Friday, December 30, 2005

White in the bottle and Red racked one last time

I finally bottled the white. It was a little anti-climactic bottling this wine.

It is harder to get excited about a kit wine. You don't put all of the attention into it in the beginning like you do when you start off with fruit on the stem. It just takes on a bit of a "Paint by the Numbers" feel when you start off with a perfectly balanced juice from a supplier. There isn't that added bond you get from checking the weather every day in order to convince yourself that the grapes can hang just a couple more days or a week without problems. All of that has been automated and extracted from the process. When you get the juice, it may have come from the perfect grapes for the year, or it might have been created from a bit of this and a bit of that. Some from here, some from there. Kind of a "Franken-juice"

But, before I completely talk myself out of the wine, I should say that it turned out very good. The wine is well balanced, sugar, alcohol, acid, oak and body are all very good. I am very pleased with it and next year, I think my white will be coming from actual, local fruit.

Bottling went quick and easy. 6 gallons into 24 regular 750ml bottles and 12 splits which made very nice Christmas presents.

The Red.

Once the white was in the bottles, that freed up the 6 gallon carboy so I did a final racking of the Cabernet. It had been in a collection of different sized glass vessels with oak chips. I racked them all into a primary fermenter and then into the 6 gallon and 2 x 3 gallon carboys. That is now where they will stay for another 6 months.

That should give it plenty of time to age and mellow. It has dropped a lot of sediment but there is still some in suspension that will drop out over some time. No need to rush it.

Now that the wines are put to bed for a while, maybe in a few weeks I will fire up a batch of Pale ale.