What is wine fermentation?
In short, it is the complex action whereby the living organism of yeast breaks the sugar down into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The action of the yeast on the sugar continues until the volume of alcohol has reached somewhere between 12.5% to 14%.
At this stage, the yeast organism is destroyed by the alcohol it has produced and fermentation ceases. This is what is known as a natural wine. Most commercial products come under this category until they have been fortified. This period of fermenting in the tub can be a dangerous time. Because of this, the fermentation process should be completed as soon as possible (even at the risk of losing a little of the wine’s bouquet).
Next, we must then keep the brew warm. Our goal here is to bring about ideal conditions in which the living organism and yeast cells can multiply more rapidly. Warmth helps to ensure this. The faster they multiply, the more rapidly they convert the sugar into alcohol and therefore, the sooner the yeast destroys itself.
Do not be tempted to keep a brew hot during fermentation. During warm weather, any odd spot will do for a fermenting brew. Also, a warm spot in the kitchen or in an airing cupboard is as good as any during the winter.
If you are considering transforming your basement into a home wine cellar, you are not alone. The installation of home wine cellars is a booming business, especially in the luxury home market. When mapping out your wine cellar, you might want to know the size of a standard wine bottle. Ninety percent of your home wine collection will probably consist of standard-sized bottles.
The first dimension to consider is the height of a standard wine bottle. Some racking companies make their racks only ten inches deep, which does not protect the full 11½-inch height of a standard bottle. Be sure to accommodate the full height of a standard wine bottle, because you don’t want your precious wine bottles sticking their necks out.
The Other Dimensions of a Wine Bottle
A standard wine bottle holds 750 milliliters of wine and stands approximately 11.5 inches tall. At the base, its diameter is 27/8 to 3 inches. From the bottom up, its sides are straight, but near the top, at about three-quarters of the height, it has a rounded shoulder.. This is often called a Bordeaux bottle because it is the usual size and shape for a bottle of red wine from that region of France.
Ruster Ausbruch is a specialty sweet dessert wine from Austria. In understanding what Ruster Ausbruch is, it is helpful to first look at the name itself: Ruster is pronounced “rooster”, like the bird, and it simply means that the wine comes from the town of Rust (pronounced roost) in the Burgenland region of Austria. Ausbruch is pronounced ahs-brook, and comes from the German word Ausbrechen, which means to “break out.” There are a number of dessert wines hailing from different countries called Ausbruch, and it refers to the method used to select the grapes during harvest: the grapes which have been affected by botrytis cinerea (also known as noble rot) are “broken out” of the bunch, leaving the clean, un-affected grapes behind. It is this noble rot that is being referred to when you find a dessert wine being called a “Noble Wine.”
The quality of the final product depends upon how meticulously this selection process it is done. The simplest way involves taking two buckets and making one pass at the vines, roughly separating the merely ripe grapes from those affected by noble rot.
The more labor intensive way involves going through the vineyard day after day, sometimes as much as a dozen times, and only picking the most perfectly noble-rotted grapes with each pass and leaving the rest on the vine until they reach rotted perfection. Those affected by the lesser black or green molds are also picked but then discarded. With this method, even the most experienced picker will collect only about enough grapes to produce 20 liters of wine with each pass. In fact, winemaker Michael Wenzel of the Wenzel Winery in Rust tells of a year when it took a team of 7 harvesters working full-time for 10 days to pick enough grapes for a mere 300 liters of this precious wine.
In the last article we went over the most popular white wines. In this article we’re going to try to give equal time to some of the more popular red wines, even though red wines in general are not as popular as white wines. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some good red wines out there. In this article we’ll hit on a few of them.
One of the most popular red wines is Sharp Hill Vineyard Red Seraph. This wine is made from a blend of St. Croix grapes. It is a very smooth wine and goes very well with beef, lamb and pasta dishes. It goes for about $12 a bottle.
Another popular red wine, also from Connecticut, is Cabernet Franc which is made exclusively from Cabernet Franc grapes. This wine is best served with all red meat dishes as well as chocolate desserts. It sells for about $17.50 a bottle.