a subtler wine, that isn’t as aggressive both in terms of the acidity and the grassy notes, head to Sancerre for the most refined version of the wine. If you find you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, your next stop on the white wine express could be Vermentino or Verdicchio from Italy or Torrontes from Argentina.

Pinot Grigio:

The most popular white wine of Italy, Pinot Grigio has refreshing flavors of lime, lemon and green apple. Often very dry – not sweet – the wine is great with seafood. If you enjoy Pinot Grigio also try Assyrtiko from Greece or Albariño from Spain.

Riesling – Dry:

Riesling is often thought of as very sweet, but in fact, some of the top Riesling in the world from Germany and Alsace are bone dry. To ensure you have a dry Riesling, grab a bottle from Austria – the driest of all regions – the Alsace region of France, or find one labeled Trocken if it’s German. These wines have the lemon, lime, pineapple and apricot flavors Riesling lovers adore, but don’t have the cloying sweetness however, if sweetness if what you’re after, Riesling can fill that role for you as well.


How to Make Heavenly Homemade Wine

Making homemade wine from fruit is simple, enjoyable, and worth every last sip. A colorful and tasty addition to any wine rack, fruit wines also make fantastic culinary ingredients for sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and even some desserts. Although making fruit wine is a time intensive process, it makes vinting accessible to those who can’t care for a vineyard or vint grape wines.

Homemade fruit wines make great gifts and provide exotic flavors that are bound to intrigue dinner party guests. So choose your fruit and let the fermenting begin!

When making homemade wine, frozen fruit is required for clean flavors, so this recipe can be made year-round. If you have fresh fruit, freeze it for at least three days before beginning the winemaking process. The initial process involves pouring boiling sugar water over the frozen fruit, which kills any bacteria, foreign yeasts, and unwanted flavors. Most winemaking guides will advise using sodium or potassium metabisulphite for sterilization at this stage, however, to make a completely natural, sulfite-free and organic wine, the freezing/boiling method works effectively.

First, comes the task of choosing which type of wine you would like to make. Strong flavored berries such as blackberries, loganberries, and strawberries produce tasty wines as the tannins in their seeds provide robust and full-bodied flavors. Blueberries make a milder wine, which is very sweet. Stone fruits such as plums and cherries make fantastic wines, especially wilder varieties, as they have a bit of bite to them. Another uncommon but very palatable wine is rhubarb, which is also mild but blends very smoothly with strawberry and loganberry. Apples and pears produce well-rounded homemade wines but tend to be much sweeter and butterier than berry or plum wines. Jim and George’s Home Wine Making, a particularly fantastic guide for beginner’s, offers recipes for several different fruit types.

After deciding on a fruit, considering the sugar to water ratio is key. Yeast (which you will be adding to the wine) feeds on sugar, which produces alcohol. Therefore, the more sugar you add to your wine mixture, the more alcohol will likely be produced. However, you must consider how much sugar the fruit naturally contains. For example, pears contain a lot more sugar per pound that blackberries. Adding too much sugar will give you an extremely sweet wine, because as your yeast begins to gradually die out, nothing will be feeding on the extra sugar. It is therefore also important to pick the correct type of yeast. The WineMaker Magazine’s yeast chart will give you a good idea of how to choose yeast strains for particular types of wines. The homemade wine recipe below provides a sugar to fruit ratio that produces a slightly sweet red wine that would classify in between a port and a merlot.


⑤ Tequila and Mescal

Tequila and its smoky cousin, mescal, are both agave-based spirits. A classic margarita (made with fresh lime and a salted rim, of course) is definitely the way to go, though if you're feeling adventurous, there are plenty of other good options. Despite the spirit’s spring break rap, there are plenty of sophisticated brands to stock in your very grown-up bar, including mescals like Ilegal and Mezcales de Leyenda, and tequilas like Casa Dragones and Herradura.


77 thoughts on &ldquo A Simple Guide To Metabisulfites & Wine Making &rdquo

I have been using potassium metabisulfite for years as a preservative. However, in my last Cab Sav I beleive I put more that the 1/16 teaspoon per gallon. I am getting an aftertaste in my wire that I associate with the potassium metabisulfite.
Question, will time in the bottle help to remove this taste ?

