If there's ever been a food or drink with a history behind it, it's wine. Used practically
since the beginning of civilization by king and commoner alike, it's a drink that speaks to
our more refined sensibilities and offers us a chance to not just consume a beverage, but
to get lost in it, think about it, and really, truly enjoy it. For those that truly love wine,
however, nothing can compare to the thrill of actually making and bottling their own
blend. Ignored for years as something that only the experts could do, wine making is
really quite simple!
When you first set out to make wine, it can seem like an overwhelming process with too
many steps to make sense out of. In a sense, this is true. People have been making wine
for thousands of years and naturally, there's a lot of advice on the subject. However, for
the purposes of just getting a feel for the process, the following four steps lay things out
Extracting the flavor of your main ingredients is the first step in the process. Obviously,
you're going to need some grapes and you're going to need to transfer them to grape juice,
but what else? Why not boil some other fruits and add the infusion to the mix?
Alternately, you could give your wine hints of chocolate or vanilla or other uncommon
flavors. Use your imagination!
When your extract is ready, you're all set up to move on to fermenting. With a simple
blend of yeast and other active agents, you can begin fermenting in just a covered pot.
Within a few days, you should see activity, and after ten days, real progress.
By this point, your product will likely have separated into some pulpy matter and a
liquid. You're going to want to place just the liquid in a separate container, this time
airtight, for additional fermentation. This step can take several weeks.
Eventually, the yeast will have worked until the alcoholic content of the mixture is so
high that it simply can't live anymore, usually around twelve to fourteen percent. When
this happens, the wine will take on a clear look, like something you'd buy at the store. So,
what comes next? You guessed it: bottling and corking! After a year for reds or half a
year for whites, you'll be ready for your first taste.
So there you have it. While wine making is an ancient tradition about which much has
been said and written, there's no reason why the beginner can't jump in and try his or her
hand. Just follow the steps in this article and you should be sampling your very first cask
of vino in no time at all!
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