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wine wednesday

The Winemaker’s Think Tank: Vol 25 – Why is my wine evaporating?

What’s the Winemaker’s Think Tank?

Every Thursday we will post about a few frequently asked questions that our winemaker has answered. If you have a winemaking question you would like to have answered, please email us at support@juicegrape.com and we will try to get into next week’s post. Cheers! :)

Smoke or vapor coming from a wine glass on black background.

Why is my wine evaporating?

Just like water or any other liquid, with prolonged exposure to air, wine can evaporate. When aging wine in an enclosed container such as a tank, carboy, or demijohn, the container should have an airtight seal via an inflatable gasket or an airlock and bung. This will help prevent against oxidation and will reduce the amount of evaporation dramatically. If you still see some evaporation happening in one of these closed containers, evaluate your bungs and seals as they may not be working properly.

The main source of evaporation in winemaking is through barrel aging. Barrels are a porous environment that allows the wine to “breathe” over time. This “breathing” process is essentially evaporation. The wine is exposed to air through the porous staves and small portions of the wine evaporate into the atmosphere. This has positive effects on the wine as it creates a creamier mouthfeel, can reduce the perception of acidity, and imparts oak flavor. The barrel must be filled monthly with additional wine to reduce the head space and replace the evaporated product. This will prevent the wine in the barrel from oxidizing. While the breathing process may be a source of frustration, as you witness your wine evaporating into thin air, it will help you to create a fuller, heavier, more lush wine.

We hope this information helps with your winemaking. If you have any follow up questions or winemaking questions in general, please email us at support@juicegrape.com.

Wine Wednesday: South African Cabernet Sauvignon

As the Spring Wine Grape Harvest Approaches, we thought we would check out some of the wines that South Africa has to offer.

Today we tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon. #HappyWineWednesday

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WINE: Bob’s 2013 Overnight Express South African Cabernet Sauvignon

TASTING NOTES: On the nose are notes of raspberry, berry, flint, and oak. The palate is filled with flavor, yet soft supple tannins round out the mouthfeel nicely. A great wine to enjoy with grilled meats or a meaty pasta dish.

VITUCULTURE: The soil where these grapes were grown is considered “Clovelly, Stony Glenrosa soils”. Clovelly is a component derived from granite, usually red to yellow colored. It contains acidic compounds. It is found on mountain foothill slopes and on ranges of hills, with good physical and water retention properties. Glenrosa soils are typically compact, stony, and clean cut.

WINE REGION: Western Cape, 31 miles East of Cape Town

GEEKY THINGS: Wines from the Western Cape are where some of our Cabernet Sauvignon will be arriving from. Wines from these locations are often described as having a subtle mineral note which many believe is from the decomposed granite soils. The Granite Mountains are approximately 600 million years old, over 3 times as old as the soil in Napa where many of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines are grown.

Click to Download Tasting Notes

More information about our South African Grapes are on our blog. Check out the most recent “2017 South Africa Harvest” by clicking HERE.

Cheers!

The Musto Wine Grape Staff

A taste of Italy from Lanza Musto Vineyards

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{Lanza-Musto Brunello Clone Sangiovese going through veraison}

Can’t make it to Tuscany this year? Don’t worry, you can make some fabulous Sangiovese right here in the US! Lanza-Musto Vineyards has been producing Brunello Clone Sangiovese for the past 4 vintages. One of the big reasons we planted this varietal is because the valley provides hot days and cool nights. The temperature can swing over 50 degrees depending on the time of year. Sangiovese eats this type of weather up! This high producing varietal soaks up the sun and enjoys the break under the cool night air.

When producing Sangiovese wines keep in mind that even though it is a bold tasting wine, it can easily be overtaken by oak infusions. Both the Musto Wine Grape Co. and Winemaker Magazine suggest using small amounts of oak or aging your wine in neutral barrels. The oak flavoring can overpower the wine and you will lose the delicate acidity and  bright cherry notes that Sangiovese is known for. Also, blending in a little LMV Barbera or Merlot can help give it a little extra structure and complexity. 

Since Sangiovese originated in Italy, the wines pair famously with anything tomatobased. We suggest pasta, pizza, or any meat dishes that have a tomato sauce. Frank Musto from Musto Wine Grape Co., LLC. personally enjoys his Sangiovese with Pepe’s Pizza from New Haven, CT or a great Chicken Marsala.

Sangiovese is one of the hottest up and coming varietals being produced in the United States. Make sure to secure your order of Brunello Clone Sangiovese for Fall 2016. You will not be disappointed!

Cheers and Happy Winemaking!

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{Lanza-Musto Brunello Clone Sangiovese ready to ship to Musto Wine Grape Company}

Yeast Starter Instructions Up on Youtube!