No. Unfortunately, sulfite can be tasted when it reaches a certain concentration. You need to account for all sulfite added during the wines life. It does not go away but becomes bound. Only free sulfite can protect the wine but total sulfite (bound plus free) is what you can eventually taste. The goal is to add as little as possible but enough to protect. The best bet is to test the wine for free sulfite and add only what is absolutely needed.

This helped me a lot I did not know the difference between the three. Now I do. Fred

We have been using the commerical fruit steamer for juce extraction.Do you have any comments relevant to this procedure. Thank you– we enjoy your news letters very much. Herb

Hi Herb,
As an avid brewer with over 20 years under my belt, I’ve been using a steam juice extractor for the past 8 years with very good results. The only times I don’t use this type of juice extraction is when I’m trying to ensure the condition of flavonoids and other nutritional compounds in the juice that might be damagef by the heat of the seam, such as elderberry juice for flu season, even when it’s being used in brewing. I currently have three gallons of apple cider that is processing in this fashion. Hope that helps!
Cathi

Dick, if the aftertaste if coming from excessive potassium metabisulfite, it will not diminish too much over time. Your best bet would be to let the wine breath in a carafe or similar for an hour or so before consuming to allow the sulfites to escape from the wine.

Fred, glad the article was able to help you out.

A steam juicer is great for extracting juice, particularly when you are dealing with your harder fruits. You can find more information about using a steam juicer on this blog by typing "steam juicer" (in quotes) in the search field above and to the left on this page.

Hi, I made a 5 gal. batch of blackberry and apple wine. they are still in 5 gal. containers. they are crystal clear but were supposed to be bottled 6 mo. ago. Did I ruin them or can I bottle them?

I see no one responded to this, but you are fine. You could age the wine for a really long time in 5 gallon carboys so long as they’re air-locked. I hope you didn’t throw it out.

I have talked to people who are allergic or maybe sulfite intolerant…not sure. I’m wondering if there is a way around using sulfites or some alternative. I’d like to make wine that they could enjoy as well. Well, can ya’ help me?

Some people pasteurize and then rapidly cool their fruit before adding additives and yeast. Not sure how much this would affect the flavor, but it is an option to kill off wild yeast and bacteria. I would suggest pectic enzyme as well to reduce haze in the final product. As for bottling, you could use potassium sorbate to keep fermentation from restarting in the bottle. I have used this method to make hard cider that won medals in competition.

Great information. Keep sending this newsletter.

Is there anyother way to sanitize the wine than using any of the sulfites. My Mom used to make tropical fruit wine just by adding the sugar and the yeast and allowing it to ferment without any sulfites. I am afraid that my mom did not know anything by the name of sulfites. What say you
.

James, there is no reason that your wine is bad because it has not been bottle yet. The wine is aging in bulk, just as it would in the bottle. The only thing I ask is that you do not disturb the wine until you are actually ready to bottle. Just let it be.

Holger, you can make wine without sulfites. The problem is with the wine keeping. The clock is always ticking with this wines. So if you plan on making wines without sulfites, plan on drinking them quickly–a few months–and keep them in a cool place.

Denfield, you can sanitize the equipment with all kinds of materials, but there is not anything other than sulfites that works to sanitize the juice itself. See previous post as well.

We "simmer" all our fruit for 15-20 minutes, this "kills "all bacteria. A person in a wine supply store told us this. and do not use anysulfits—-we have been making wine for over 10 years and have not had a "failure",

At what temperature and for how long? Increased temperatures volitize the esters in both fruit and wine and will contribute a “cooked” taste. It doesn’t take much heat either.

Great website, so much info how could you not make wine right. Thank you for all the great info.

I am slightly confused with gallon and tea spoonful measures. Can you explain it in terms of grams of metabisulphite and liters of fruit juice?

Shishir, the amount you use is very small. I’ve converted teaspoons and gallons to grams and liters for you. It converts to .08524 grams per liter, or 85.24 milligrams per liter.

The questions and the answers are very interesting and helpful.My wine seems to always come out cloudy at first. It finally clears ofter setting for some time.My friend who taught me how to make wine , has wine that always comes out almost cristal clear. What am I doing wrong ?

Walter, most wine’s will clear up nicely on their own when given enough time. Some more so than others depending on what kind of wine it is. If you are not satisfied with the clarity of your wine I would suggest taking a look at the clarifiers listed on our website. If you wine already looks clear but not clear enough, I would in particular recommend using the Kitosol 40.

Been making wine since 󈨑 and do not use any of the sulfites. Have not had a problem with spoilage, even after 8 years of ageing.

