Wine{a}be Winemaker: Week 3

More questions. Continued from last week.

-By Sofia-

I went home and finally opened the Vintners Reserve California Trinity Red Wine Kit. Hurray! Much to my surprise, it was made in Canada with grape juice from California. I am just glad it was not made in China! I will gladly list the items in this heavy box:


1. Large plastic juice bag
2. 2 Packages of oak chips (to introduce desirable flavors/aromas into wine)
3. Yeast
4. Package #2 (Bentonite) (a type of CLAY to speed the onset of fermentation)
5. Package #3 (Metabisulphite) (prevents oxidation and suppresses bacteria)
6. Package #4 (Sorbate) (prevents renewed fermentation, inhibits mold/yeast)
7. Package #5 (Fining agent) (used to clarify wine before bottling)

I started reading the kit’s instruction sheet with much enthusiasm. The first instruction stated to “clean” and “sanitize” the necessary equipment. The cleaner was included in the large box of Everything Needed To Get Started, but where is the “sanitizer”?

I grabbed my purse and car key and back to the wine shop I drove to ask about the “sanitizer”. Betty smiled when she saw me coming. I asked Betty if I was to use the small packet of “metabisulfite” in the wine kit to sanitize the necessary equipment. No! That small packet is to be added to the carboy later in the wine-making process.

You guessed right, Betty then sold me a larger plastic baggy of metabisulfite, which is to be used for sanitizing ALL the items used for making wine, after every item is cleaned with special cleaner and then rinsed very well before put to use.

I paid for the metabisulfite and said good-by to Betty. I got into the car, reversed the car and then pulled right back into the parking space. I rushed back into the store to ask Betty: “and how does one get the old labels off the empty wine bottles? Is there a special gadget for that?”

Betty showed me a container of a powder, which is to be mixed in water, then soak the bottles in that mixture for about five minutes and then the labels should come off easily. I asked Betty if she uses this powder…no…she just soaks her empty wine bottles overnight and then with a brush scrapes the labels off easily. Now that sounds like a super method of getting the labels off. With a little elbow grease I would be saving about $12.00. Fantastic!

With all this super information, I rushed home, again, to finally start making wine. I even past up a few garage-sale signs on the way home, and did not even slow down at their sight. Amazing! I was on a mission to start making wine TODAY.

***To Be Continued Next Week.***

Read the rest of the series: Introduction, Week 1, Week 2, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8




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