Archive for the ‘Beverages Blogs’ Category

12 Essential Tips For Tasting And Repairing Homemade Wine

taste, cook, recipe

All large wine producers have an oenologist (wine maker) on staff that has the delicate job of tasting and adjusting all the wine that the label produces. For small vineyards, this can be one person; for larger corporations, this can be a huge team of people, all tasting and mixing the wine to find the perfect balance of sweet, acidic, tannic, and more.

When making your own wine, you are the oenologist. Below is a simple list of how to recognize a problem with your homemade wine, and if found, how to fix it:

  • Firstly you must taste your wine. This can be done at any stage, but if the wine is not finished fermenting, it will not be as strong. First, select the proper wine glass. For red wines, this should be a broad and round glass; for white wines, the glass will be narrower. Next fill the glass up to where the curve starts in the bowl of the glass. It is usually about a quarter of the way full.
  • Now, before you even think of tasting, you must look and smell the wine first. Hold the glass against a white background and tilt it so that you can see through your homemade wine. If you cannot see through it, the glass is too full.
  • Now recognize the color. For light whites wines, the color should be light gold with maybe a touch of green tint. For full-bodied red wine, the color should be deep maroon or almost purple.
  • If there is a brown tinge around the edge, this means that your wine has been exposed to too much oxygen and you need to make sure there are no air leaks in your system. This can also cause the wine to taste like sherry. If so, make sure all your containers are stopped up. To fix this, add one Campden tablet for each gallon.
  • Now smell your wine. Stick your nose into the glass and breathe three times getting deeper each time. Now recognize the aromas of the bouquet (how the wine smells). In white wines, some common aromas are green apple, honey, or flowers. In red wines, you can often smell plums, blackberries, or chocolate.
  • If your wine has an unpleasant smell, there could be a problem. If your wine smells sulfurous, it means the yeast was added to a sulphited must too soon. Try adding one Campden tablet per gallon. If this doesn’t work, you will have to throw away your homemade wine.
  • If the wine smells mousey, like vinegar, or medicinal, there is no remedy. You will have to throw the wine out.  These are caused by the presence of bacteria in the must. Next time, be sure to sanitize all equipment thoroughly. A medicinal smell may also be caused by lack of acid in the must, next time be sure to add more acid.
  • Now you must taste your homemade wine. Take a small sip and roll it around your mouth making sure to get it on all the parts of your tongue. You can also try aerating it in your mouth by breathing in and kind of gurgling the wine. You may look a little silly while doing this, but don’t worry, no one is watching you.
  • Take time to think about what flavors come through on your palate and enjoy your homemade wine. You may taste apple or berry, or other fruit flavors. You may also taste some spices, chocolate, or black pepper coming through.  If you are having trouble enjoying your homemade wine, this may mean there was an error.
  • If the wine tastes too sweet, this means that the wine has stopped fermenting. Usually this is because it has reached its maximum alcohol content. Try mixing in some dry wine until you reach your desired flavor and do not add as much sugar next time.
  • If your wine is too acidic, you can add a “wine acid reduction solution” or potassium carbonate solution. If the wine lacks “bouquet” and overall aroma on the nose and the palate, there is not enough acid in the must. Add 1 teaspoon lactic acid per gallon and let ferment further.
  • If your wine tastes flat or lacks body, you can try a few things. Add tannin if it is too flat or try adding more concentrated grape juice. If the homemade wine is too bitter, add isinglass.

Whatever the problem is, you can always make sure to fix it the next time you try and make homemade wine. And no matter what other people may think, as long as you think it tastes good, that is all that matters.


Make Tasty Wine

wine, beer, nutrition


Make Tasty Wine is a site dedicated to bringing the expertise and knowledge of professional winemakers to aspiring home winemakers everywhere. It started as a site selling an e-book on making wine at home. Now 12 months support from an award-winning winemaker in Napa has been added to the book and we are working on evolving that further to a full-on membership program.

Laura Brown is the author of the book Make Tasty Wine. As a passionate winemaker, she has researched and experimented with many types of homemade wine for more than 20 years. She lives with her husband on a farm in the rural south where they grow much of the fruit they use to make homemade wine.  She shares her homemade winemaking experiences in the book, Make Tasty Wine, which is a “must read” for anyone interested in making their own delicious and flavorful wines. [Read more]

Dr.Vino’s Wine Blog

 beverages, drink, food


I talk, teach and write about wine. I’ve written two wine books: the first tells the backstory of the wine industry in France and America; the second is a practical guide chock full of wine recommendations. Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink (University of California Press) has been called “enlightening” by Publishers Weekly and A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys, and What to Sip with Each Season (Simon & Schuster) has been described as “witty, lively, and loaded with common sense” by the Chicago Tribune.