Z.Richard
Can you tell me how do you make wine without preserative of wine.
How you keep or storage your wine for few years.
Please if you can email to me your experience about making red wine.
My email is : [email protected]
Thank you
Yllson

kindly guide me on how to do wine without using any of this Sulfites .My e- mail is [email protected]

I used to make fruit wines without sulfites. I would pasteurize the fruit (3-4 gallons of fruit) by heating to 145 deg F. and then let cool on its own. This kills nearly everything, without changing the flavors very much and allows the fruit to break up and I would get a lot of juice. Then I would start the fermentation when the temperature was down below 90 deg. This would give a great start to the fermentation process and the alcohol percent went up quickly and I had no problems with contamination. That worked well for 10 to 15 gallons of wine, but now I make 60-70 gallons and I just can’t be troubled with heating all that fruit, so I switched and I now I use K-metabisulfite and get good results.

hello . i really want to make wine without sulfites. please send me your way of wine making sir. thank you
[email protected]

opened wine after two days to add yeast & noticed some mold in one of the pulp bags , is this a problem. I used campden tablets to start. thanks

Garry, yes this is a problem. Your best course of action would be to remove the visual mold. This add another dose of sulfites. You will need to add another pack of wine yeast, but wait 24 hours before you do so.

In my first winemaking effort I bought a kit and followed the directions very carefully. The wine is very good except when you inhale the vapors it seems to go through your sinuses and nasal passages very quickly. I’ve been told it may have too much metabisulfites. Is this harmful and how can I neutralize it?

Kevin, it is more likely to be CO2 gas from the fermentation that is still trapped in your wine. Usually in the directions there will be a step to degas the wine. This is done by agitating it. I would suggest stirring your wine vigorously but without splashing, so as to not introduce oxygen into the wine. You should see bubbles rise out of the wine. Do so until the vapors are gone.

This is the first year we used wine conditioner we used a 1/2 bottel in each 5 gal carboid and then added simple syrup to sweeten more. We bottled and then in about a week the corks started to pop. Is there anything we can do to stop this cork poping?

I have read that Sod/ Pot mtabisulphite solution can be stored and reused for sanitizing the carboys and bottles etc. How long can the solution be stored and ow often can it be used?

Paul, the only choices you have is store the wine in a refrigerator or put the wine back into a fermenter and allow the fermentation activity to complete then rebottle.

Shishir, you can keep this solution for very long periods of time. It is very stable. The only exception to this is if you add an acid to the water along with the sulfite. Then it will not store more than a day or so.

how imperative is degassing as it relates to the finished product? If, indeed imperative, when is the best time. My wine is in the secondary fermentation stage and is slowly approaching the end of fermentation.

The main purpose of degassing is to assist with clarification. If there is dissolved CO2 when ever temperature changes you risk gas bubbles forming round suspended particles stopping them falling out – it may well also also interfere with ionic interactions of some fining agents. You wine will clear faster and and cleaner if you degass. Over time it will degas itself but clarification can be considerably slowed.

Mike, you do not have to degas a wine at all, however the expected results is a wine with some bubbles rising in the glass, and a touch of carbonation on the tongue. You may want this for some wines: Lambrusco… Zinfandel, maybe. Degassing should be done after the wine has cleared, but before you add the last dose of sulfites before bottling.

I completely overestimated the amount of Sodium Metabisulphite after pressing grapes and cannot get the yeast to take. Can I remove the excess in any way?

Alf, your only hope of getting your fermentation going is to splash the wine must around in a way that allows the sulfites to dissipate. You did not say how much you added, so I’m not sure how far off your are. It is possible that you add so much that the flavor will affected even if the fermentation starts, so watch out for that as well. Here’s some information that should help you out.

I added 1 tsp sodium metabsulphite directly to 6 gallons of wine instead of potassium. Is my wine hosed?

Shane, regardless is it was sodium-based or potassium-based bisulfite, you added more than you should have. Either would have been fine, however the dosage should be 1/16 teaspoon per gallon. For 6 gallons, that comes out to 3/8 of a teaspoon. The wine will not ferment with that heavy of a dosage of sulfite. There is something you can do to remedy this. Sulfite wants to release from the wine as a gas if given an opportunity to do so. By agitating and splashing the wine, you should be able to get the sulfite level low enough to allow a fermentation. Here is more on this subject:
How To Save A Wine With Too Much Sulfite
http://www.eckraus.com/blog/too-much-sulfite-wine-homemade

Great questions and even better answers, but I have one more. Potassium Metabisulphite seems to have a shelf life of one year or less and after that I only use it for sanitizing.
My question is do Campden tablets have a similar shelf life issue?

