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Popular White Grapes for Home Winemakers

Fiano

Ever consider making white wine at home but needed some advice on what grapes to use? Here’s the list of the most popular white wine grapes you’ve been looking for to help you get started.

Try these four white wine grapes:

Chardonnay

Sauvignon Blanc

Muscat

Riesling

Why these grapes? Here are some reasons for choosing these white grapes to try in your home winemaking cellar:

Chardonnay – One of the world’s most popular grapes and ages for 5-10 years made in a wide range of styles from lean, sparkling to rich, creamy white wines aged in oak. It’s primary flavors include: yellow apple, pineapple, vanilla and butter with a taste profile that makes it a dry, medium bodied wine with medium acidity and 13.5–15% ABV
Sauvignon Blanc – Loved for its “green” herbal flavors and racy acidity; ages 3-5 years and has primary flavors of gooseberry, honeydew, grapefruit, white peach and passion fruit and makes a dry medium to light bodied wine with high acidity and 11.5–13.5% ABV
Muscat – This grape is available in many styles, from dry to sweet to still, sparkling, and fortified, ages 3-5 years with primary flavors including orange blossom, Meyer lemon, Mandarin orange, pear and honeysuckle that produces an off-dry light bodied white wine with medium to high acidity and under 10% ABV
Riesling – An aromatic white variety that can produce white wines ranging in style from bone-dry to very sweet; ages over 10 years. Its primary flavors include lime, green apple, beeswax, jasmine and petroleum and produces an off-dry wine with a light body, with high acidity and under 10% ABV

Which white wine grape will you try this season? We’d love to hear your experience with these popular grapes.

Email sales@juicegrape.com or call  877-812-1137 to order or discus making wine from home!

 

 

Sources
Written by Michelle Griffis aka the Nutmeg Nose from MWG

Popular Red Grapes for Home Winemakers

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Ever wonder what the most popular red wine grapes are to use when making red wine at home? Well, wonder no more. Here is the list you’ve been looking for.

Try using these four popular red wine grapes as you begin your home wine making journey:

Cabernet

Merlot

Old Vine Zinfandel

Petite Sirah

 

Why these grapes you ask? Well, here are a few things to consider:

  • Cabernet – This is age worthy wine; cellar for 10+ years, produces a dry and full bodied wine with medium to high tannins, medium acidity and has 5–15% ABV
  • Merlot –This wine can be aged in your cellar for 10+ years and has flavors of cherry, plum, chocolate, bay leaf and vanilla with a tasting profile that makes it a bone-dry wine, with medium to full body, medium to high tannins, medium acidity and 13.5–15% ABV
  • Old Vine Zinfandel – Ages for 5-10 years, it is a bold, fruit forward red that’s loved for its jammy fruit and smoky, exotic spice notes; it makes a dry red with medium to full bodied flavor, medium to high tannins, medium to low acidity and has over 15% ABV
  • Petite Sirah – Another 10+ years of aging and is loved for its deeply colored wines with rich black fruit flavors including sugarplum, blueberry, dark chocolate, black pepper and black tea and makes a dry, full bodied wine with high tannins, low acidity and over 15% ABV

 

What red grape will you start with today? Let us know what popular red wine you are excited to start making this season.

 

Email sales@juicegrape.com or call  877-812-1137 to order or discus making wine from home!

Sources
Written by Michelle Griffis aka the Nutmeg Nose from MWG

Montepulciano 2020 By Joseph A. Picone, DMD

montepulciano

Montepulciano 2020 By Joseph A. Picone, DMD

I had the pleasure to obtain 10 (36lbs) cases of Montepulciano grapes from Musto Grapes (Frank Musto) on October 10, 2020. Making wine using the many varieties of first class Musto sourced grapes has been an Annual fall event for the Picone family and our friends for the past 30 years or so. Over the years, I have made Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Old Vine Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Malbec, Reisling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, and White Zinfandel to name a few. Each having their own unique qualities to enjoy. Frank and his crew are great in providing all the resources and guidance needed for the first-time wine maker all the way to the seasoned-pro. I was fortunate to have taken a one semester class years ago at Naugatuck Community College on Wine Making given by Bob Herold which together with Frank’s support team has allowed me to create some delicious wines over the years.

I would like to share my experience with you on making this year’s Montepulciano 2020.

The grapes were outstanding. The Brix reading on the refractometer was 25. The clusters were full and the berries were a beautiful deep purple. The boxes were well packed with few if any leaves. We crushed the 360lbs of grapes and immediately added some potassium metabisulphite to kill any wild yeasts. My crusher is also a destemmer, so all the stems were separated from the must during this process. The pH of the must started at 3.70 which wasn’t surprising due to the high Brix reading. I added an appropriate amount of Tartaric acid to bring the pH to a more desirable 3.41 the day of crush. 25 ml of Color Pro enzyme was added at this time as well.

