Category Archives: Winemaker Articles
Nancy Vineyard, co-founder and previous owner of The Beverage People in Santa Rosa has written a detailed article to assist winemakers in determining whether their wine is ready to bottle. Her article offers numerous tips on remedying a host of issues including: too many bubbles (in a still wine), whiffs of garlic, onion or burnt match; and too sweet or too dry wine. Her article entitled Cellar Checks for Bottling can also be found on the business’ website.
Rick Kushman, communications strategist for E&J Gallo, is a New York Times best selling author and an award winning journalist. Rick is also the chief judge for the California State Fair commercial and home wine competitions.
His “Kushman by the Bottle” is a monthly segment heard on NPR / Cap Radio’s Insight hosted by Beth Ruyak. Rick’s June 15, 2016 segment, in addition to other wine-related topics such as a $695 cork puller, highlights home wine makers and our very own enthusiastic Sacramento Home Winemakers. Listen to the audio recording at this link:
Thank you Rick for the good vibes. and to member Helen Frisch for turning on her radio.
Vice President Donna Bettencourt has found some fun stuff.
Rick Kushman and Paul Wagner and two crazy guys who know a lot and talk a lot about wine. Rick’s a journalist and co-chief judge of the California State Fair wine competitions. Paul is a wine industry guy who is focused on wine marketing. Their show is called “Bottle Talk with Rick and Paul” and the programs can be streamed. Click here to hear what they’re up to.
Bob Peak, partner with Santa Rosa’s The Beverage People and a guest speaker at SHW’s meetings, writes “Bob’s World of Wine,” a wine-related blog published on WineMaker magazine’s web site. His latest blog post talks about the small acreage of Portuguese varietals planted in California.
Bob was delighted to discover that SHW members Carol Clark and Sonia Baron pursued their dream and recently purchased a vineyard in Fair Play (El Dorado County) and have named their new reality Bom Vinho! At SHW’s recent Harvest Dinner, Sonia excitedly conversed with Bob about the Portuguese varietals that are growing on Bom Vinho! and also about Shaker Ridge Vineyard’s Portuguese varietals (owners Andy and Elizabeth Standeven are also SHW members).
Bob’s see Portuguese wines maybe as soon as the next harvest! Check out Bob’s blog.
Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WineMaker magazine is looking for home wine innovations for the Cellar Dwellers section of the magazine. Some of you brought your bright ideas to the August meeting and some didn’t make it through the doors that evening. If you would like WineMaker magazine to consider your invention or adaptation to share with magazine readers, please contact Dawson Raspuzzi, assistant editor at the magazine. Let him know that you’re a member of SHW.
Do you hear the rumble??
Harvest! and the SHW website is seeing increased incoming messages of “Grapes for Sale”. We’ll try to post these “ads” as soon as we can. You can find these posts on the SHW web site a couple of ways:
– on the right side of the SHW web page, click on “2015 Grapes for Sale” and you’ll find a chronological list of “Grapes for Sale” postings with the most recent post on top. Please note that some grapes may go quickly. * Check back often.
– click on the “Blog” sub-category of “Classified Ads”. Here, you’ll also find informal grape availability – people looking to trade grapes for wine or to make grapes available through other arrangements.
Communication is key! Whether you in it for large or smaller quantities or hoping to land an unusual find, please:
– contact DIRECTLY the person and contact info at the top of each post. If you respond instead to the “Comments” section of the post, we may not see it until harvest is over;
– ensure that you know what you are getting before you commit: location, vineyard & grape history, mimmum quantities, who picks, destemmer-crusher or press available, first or second pick, directions, containers, payment. Go ahead of harvest and check things out if necessary;
– once you commit, honor your promise. Many growers are small family businesses who rely on both commercial and home winemakers for their livelihood. Be respectful, build relationships – keep opportunities open for home winemakers.
* Grapes for Sale ads are posted throughout the day and available for viewing. Notification of a new post(s) lands in SHW members’ email boxes early the following morning.
We swooned over them at the Jubilee and sought out the cook who brought the cheese-filled bacon-wrapped jalapenos.
Member Steve Tankersley fessed up – he’s the one who’s been playing around with these hot little guys. He said he got the original recipe off the Internet where they’re known as Atomic Buffalo Turds or ABTs. Steve writes:
“…I brought the bacon wrapped jalapeno’s, glad you enjoyed them.
They are easy to make if you have a smoker, if not I suppose a Webber might work if you can maintain low indirect heat for about 2 ½ hours.
I recently bought a new smoker and have been trying a lot of new stuff, this one seems to get attention.
· Two dozen large fresh jalapeno’s sliced lengthwise and thru the middle of the stem (keep stem attached). Remove seeds and ribs creating a “boat” for the filling.
· Optional – soak jalapeno’s in Sprite, 7up or Squirt for 2 to 12 hours. This reduces the heat factor of the chiles. Longer the more mild the are.
· Stuff with cream cheese, I used chive cream cheese last weekend. Garden vegetable works well also.
· Wrap stuffed jalapeno’s with thin bacon tightly – I used one slice per half chili, you can adjust. Thin sliced bacon seems to work better.
· Lightly sprinkle with a brown sugar & paprika based rub. I used ½ cup brown sugar; ¼ cup of paprika; 1 tbsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper & kosher salt, tsp generic chili powder, ½ tsp Cayenne. Lots of variations of the same thing. It is also a good rub for ribs & chicken.
· Place on rack w/small grates, I use a Bradley rack so they don’t fall through
· Set smoker to 225 degrees for 2 ½ hours. I used 2 oz. of Hickory chunks (not chips) on an electric “Smokin-It” brand smoker (works fantastic). Any good smoker should work with fruit or hardwood. Cut-up old oak barrel segments work well also.
· Remove from smoker and enjoy…”
Not only is Steve a pro at the grill, he’s also does pretty nice work in his winery. At this year’s Jubilee, his wines earned 3 double-golds and 2 silvers, and one of his double-golds won the Best of Dessert award.
We can hardly wait to see what Steve enters and brings to the next Jubilee…
Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible and The NEW Wine Bible (out Spring 2015), is launching a hilarious new video series about wine. “Bible Study with Sister Karen” will cover topics ranging from the taste of tannin to the sex life of grapes, and will be posted every Sunday (naturally) and Wednesday on Karen MacNeil’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
“Bible Study with Sister Karen” debuts this Sunday, April 6th–don’t miss it! Subsribe to her YouTube channel and Facebook page.
SHW Member David Hicks shares honors earned by Lake County wineries at the American Fine Wine Competition held in southern Florida.
David would like to add a note regarding Sol Rouge Winery (one of the article’s main subjects) “…Bryan Kane’s winery is actually on Treasure Island along with 11 others. It’s a wonderful and unusual afternoon of wine tasting to visit TI.”
(Hmmm….maybe we can convince David to coordinate a winery tour on Treasure Island.)
Here’s the link to the Lake County News article. Lake County has lots to be proud of! http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=35540:lake-county-wines-garner-awards-at-american-fine-wine-competition&catid=1:latest&Itemid=197
Must I Wait–Yes! The Initial pH Rise in Winemaking
Harvest: crush grapes, test the must, document numbers. A few hours later, the readings may have changed including the must’s pH. Is the pH meter not working right? Maybe the pH did change – why is this?
We posed this question to SHW member Angela Romo. Angela, with an advanced degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, explains why this happens and provides a perspective from – gulp! – grapes that must become must.