Tim, our recommendation is to use the campden tablets, sodium metabisulfite and the potassium metabisulfite within two years.

I am making a wine kit. It came with packets of metabisulfite and
potassium sorbate to add after fermentation. I mistakenly used
the metabisulfite packet to sanitize my equipment, so now only
have the potassium sorbate to add after I rack the wine into the carboy.
My question is, should I add sodium metabisulfite (1/16 tsp per gallon)
along with the potassium sorbate at this time? I measured the packet of
potassium sorbate and it measured 2.5 teaspoons of powder.

Karen, yes at bottling time we would recommend adding 1/16 teaspoon of either sodium or potassium metabisulfite for each gallon of wine to protect from spoilage.

I have made wine from kits quite a few times. It’s time to try without the kit. I ordered (and will be picking up this evening) 6 gallons of Chilean Merlot Grape Juice from a local Wine and Hop shop. I understand adding K or Na metabisuphite at 1/16 tsp per gallon and then wait 24 hours before adding yeast. Do I need to add more when it comes time to bottle? It is a merlot so it will be in secondary for a while and in bottles for about a year. I certainly don’t want to add too much. Also, what are your feelings on adding oak?
Thanks in advance,
Rob

Rob, there are 3 times that we recommend adding sulfites when making wine. The first is prior to adding the yeast, next after the fermentation completes an lastly when it is time to bottles the wine. The following article will discuss this in more detail.
When To Add Campden Tablets
http://www.eckraus.com/blog/add-campden-tablets-to-wine

So It has been a while since I have made any wine. I made 2 batches after doing some reading when I was younger I made wine with bread yeast and they killed them selves off at about 10% alcohol or so, but now i did 2 batches just to see the difference in bread yeast and wine yeast i read wine yeast should taste better but i think it just cost more to no real difference. Anyways my questions come in where I just added my meta and sorbate but the wine is very dry so i wanted to re-sweeten it. I realized after trying it that you shouldn’t really use cheery in wine it seems to resemble the taste of cough syrup without the sugar. So i though why not just use another type of juice to sweeten it. Would this be ok I haven’t tried this before? The original blend was strawberry, cherry and blueberry and it has a very strong alcohol taste after having fermented for 5 months so im not worried about deluding it . I just want to get rid of the cherry taste without ruining the wine.

Cody, it is perfectly fine to use fruit juice to sweeten your wine. You also might want to take a look at the article posted below. It will discuss the many different ways to sweeten a wine.
Making Sweet Wine
http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-sweet

I mistakenly added the potassium metabisulfite and the yeast at the same time. Do I wait 24 hrs and put another yeast pack in to start fermentation?

Mike, yes that is exactly what you need to do. Wait 24 hours and add a new packet of yeast.

I have an allergy to sodium sulfate. Added 4 Campden tablets in primary fermentation and left him a 24-hour ventilation .. Is sodium sulfate evaporate completely after 24 hours but no longer be its subsequent impact

I just started a batch of blueberry wine last night. Previously we used campden tablets (sodium metabisulfite), We put 1 tablet per 2 & 1/4 gallons of water. I was only able to buy powder this time and put one tsp per 2 & 1/4 gallon. The wine has not started fermenting overnight. Did I put to much of the chemical, can it be saved?

Dorota, yes you did add way too much sulfite. However, there may still be hope. What you need to do is try to get the sulfite to leave the wine. I have posted an article below that will give you tips on what you need to do.
Too Much Sulfite In My Wine
http://www.eckraus.com/blog/too-much-sulfite-wine-homemade

I regularly filter before bottling. Will this remove any gas left in wine and will any air introduced have a bad effect ?

Roger, filtering the wine will assist the gas in leaving the wine. After filtering the wine, you can add sulfites to help drive out any oxygen that is introduced during filtering the wine.

Good day Ed,
I am a small craft cider brewer and due to demand we are expanding. as such I’m moving my cider batches from 7 gal buckets to 250 gal fermenters. In reference to your original post I was wondering how much camden or sodium metabisulfate to add to a 250 gal batch? I’m guessing it would be less per gallon than the smaller batches. while I’m here, I use potassium sorbate at the end of fermentation to preserve my batch and I’m wondering the same about the potassium sorbate.
Thank you – Mac

Conor, even when making a batch as large as 250 gallons of wine the dosage per gallon remains the same.