At approximately 24 hours post crush, the Must was inoculated with 35 grams of yeast BM 4X4 in a solution containing GoFerm yeast nutrient. The temperature of the Must at the time of inoculation was 60 degrees F. The yeast solution was well constituted throughout the must. Periodic punching down of the “cap’ was done every 6-8 hours throughout the primary fermentation time.

At 48 hours post crush, the Must temp was 66 degrees F at the Brix reading was 23.5. Fermaid O was added.

At 72 hours post crush, the Must temp was 75 degrees F and the Brix reading was 20. Fermaid K was added.

At 96 hours post crush, the Must temp was 82 degrees F and the Brix reading was 16. I added oak chips to the vat.

At 120 hours post crush, the Must temp was 78 degrees F and the Brix reading was 8.

At 144 hours post crush, the Must temp was 72 degrees F and the Brix reading was 4. 0.9mg of Malolactic culture VP41 was added to the Must and thoroughly mixed in.

At 168 hours(7 days) post crush, the Must temp was 70 degrees F and the Brix reading was 3. The Must and remnant skins were carefully pressed using a bladder press. The raw yield was approximately 27.5 gallons. The Must was placed in cleaned and sanitized demijohns utilizing airlocks to allow CO2 to escape while fermentation progresses, albeit very slowly. The residual skins were heavily consumed during the fermentation leaving behind very little structure. The color extraction was excellent and provided a deep rich purple wine. More Oak chips were added to each of the glass carboys/demijohns.

The slow fermentation in the demijohns went uneventfully and at 2 months, careful racking was accomplished and an appropriate amount of Potassium Metabisulphite was added to help kill off any more yeast cells(30ppm).

At 6 months post pressing, another racking was accomplished without the addition of any sulphites.

At 9 months, I have just begun bottling and I am very pleased with the wine. It is a crystal clear, deep purple, medium to full body, somewhat fruity flavored wine. I expect it to pair well most any dish but have enjoyed it with pasta, pork, veal, and chicken thus far.

Sincerely,

Joseph A. Picone, DMD

Thank you Joseph for sharing your Montepulciano winemaking experience! If you would like to make Montelpuciano emails sales@juicegrape.com or call 877-812-1137.

New Vineyard – Barison Vineyards, Tehama Valley, CA

Tehama Valley is our newest edition to the Harvest Menu.

Barison Vineyards is located on a hillside made up of red volcanic soil and gravel, this regenerative farm vineyard uses its own compost, plant cover crops, and have cattle and chickens on the vineyard. The owner of this vineyard wrote the vineyard book Vitibook (used at UC Davis), and fun fact – won 7 barrel racing competitions in his home of Piedmont, Italy. We are excited to be bringing you grapes from Barison Vineyards this season! We will have Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Carignane, Dolchetto, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

 

This season’s wine harvest is HERE!! Download our Harvest Menu to check out what we will be offering this season. Please email sales@juicegrape.com or call 877-812-1137 to order.

Wine Spotlight: Merlot 🍇🍷

merlot on barrel

One of the world’s most popular red wine making grapes. Merlot has an incredibly jammy fruit profile with cooked fruit, blackberry, and leather notes. A medium tannin and lower acid content make this a very smooth drinking wine. Excellent when aged with oak and also an excellent blender with most red grape varieties.

Our Merlot wine grapes and winemaking juices should start arriving from Central Valley around September 10th.

Have you placed your order yet? Email sales@juicegrape.com for more information.

Don’t Live in CT? Pick up your Winemaking Grapes and Juices in Bronx, NY!

Don’t Live in CT? Pick up your Winemaking Grapes and Juices in the Bronx!

pressing wine grapes

Musto Wine Grape Co. LLC and D’Arrigo New York have partnered to help you make wine. We are both family businesses with a collective passion for wine and winemaking, we believe that everyone interested in crafting their own wine should have access to. We offer the best grapes, juices, equipment, supplies, and knowledge available; and serve all areas of the market for your winemaking needs.

For any questions or inquiries please call 877-812-1137 x8443 or email cmusto@juicegrape.com (CT Office) or winegrape@darrigony.com (NY Office).

1ST WHITE WINE GRAPES TO BE HARVESTED AUGUST 30TH

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(Pictured above Albarino from King’s River Ranch at 20.5 Brix)

Albarino, French Colombard, Muscat, Fiano, Sauvignon Blanc, and Vermentino will be some of the first white wine grapes coming off the vine very soon. Coming in at Brix 22.5 – 24.0, they should be harvested around August 30th and in Hartford, CT by September 7th.

This season’s wine harvest is fast approaching. Download our Harvest Menu to check out what we will be offering this season. Please email sales@juicegrape.com or call 877-812-1137 to order.

