Storing your equipment

It’s very important when making wine or any kind of beverage to properly store the equipment you used to do the bottling.  For both health/safety and quality reasons you don’t want to risk any kind of contaminants getting into your wine.  Here are some basic tips to help.

1.  Store items on shelves not on the ground.  This includes barrels, buckets, large vats, heavy presses, or any kind of machinery.  Especially if your storing them in a shed, outside, or in a basement.  Keep the items off the ground.  The reason is two fold, one it’s easier for ground bacteria or critters to crawl onto your equipment, two if you have any kind of flooding or standing water issues then your equipment will be just sitting in a pool of bacteria growing muck.  And three wood likes to be stored in drier conditions and not touching a permeable surface where it will absorb moisture.

2. Use soap. Wash all utensils before storage and when you take them out.  Just because they look clean doesn’t mean they are contaminant free.   Take care to keep all bacteria and harmful micro organisms away from anything perishable.

3.  Don’t reuse disposable dishes.  Outside of glass it is very difficult to insure the cleanliness of disposable containers, plates, bowl’s etc.  When dealing with stain heavy food items, there is  a hesitance with using anything quality as they won’t stay looking new for very long.  However disposable wear is not bade to be cleaned, washed, and re-used multiple times and may have a difficulty getting as sterile as you’d like for home winery operations.

Stemless Stemware

stemless-wine-glasses

One of the latest trends in stemware is stemless stemware.

The glassware is made like normal stemware but the stem is not attached.

Pros:

  • Not having stems they fit nicer in your cupboards
  • Not having stems allows them to be washed in a dishwasher without getting knocked over

 

Cons:

  • The cost of glasses is similar to normal wine glasses, so you don’t save anything on having to use less materials or labor.
  • You have to wrap your fingers around the glass so the heat of your hand warms up the wine.
  • Fingerprints on the glass make the wine look more cloudy and distort the color

Overall these trendy glasses make storing and cleaning them easier which is great for your occasional wine drinker that isn’t looking for a wine experience but just wants to drink a glass of wine, but people that really enjoy the full experience of wine will lose a little of that experience by not having the wine served in the best container possible.

If your going to spend $20 or more on a bottle of wine or take the time to create your own vintage they wouldn’t you want to give it the best possible chance of being enjoyed and really seeing the fruits of your labor in all it’s glory?

A rewarding experience

I often get asked is it worth making your own wine?  When you can go out a buy a quality bottle for $15 – $20, why go through the trouble of creating your own wine when you don’t have the facilities, soil, or weather conditions of a “true” winery.  My answer is that nothing tastes quite as good as hard work, and that moment when you take a sip from a bottle that finally turns out the way you want will taste better then any high end wine you have ever purchased.

Are all batches going to be that good?  No they won’t, especially the first few/dozen, you’ll use the wrong ratios of ingredients, the wine will be too strong, too weak, taste funny, taste like vinegar, etc.  It takes practice and it’s not something where you can just say oh start again tomorrow and taste your results the next day, but that is why that first great bottle is so magical, because the journey of being hard is what truly ads flavor to your vintage.

This blog is dedicated to the home wine maker, it will guide you through the steps of what has worked for us, what kind of grapes and berries we use, what kind of equipment we employ, little tips on how you know your fruit is ready, how to combat pests, how to bottle the wine, how to create a label the wine, how to store the bottles.

Are we wine making experts, no we aren’t, but we are enthusiastic about the journey and would love to share our are experience and get your experience as well.

Welcome to glassofwine.org, sit down, pour yourself a glass, and lets share our experiences together.

Photo Credit: DoorCounty.com/Door County Visitor Bureau