Hendricks is my preferred tipple, but I wanted to try another unusual gin. This is absolutely fantastic, Fever Tree tonic only, none of your cheap harsh tonics and don’t waste it on those who think supermarket gin is acceptable! Love it.

I added potassium metabisulfite directly into the juice, without creating a solution with warm water first. The juice has been standing for 18 hours now and I plan to add yeast soon. Is this a problem? The juice was previously refrigerated and in a cool state, almost room temperature when I added sulfite directly.

The most important factor is: was the juices sealed up during the 18 hours, or was it left open so the sulfite gases could escape? You want the container to be left open. You can cover the opening with a thin clothe but nothing more. The fact that you added the potassium metabisulfite directly to the juice, or that the juice was cool has little-to-no bearing on anything.

I’m on my second wine-making kit. I’ve got a reasonable amount of experience making beer, but actually like red wine much more. I bought one of the cheaper kits ($90) for a Pinot Noir the first time around with the idea of moving up the price ladder if the wine came out well, and it did. I just degassed 6 gallons of Malbec from a somewhat more expensive kit ($120). My question is as follows: The first kit had the wine settling for 12 days before bottling, whereas the recipe for the Malbec recommends 28 days. Is it really necessary to wait 28 days? Last night I racked the wine three times, from the primary fermenter to a glass carboy, back to the primary fermenter (where I performed the degassing operation with the help of a power drill) and added stabilizers, then back to the glass carboy for settling and clarification. The whole operation is in my coolish basement (used a thermal jacket and thermostat during fermentation). Can this wine be bottled in less than a month? And why do different sets of directions have such wildly varying recommendations for the clarification/settling stage? Thanks.

Leigh, unfortunately since we do not have any information on the kits you are making the only advise we can give you is to follow the directions as stated.

Can i used sodium metabisulphite after the fermentation
Someone says that sodium metabisulphite is used only for sanitizing
Also can i used sodium metabisulphite with potassium sorbate together

Deepak, as the article states, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite and campden tablets are interchangeable. All three can be used for, sanitizing equipment, purifying juice before fermentation and at bottling time to prevent spoilage. Potassium sorbate is different from the sulfites mentioned above. Potassium sorbate is used to prevent re-fermentation when you back sweeten your wine. So yes, you can and want to use both a sulfite and potassium sorbate together.

I was making a 15L/4gallon pineapple wine and on first day i added a full tbsp around 5gm of potassium metabisulfite to it, leaved it for 24 hours by covering with a cloth. After 24 hours i added 5gm wine yeast but after 24 hours fermentation not started so i added more 5gm yeast but nothing happen. Later i read that you should add only 1/4 tsp or 1gm potassium metabisulfite to 5-6gallon/20litre to kill and wild yeast.
Its about 72 hours now but nothing happen and fermentation not started yet. I think the added large quantity of potassium metabisulfite killing my wine yeast or stopping it from multiply.
My yeast is in good condition bcoz am making ginger beer/small batch of wine with it and it start fermentation in 2-3 hours so yeast quality is not an issue.
This was the first time am using potassium metabisulfite so am confused how much quantity i should add to a 15-20litre/4-5gallon of wine must
I should wait or throw it away?
PS: sorry, English is not my first language.

Shyam, the fact that you added way too much of the metabisulfite is why your fermentation will not start. Sulfites damage the yeast. The good news is that the sulfites want to leave the wine, you just need to give them the opportunity to do so. What you need to do is rack the wine in a splashing manner to encourage the sulfites to leave the wine. The following article will discuss this issue in more detail.
Too Much Sulfite
https://blog.eckraus.com/too-much-sulfite-wine-homemade

Thanks for the reply,
I splashed wine for about 72 hours but nothing happened but was not in the mood of throw it away so i put a small fish aquarium air pump for 6-7 hours by covering everything with a cloth. After removing air pump i added few more yeast and waited 2 hours to see effect and boom. Yeast started working and finished within next 3 days from 1.070 to 0.998 at 28 degree Celsius bcoz i added lot of yeast and yeast nutrients in first three days. Now i added more sugar to increase alcohol content and yeast is working fine. There is no sign of any mold or bacteria in wine (I was fearing bcoz i added air pump to it).
Thank you again for the help and covering everything in the deep. I learned a lot from your blog and comments.