This all started in my Ph.D. dissertation on the political economy of the wine industry in France and the United States. So yes, I am a real doctor—I don’t just play one on the web. On this site I make good value wine recommendations and also look at the world through the wine glass, bringing in diverse perspectives and lively reader contributions. My wine writing has also appeared in print in Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, the New York Times,, The Guardian, Decanter and The World of Fine Wine among other places (see “in the media” for complete list). [Read more]


DrankTank : The Beverage Blog

Beverages, beer, coffee


I’m addicted to coffee. I love beer. I drink more water on a daily basis than anyone I know. Sometimes I can’t drink enough milk to satisfy a milk craving. Carrot juice rocks. A good cup of hot tea is very satisfying. If it fits into a cup, I’ll try it.
Straight from the keyboard of a drinkaholic comes:


Comments, reviews, news, thoughts, photos, and smells of everything drinkable.  [Read more]

Alcohol And Drugs – Some Questions

alcohol, drugs, wine

Did You Know…

That in the United States, some one is killed every 23 minutes in an accident involving a drunk driver?

That in the United States, drunk drivers kill more individuals each year than die from all crimes involving murder, rape, robbery and assault?

That accidents in the developed world are the fourth most important cause of death, exceeded only by heart disease, cancer and stroke?

That accidents in the developed world are the leading cause of death among all persons age 1 to about 40?

That far more accidents occur in home than in place of employment?


Driving under the influence of marijuana can cause the driver to think that he’s only doing 40 miles an hour when in fact he is doing 80 or 90.

Marijuana intoxication may cause important time reaction delays; inability to brake quickly; impairment of night driving abilities; a marked increase in the time needed to recover from glare; difficulty in backing, turning around, passing, getting on or off roads.

Impairments caused by pot plus alcohol are more than additive. One drug serves to fire up the other. Thus one plus one equals three or four on the impairment scale

Cocktails, spirits, bars

Blog URL: is journalist Camper English’s blog about cocktails, spirits, bars, and bartenders, as well as the place to find links to Camper’s published work on other sites. is the most influential English-language spirits blog and the third most influential alcohol blog overall, according to a study by eCairn. It is also rated the top cocktails and spirits blog by Wikio. Alcademics won a Best of the Bay award in 2011 for “Best Liquor Lowdown.” [Read more]


Clooney to attend White House Dinner

dinner, dine, clooney

George Clooney and his girlfriend Stacy Keibler, will be attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner at the end of the month.

The pair will be going to the Dinner as guests of Time, the magazine announced on Monday, the Politico reported.

The 50-year-old went to a state dinner at the White House last month, but the WWE diva wasn’t with him.

Italian Wine Blog

Italy, wine, grapes

Blog URL:

Italy is home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and is the world’s second largest wine producer behind France. Italian wine is exported around the world and is also extremely popular in Italy: Italians rank fifth on the world wine consumption list by volume with 42 litres per capita consumption. Grapes are grown in almost every region of the country and there are more than one million vineyards under cultivation.

And Italian Wine Blog – Plus the occasional foray outside the Italian Wine World too. [Read more]

Cool Down with Coffee

coffee, drink, food

Iced coffee-based drinks are perfect cool down concoctions on sweaty summer days. Coffee’s versatility makes it a great ingredient in frosty drinks as it’s easily paired with different types of milks, flavorful add-ins like mocha, almond and vanilla and even pureed fruit.

A granita, made from water, sugar and a flavoring such as coffee, is a delicious way to enjoy coffee during the summertime. If you’re a sorbet and gelato afficianado, you’ll love a granita!

Crazy about espresso? You’ll find that many of these coffee drink recipes showcase espresso’s essence, imbibing its zesty flavor in every refreshing sip.

Save time and money this summer by making iced coffee drinks at home. Kick back, enjoy and drink up!

Another Wine Blog

Wine, grape, fruit

Blog URL:

As for those who are ignorant about wine, there is great news for them, as well. Ignorance is very curable. In this case, the cure is a marvelous thing. All one need do to is read a few readily available pages on the basics of tasting, open a bottle, swirl it in their glass, take a deep breath, and ignorance begins to fade away with the first sip. That sip also means they have something in common with millions of new friends all around the world. And wine people are some of the most generous and friendly folk on the planet. Especially when they have a glass in their hands. [Read more]