Category Archives: Back to Basics

Back to Basics: How Long Does a Wine Stay Good After Opening?

Quite simply: “It depends.”   I’d first point you to the only absolute “rule” of food and wine pairings, which applies here, too: Trust your palate, drink what you like and enjoy it.   If you taste a wine that’s … Continue reading

Back to Basics: What’s Yeast

Yeast is one of the most important parts of winemaking; in fact it’s the key ingredient that makes fermentation possible. There are thousands of varieties of yeast… but only one is important to winemaking: Saccharomyces cerevisiae — possibly the most … Continue reading

Back to Basics: Bottling a Wine and Bottle-Aging

Bottling Most of the time, this is done with a bottling line, a mechanical system that pours the wine into clean bottles, then seals them with a cork or capsule and finishes the process by attaching a label. For smaller … Continue reading

Back to Basics: Fining and Filtering a Wine

Fining and/or filtering Even if you racked your wine multiple times, there will still be tiny, invisible particles floating around in it. (If you didn’t rack, the particles may in fact be visible.) You can choose to leave them be, … Continue reading

Back to Basics: Racking a Wine

Racking This process involves another transfer of the wine, from one container to another. Often, wines will simply be racked from one barrel into another of the same type. This seemingly small step does two things: First, it drains the … Continue reading

Back to Basics: Aging Wine Sur-Lie or Lees Stirring

Aging Sur-Lie or Lees Stirring Lees are tiny, particulate bits of matter in the wine — bits of grape skin, pulp, tartrates, and mostly the leftover, spent yeast cells from the fermentation. Sometimes winemakers leave their white wines resting on the lees for … Continue reading

Back to Basics: Barrel-Aging a Wine

Barrel-aging You have a lot of choices when it comes to the type of oak barrels in which you age your wine. First there’s the type of oak: There are hundreds of types of oak tree! Each has a slightly … Continue reading

Back to Basics: Transferring Wine to Tank or Barrel

Transferring to tank or barrel At this stage, the fermented juice is drained from its fermentation tank, leaving behind most of the solids such as bits of grape skin and spent yeast cells. The wine is pumped or poured into … Continue reading

Back to Basics: After Fermentation… What Happens Next?

Congratulations, your fermentation is complete! The yeast did their job, and your grape juice has successfully turned into wine. So what happens next?   There are a number of basic processes a wine often goes through before you actually get … Continue reading

Back to Basics: What are Tannins?

Have you ever sipped a really big, bold red wine and noticed after swallowing that your mouth feels incredibly dry? Maybe your tongue feels stuck to the roof of your mouth, or it’s like a bunch of teen tiny burs … Continue reading