If a little Potassium Metabisulfite gets in to the primary fermentation from the airlock will it kill the fermentaion?

Only if the fermentation is going along very slowly, and even then, it may have little effect. A normal fermentation will not be phased at all by this small amount.

Can you use a Camden Tablet to preserve the wine instead of using Crustacean Sulfite as the preservative?

David, Yes, you can use campden tablets at bottling time to prevent spoilage. The campden tablets, sodium metabisulfite and the potassium metabisulfite al all interchangable and do the same thing.

Hi i by mistake put 1/4 teaspoon of sodium meta-bisulfite per gallon, i am yet to introduce the yeast, what should i do kindly suggest


Tapas to Purchase

Round out your menu with as many items from this list as it will take to feed your guests. A good rule of thumb is to have 2-3 dishes for every 4 guests. Make sure your menu includes at least one fish or shellfish, one cheese or meat, and one vegetable dish, and a huge basket of crusty bread slices.

  • Charcuterie platter: Choose 2 or more of the following Spanish cured meats or sausages: jamón serrano (cured ham), lomo embuchado (dried cured pork loin), chorizo, salami, cecina (salt cured beef). Bring to room temperature 20 minutes before eating. Add thinly sliced cantaloupe.
  • Cheese platter: Choose 3 or more of the following Spanish cheeses: manchego (classic Spanish sheep&aposs milk cheese), cabrales (blue cheese), mahon (a sweet, creamy cow&aposs milk cheese from Menorca), roncal (sheep&aposs milk), garrotxa (goat&aposs milk cheese). Add thin slices of quince preserve (found in specialty stores).
  • Mixed marinated olives
  • Smoked almonds
  • Dried cherries
  • Platter of oil-packed fish like anchovies, sardines or tuna. Add chopped chives and pickled peppers.
  • Mixed pickled vegetables
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Olive tapenade

The Basic Liqueurs

As you explore cocktail recipes, you will quickly realize that some liqueurs make an appearance more often than others. These are among the most often used:

  • Amaretto: The almond-flavored liqueur is used in both fancy and casual cocktails.
  • Coffee Liqueur: White Russians and countless other cocktails rely on a bottle like Kahlúa.
  • Dry and Sweet Vermouth: Technically, these are fortified wines, but they're essential for martinis.
  • Irish Cream Liqueur: Baileys is a popular brand, though there are others worth checking out. You can also stock another cream liqueur, such as RumChata instead.
  • Orange Liqueur: Used in countless cocktails, this one's invaluable. Options include curaçao, triple sec, Cointreau, and Grand Marnier, and many bars have two or more bottles in stock.

A Complete Checklist of Pantry, Refrigerator and Freezer Essentials

Having a well-stocked pantry and fridge is like money in the bank. With basic supplies on hand, you'll be equally prepared to put together a family-friendly meal or a last-minute dinner for friends. The trick is figuring out what to stock up on and what you will likely never use.

Consider the checklist below a rough sketch only you can determine the essentials based on your palate, repertoire and needs. Trying to cut back on meat? Skip the Italian sausage and swap in frozen wild-caught shrimp. Don't like peanut butter? Pick up a tub of hummus instead. The idea is to make sure you have enough proteins and sturdy vegetables to pull together several satisfying meals, plus some flavorful condiments and seasonings to keep things interesting (even on a school night).

Whatever you decide to toss in your shopping cart, you can rest happy knowing you won't ever again have to call spaghetti with butter dinner — unless that's exactly what you're in the mood for.


1. Pour off extra. To start, make sure to your funnel is very clean.

  • Open the apple juice and pour out about two cups.
  • This will make space for the sugar and any foam made during fermentation.
  • You can use any type of apple juice you want. (I chose the generic brand. I suppose the higher quality ingredients you put in the higher quality product you yield, but this is not going to be fine wine, so i would stick with the cheap stuff.)