Fermenting Tubs: Product Spotlight

Fermenting Tubs: Product Spotlight

Fermenting tubs: we sell a variety of winemaking products, including tubs specifically made for fermenting. Why is a fermenting tub one of the best investments you can make? Choosing the proper vessel to ferment your wine in is extremely important as it effects the quality of fermentation.

fermenting tubs assorted

What’s so special about our fermenting tubs?

Our fermenting tubs are made of food grade plastic. Did you know if you used a non-food grade plastic pail or tub to ferment your wine in, you can actually poison yourself? This is due to the plastic actually seeping into your wine while it heats up during fermentation! Wild, right?

What are the benefits of using a fermenting tub aside from not being poisoned?

Aside from not being poisoned by your fermenting tub, the way our fermenting tubs are engineered makes a big difference than per say a normal drum or bucket. Our pails gradually get wider going from the base up, giving the must more surface area to breathe. This also helps with any cold spots you may have. More surface area equals better fermentation, better fermentation equals better wine, and we all know what better wine equals!

Do your fermenting tubs come with lids?

Our fermenting tubs do come with lids (sold separately) however; we actually recommend simply using a bed sheet draped over the tub. Why? Let’s revisit the need to let your wine breathe: not providing enough oxygen to your wine can actually give it a rotten egg smell, this is due to volatile sulfur compounds developing in the enclosed space between the wine and the lid. Not only do you want to avoid rotten egg smelling wine, you also don’t want your tub to explode. A closed fermentation tub becomes an incubator, trapping heat with the gasses and BOOM! Now you have must everywhere AND your winemaking room smells like rotten eggs. Yuck. Using the bed sheet instead of the lid will prevent this too.

If you’ve decided to invest in a fermenting tub, visit our store to pick yours up or give us a call at (877) 812 – 1137 to place your order over the phone with one of our sales associates. You can view the sizes and specs of our tubs here.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel chocolate chip cookies are a treat definite to make you swoon. The best part? This can be a quick, easy recipe so you’ll be enjoying these sweet treats in no time!

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

First, you’ll need the ingredients!

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 & 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup of chocolate chips (I usually use milk chocolate, but you have the freedom to pick which chocolate you like more!)

1 cup of caramel chips

1-2 Tablespoons of sea salt (coarse)

Next, combine and bake!

Firstly, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Secondly, beat the butter and sugars together in a separate bowl. You can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a handheld mixer on low speed until combined. Thirdly, Beat the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl until combined and then stir into the flour mixture until well blended. Fourthly, Add chocolate and caramel chips, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and place cookie dough onto a baking sheet spaced two inches apart. You can use a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop to measure out the side of each cookie. Press sea salt on the tops of each cookie. Finally, bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and allow to cool.

Wait, nothing is complete without a glass of wine…

Have you ever made Port before? It pairs perfectly with these cookies! The rich textures, fresh fruit factors, hints of chocolate, and sweet profile of Ruby Port makes it a no-brainer for pairing with many kinds of caramel, milk, and dark chocolate choices.

How to Make Port Wine:

You can make port from existing wine by adding grain alcohol, everclear, or brandy. First, determine the alcohol level you want your port to be. Second, use Pearson’s Square to determine how much brandy you need to add. Third, add that amount of brandy and sugar adjustment to the wine.

Want to dive deeper? Learn How to Make Port Wine Step by Step with this Video from MWG’s online learning program WinemakingInstructions.com.

How to Throw a Blending Party

When throwing a wine blending party think about the style of wine you want to create. Are you looking for a fruit forward blend? Are you wanting a Bordeaux, earthier style blend? Once you decide on the style of blend grab samples of the wines you want to utilize. I’d suggest putting them into unmarked bottles with numbers on them or you can put them into pitchers with numbers on them. With the wines “blind” people will try be more creative and less apt to going for only Cabernet.

Next set up your blending stations.

  • Each blending station should have a glass for each wine being used and a glass for the blended wine
  • A small pipette
  • 100 mL graduated cylinder
  • Wine Blending Sheet
  • Pen or pencil

Musto’s Wine Blending Sheet

(email cmusto@juicegrape.com for your free download)

Our family's wine blend

Once you have everything set up it’s time to start blending! Have fun!

Here are a few popular blends to help get you and your family started.

  • Bordeaux Blends – Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot, Malbec
  • Chianti – 75% Sangiovese, usually finished with Barbera
  • Super Tuscan – Cab, Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Franc
  • Rhone Blends – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Carignane
  • White Rhone blends – Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc
  • White Bordeaux – Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle

Remember – at the end of the day it’s all about which blend you enjoy the most!

MWG is here to help you make the wine that you love. Below are more blog posts and videos about Blending Wine. Take a look for more wine blending inspiration.

Blog Post: Beginner Blending Wine by Winemaker Chris Pallatto

Great Blending Wines Video

How to Blend Your Wines Step by Step Video

Photos from a wine blending party with the American Wine Society

Interested in making your own wine? Contact Musto Wine Grape at sales@juicegrape.com or 877-812-1137. Cheers to Winemaking!