In spite of common belief, winemaking is a very simple process that can be done just about anywhere with the most ordinary ingredients. This art has come to us, the modern man, though ages and ages of wisdom and experience. In ancient times, winemaking was simple, fast and the result was exceptional. In modern days, there are a lot of ways to make wine, some simple on the lines our ancestors, and some as complicated as you would like them.
Thankfully, home made wines have become a fad the world over and with the pleasure of making wine at home, the demand for better ingredients, automation and fast maturity of the wine have grown by leaps and bounds.
The modernization has not, as expected, improved much of the process of wine making. You can still create the best wines in the traditional way at home, with ingredients that you can pick from the shelf of your kitchen. However, there has been some high tech contributions to fast forward the maturity time of the wine. This development has made it possible for people to have their wine, almost immediately after it has been bottled. Many love this development because the patience of a human being is not the same today, that had been some hundred years ago.
The second great achievement and gift of science-technology to the making of wine is that the grapes quality has become much better, and much more uniform in taste. Hence, the wine’s flavor is fast to develop and better to taste.
Modern science hasn’t made too many changes to the actual art of wine making. The basic craft remains the same.
- Extract the pulp of the grapes by soaking and then crushing and pressing
- Add helping ingredients, (yeast, sugar, etc) and leave for fermentation for initial period of about one week
- After 7-10 days take the liquid and strain it of the grape skins and other ingredients also allow the liquid to ferment further, while being careful to maintain the temperature at 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wait until the fermentation totally stops (you will know when the bubbling of the liquid ceases completely)
- Strain the liquid again through very fine cheese cotton cloth and let it ferment again – this time for the secondary fermentation. You can repeat this step once or twice at intervals of one or two months
- Bottle the resulting liquids and cork them tightly. The bottles will need to be left standing for about five days, after which these should be stored at an angle at 55F for 6-24 months. For white wines, aging should not exceed 12 months. Use green bottles for reds, and clear for whites.
- Sample the wine; if you find it matured, enjoy it. If not, let it age for about six months to one year more.
This is the basic process and no matter what twists and turns you add to it, the process remains this much. The complications that you read in different recipes are most of the times unnecessary and avoidable. Stick to the ancient style of wine-making and you can do no wrong.