2. Add sugar. Put in the funnel and pour the sugar in.

  • Yeast feeds on sugar and emits alcohol in a process called fermentation.
  • The yeast will feed on the sugar in the wine until it runs out or the concentration of alcohol in the wine becomes too high and they die.
  • Apple juice is naturally sweet, so you could simply add only the yeast if you want a drier (less sweet) wine. Or, add only the yeast then drink the wine after a few days, while the yeast is still working, for a wine with a lower alcohol content and carbonation (yeast emits carbon dioxide also).
  • In this recipe I add sugar and wait for the fermentation to complete so I have a higher percentage ABV (alcohol by volume).
  • If you want the wine to be sweeter, you could add two or more cups of sugar. If you are making a spiced cider, try using brown sugar.

3. Shake. Put the top on and shake it until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Add yeast/ Pour the yeast in, put the top on, and tilt the bottle upside down and right side up a few times.

  • You don&apost want to shake it too vigorously. The easiest way to get yeast is to buy bread yeast at the supermarket.
  • It will be in the baking section. You can buy three packets for less that two dollars, or a small jar for about 5.
  • You only need one of the packets to make the wine, but the small jar is by far the best deal if you plan on doing this often.
  • Either way, put what yeast you don&apost use in the refrigerator, it will last up to a year or maybe more that way. So, add one packet or if you buy the jar add one teaspoon.
  • If you want to be a little more professional and make a better wine you can find a wine shop or go online and buy wine yeast for about $1-$2 per packet. If you do, use a white wine yeast for apple wine.

5. Add any optional ingredients. If you have them on hand, add 10 or 20 raisins.

  • Raisins contain nutrients that will help keep your yeast healthy. If you want to make a spiced cider, you could try adding a cinnamon stick and/or one or two cloves.

Apple wine with plug and airlock.

6. Airlock it. Take off the cap, then poke a few holes in a balloon with a needle, then stretch it over the the mouth of the bottle.

  • As the wine ferments, it will release CO2. The balloon will allow the gas to escape while keeping unwanted organisms floating in the air out.
  • Another option is to go online or to a wine shop and buy an airlock for $1 or $2 and a plug for about $1. These can be used over and over and are overall do a better job, but are not necessary.

7. Wait. Put the wine in a room temperature (or above) place and wait 2-3 weeks.

  • After a day, the balloon should be "standing up" and small bubbles will be rising to the top of the wine.
  • After two or three weeks, the balloon should be limp again and there will be no bubble rising. It may only take one week. The wine probably won&apost smell great, but if it smells strongly of vinegar that means your wine got some outside organisms in it and has spoiled. If that is the case, don&apost drink it.
  • Also, I don&apost suggest putting it in a glass container because the fermentation may start back up and blow up the jar.
  • If it isn&apost sweet enough, add a little sugar. Just remember that this has a good chance of re-starting fermentation, which is good if you want a sparkling (fizzy) wine.

You can now enjoy your own homemade wine!


Blueberry Wine Recipe Method

  1. Dissolve the sugar and half the water together in a pan by bringing to the boil. Ensure all of the sugar is fully dissolved and then turn off the heat.
  2. Whilst heating the sugar and water put the blueberries in a straining bag in the bottom of the fermenting bucket. Use the potato masher to squash the blueberries and break them up. They don’t need to be pureed but make sure all the blueberries are squashed and the juices released.
  3. Pour the boiled sugar and water solution over the blueberries and mix well with the fruit. Add the second half of the water which will help to cool down the must.
  4. Add the citric acid, the wine nutrient and the tannin and mix thoroughly, leave for a few hours to cool further and then add a crushed Campden tablet and for at least 12 hours.
  5. After 12 hours add the pectic enzyme and leave the must for 24 hours. After this, you can test with a hydrometer if you wish for the starting gravity.
  6. After the 24 hours add the yeast to begin fermentation. Allow fermentation to go on for a week and stir once every one or two days, this helps extract as much flavour from the fruit as possible which will have the tendency to float.
  7. After a week lift out the straining bag with the pulp and allow to drain as much as possible, avoid squeezing the bag.
    Take a hydrometer reading, if the wine is below 1.010 specific gravity rack the wine into a sanitised demijohn. If not leave for a further few days and check the gravity again. Once racked attach a bung and airlock and leave.
  8. Wait for at least 2 months or more and the wine can then be racked off the sediment. You can wait for the blueberry wine to completely clear before racking to a new vessel. After this either let it age further for a few months or bottle. If you wish to back-sweeten the wine stabilise and follow this advice here.

This blueberry wine recipe will make a wine of around 12% ABV. It is best squirrelled away for a while to condition and mature. It keeps well for a couple of years, try and keep some around to sample and you will begin to understand how the wine changes with time.