Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sparkling Concord is sparkling!

At our last stop in the continuing sage of the sparkling concord wine that I've mentioned before here and here, I had primed the dry base wine with additional sugar and yeast and set it aside to "sparkle" champenois style (in the bottle). After a couple of months in the cellar, I moved the bottles upstairs to my guest bedroom closet where they would be a little warmer. I've been wanting to check to see if the secondary fermentation had a) occurred and b) was complete. During one of my wine tasting group's meetings this past week, the crowd started to demand a taste of some of my "in progress" wines. Fortunately, I had a bottle of the concord in the refrigerator in preparation of testing later in the week. I rather nervously brought it out and popped the crown cap.....

A little wisp of vapor, and then a surge of bubbles! Yay! Fermentation in the bottle had occurred! The wine is definitely a work in progress because although it was dry, it was one tart-tasting wine. It will definitely need to be sweetened and served as a "demi-sec" or "sec" sparkling wine. step is to riddle the bottle to get the lees into the neck of the bottle so they can be disgorged. I don't have an official riddling board, so going to try this a cheap way. I've set the bottles on their heads in wine boxes and will rotate them every other day or so to dislodge the sediments. So far it seems to be working just fine.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in our sparkling concord saga!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Vermont Maple Ice is in the bottle!

Faithful readers will recall that I had an idea for an "icewine"-style dessert wine made from Maple Syrup. Version 1 was started earlier this year and I finally got around to filtering and bottling so I could send a sample into the Winemaker Magazine competition. Of course, when you are done bottling, there's always a little left over in the filter, the tubing, and that not-quite-so-full bottle so that I could sit down after clean-up and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Gee shucks, such a tough hobby...

Vermont Maple "Ice"

Stats: 11.5% ABV, RS = 293 g/L, pH = 2.97, TA = 8.6 g/L

Appearance: Crystal clear, light golden brown, nice strong legs

Aroma: Maple syrup with some nutty & citrus notes

Taste: Bold maple syrup taste with a nice sweet finish that has some interesting pecan/walnut flavors and a citric kick. Thick body. Maple syrup on steroids. Yummm....

Overall Impression: I'm usually not a sweet wine fan, but this is pretty good stuff! Quite pleased with how this turned out. It's sweet, but smooth enough that the sweetness just kind of rolls off your tongue. I'm picturing this poured over some vanilla ice cream at night or even pancakes in the morning.