Our second wine is in the bottle. It’s a Sangiovese, also a kit. We made some modifications: First, we made it considerably stronger than the kit suggested, targeting 14.5% ABV. Our model was a Sangiovese made by Doug Vogtle at Reeder Mesa Winery and it was that strong. Beermaking experience, particularly knowing how to calculate gravity points and volumes, helped. Second, we let it ferment longer than the kit suggested. That’s a good idea anyway. You can make a drinkable wine in 28 days but a good one takes longer. Then, when we were ready to rack it, we tasted and decided there wasn’t enough oak. We added a light oak spiral and let it set another six weeks. Then fining and, two weeks later, bottling.
The wine is wonderful, fruity with enough oak notes and just enough tannin to make it stand up to a good meal. I can hardly wait to have this wine with lasagne or a nicely marinated steak. It’s also smooth enough to drink alone even now. With a year or two of age, it should be tremendous.
Next wine, a Riesling. We’re trading beer for the juice.