Hello Winemakers!

We are excited to release our newest video – “Yeast Starter Instructions.” In the video Winemaker Frank Renaldi teaches us how to correctly create a Yeast Starter for your fermentation.  Please feel free to visit our YouTube Page for more videos HERE.

Cheers! :)

Winemaking Classes Are BACK!!

Hey Guys!

As Wine Grape Season approaches we are starting to brush up on our winemaking skills. Below is our NEW Schedule of Winemaking Classes. Please contact Christina Musto via phone (877.812.1137) or email (cmusto@juicegrape.com) or sign up online!

We hope to see you there!

bootcamp

The only hands-on winemaking bootcamp in the area. No need to spend thousands. M&M Wine Grape Company is pleased to announce the start of a ten week class for beginner winemakers in the art and science of making wines. This course offers each student the opportunity of experiencing hands-on winemaking and producing their own five gallons of wine by the end of the semester. In addition to actually making wines, the course will cover the science behind modern wine making and fermentation techniques including additives commonly used by commercial wineries throughout the wine making world. Classes will be about 3 hours each Saturday afternoon, starting at 1:00 pm, in the offices and winemaking showrooms of M&M Winegrape Co, 101 Reserve Road, Hartford, Ct, 06118.

We are currently accepting enrollment for this 10 week course with lecture and hands-on labs. The cost is $300/student plus the cost of grapes for the 5 gallon batch.

The next class will start August 29th 2015

Click here for more information about the course.

winemaking 101

This program primarily covers the basics necessary to understand the art and science of making wine.  Students should leave the class with an overview of the winemaking process and prepared for a hands-on experience.

The entire spectrum of the process is addressed including cleaning, sanitizing, and preparing equipment, understanding and performing appropriate metrics, detailed steps needed to produce finished wine from fresh grapes, grape juice, frozen musts, and kits, bottling and storing wines. Discussions include equipment choices from manual to electric units, wooden barrels for storage, stabilizing and preserving wines for extended time, and other pertinent tops. The class consists on one three plus hour slide presentation/lecture with open Q&A, and tasting examples of home made wines. Students must be at least 21 years of age to participate in wine tasting/evaluation exercises.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  1. Introduce the basic practices of wine making.
  2. Provide an understanding and feel for the skills required to successfully make high quality wines.
  3. Introduce the student to the sanitary requirements necessary to consistently produce world-class wines.

We are currently accepting enrollment for this course. The cost is $49.95/student.

The next class will start TBD

Click here for more information about the course.

basic lab skills

This program primarily covers laboratory skills needed in the art and science of making wine.  This course compliments and should be taken after having taken the Intro to Wine Making (EDUIWM101) course.

In order to consistently make high quality wines the winemaker must perform a number of tests and functions  to monitor and adjust the progress of the fermentation and aging process. This class discusses and demonstrates a number of such functions including acid titration, pH, sugar content, fining, etc., including alternate methodologies for sugar and acid titrations. Students must be at least 21 years of age to participate in wine tasting/evaluation exercises.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  1. Introduce the basic laboratory practices of wine making.
  2. Provide an understanding and feel for the skills required to successfully measure fermentation progress.

We are currently accepting enrollment for this course. The cost is $49.95/student.

The next class will start April 21st 2015

Click here for more information about the course.

wine eval

This program covers the basics necessary to understand the art of wine tasting and evaluation.  Students should leave the class with an overview of the winemaking process and how to evaluate wines with confidence.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  1. Introduce the basics of sensory analysis pertaining to wine
  2. Provide an understanding and feel for the skills required to be a wine judge and/or sommelier.

Students must be at least 21 years of age to participate in wine tasting/evaluation exercises.

We are currently accepting enrollment for this course. The cost is $39.95/student.

The next class is TBD

Click here for more information about the course.

Mulled Wine ~ Getting in the Holiday Spirit

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We hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for and it’s good to take a step back, reflect, and enjoy each others company.

Now that we are in the holiday spirit we have been experimenting with different winter wine recipes. One of them being Mulled Wine. Below is my recipe. I suggest pairing it with friends by the fireplace and a tasty charcuterie plate.

 

4 cups apple cider (or can use apple juice if you want it a little sweeter)

1 bottle of red wine (suggest cabernet, merlot, or a blend of both)

1 tablespoon – 1/4 cup of honey (depends on your sweet tooth)

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange – juiced and zested

4 whole cloves

2-3 stars of anise (do to taste)

orange peels/wedges for garnish

Add the apple cider/juice, wine, cinnamon sticks, orange zest, orange juice, and cloves to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add stars of anise and honey to taste. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel/wedge for garnish, and enjoy!