Posted on 19 June 2011.
Why do we use certain types of bottles for different wines?
Wine is a very sensitive beverage which gets easily affected by temperature, lights, vibrations, and oxygen among others. Ordinarily speaking, one can use any type of bottle to bottle his/her wine as long as it can be sealed well (some inset a thin layer of nitrogen before sealing it to prevent any chance of oxygen reaching the wine and oxidizing it) and at the same time protect the wine from direct sunlight.
Easy identification of wine type and place of manufacture
All wine bottles are made of glass. Wines, such as Champagne are fermented in the same bottle they are sold in, while most other types are bottled after the fermentations process has totally stopped. Most of the times the wine is bottled in a certain type of bottle for two main reasons – (i) to identify the area from where it comes (manufacturers, vineyard, country, etc), (ii) type of wine.
In the early days wine was stored in wooden kegs. After a while it became fashionable to have wine in large amphorae. Then, with the advent of the popularity of wine and its transport throughout the world, it became commonly stored in glass bottles. These bottles are usually thick, dimpled at the bottom and dark in color. Thick because it should break during travel/ transport; dimpled at the bottom so it can have better stability and easier for stacking while transporting; lastly dark in color to prevent the access of direct sunlight which can destroy the wine within the glass.
Today, the wine bottles are normally of 750 ml and the shape of the bottles in which they are stored usually denote the type of wine and many times the place from where it is produced. This article will attempt to describe a few of the most popular wine bottles below:
- Bordeaux – this bottle is usually tall with a small neck, light green in color. You will find this type of wine bottle in Italy, Spain, and in parts of the Northern Europe for bottling Bordeaux wines.
- Burgundy – this type of bottle has slopping shoulders making it elegant and longish. The bottle is green too and also has a large dimple at the bottom. This bottle is mostly used for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
- Rhone – this bottle is much thinner than the burgundy one, but similar in shape otherwise.
- Champagne – this bottle has very gentle sloping shoulders, is taller than any other bottle, thicker and has a deep dimple at the bottom. This particular shape is to protect the wine within, which ferments after being put in the bottle, and also prevents the bottle from breakage.
- Rhine – this bottle usually comes in brown color, though they have green bottles too.
There is actually no real rules. The types of bottles have been adopted as a tradition rather than any other reason. There are places where the bottles of wine have been thus for hundreds of years. The main concern for wine bottles, remain to protect the wine. Hence, most of the bottles are thick, dark and longish. All these three attributes help in keeping the wine as healthy as can be till it is drank.
Posted in Featured
Posted on 29 January 2011.
Wine making is a fun and fulfilling hobby that can bring pleasure to yourself and your friends when you enjoy the fruits of your labor. In order to have a really good wine tasting party, you need to have a few accessories. These accessories can make an average wine tasting turn classy for all of those that are involved. Some are must-haves and others are simply going to make the wine drinking experience much more upscale.
Must Have Accessories
The following items are must-have wine making accessories for any wine maker. While you can do without them, if you plan on making many different bottles of wine, you should have some. These are going to work to your benefit and that of your wine.
• Wine Racks – Wine racks are very important especially if you are making a sparkling wine that needs to be turned a quarter every so often during the fermenting process. Those who are making many different types of wine may also want to have a nice sized wine rack that they can sort out each batch in.
• Bottle Tags – These are great for marking the bottles so you know when each batch was made. They can be dated with the time they can be drank or the date that they were started. Purchase them in different colors to color code your different wine types.
• Decorative Bottle Labels – If you are planning on giving away your wines to friends on special occasions, then you may want to use your computer to create your own decorative bottle label. There are many companies who offer these labels or you can find a label that is the right size at your local office supply store.
• Wine Glasses – There are many fun styles of wine glasses that are unique and can bring an exotic look to any table. There are many places to find fun wine glasses online. Those one a budget can check their local thrift stores for different looking wine glasses.
• Decorative Stoppers – These are going to be used in place of corks in the wine bottles. Cork is going out because the trees that produce it have been over harvested. Using these decorative corks is a great way to stopper the bottles that are being given away.
• Decanter and Funnel – Anytime you are racking your wine or decanting it, you are going to be moving it from one bottle to another. Using a funnel with a screen or a decanter with a screen is the best way to ensure that no sediments are going into the decanted or racked bottle of wine.
There you have it- a nice breakdown of items you want to have for wine making at home. With these accessories and tools, you can get the most from your experiences with wine-making and also with how you choose to share it with others.
Posted in Wine Storage
Posted on 17 January 2011.
Most at home wine making recipes come with a list of equipment but there are certain items that are going to be needed no matter what type of wine is being made. Without this equipment, you are not going to get the best quality of wine when you are making it at home.
• 2 or 3 One Gallon Glass Jugs – These jugs need to be sterilized with either hot water or Campden tablets. The tablets should be dissolved in water in order to activate them for use. Keep the water in a sealed jar for future use. When all else fails, mild bleach water can work for sterilization as long as it is rinsed off any of the objects it is sterilizing.
• Airlocks – These allow for a tight seal on the jug while the wine is fermenting. They are great because they also allow the gas to be released during the process. If you do not have this set up, you can also use plastic wrap with a rubber band to create a tight seal.
• Funnel – It is important to use a funnel that has only been used in the kitchen. Any funnels that are used for your vehicles should be avoided. Spend the couple extra dollars and get a funnel that is to be used in the kitchen only. Make sure it is sterilized.
• Stirring Rod – This also needs to be sterilized and should be long enough to get to the bottom of the jug. Long chopsticks will work or you can use a wood dowel that has been purchased from the DIY store.
• Three or Four Feet of Rubber Hose – This should be sterilized as well, but do not use hot water on it as this can break down the rubber. The tubing is going to be used to rack the wine one or two times during the fermentation process. It needs to be clean and durable. This can be found at home improvement stores or wine making stores.
The previous is a basic list of equipment that is going to be needed to make wine. If you prefer the green method of boiling water to sterilize items, then you should also have a huge pot of boiling water such as the largest stock pot you can find. It needs to be large enough to hold the gallon jugs with water just covering them. They need to boil for at least fifteen minutes to be considered sterile.
When you have the right equipment and the know-how, you can ensure that your wine making attempts will be successful. You can create your own wine at home that you will be proud to tell others about and even have your guests taste.
Posted in Winemaking Tips