Grape-Shifting: One Grape Two Styles
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
1M ago
By Kevin Kourofsky There’s an old aphorism often quoted concerning wine quality: Good wine is made in the vineyard. It is certainly true that great, or even good wine can’t be made from poor quality grapes. Nor does excellence in the vineyard insure excellent wine. Like all aphorisms this one doesn’t tell the whole story. How you make the wine is just as important as the quality of the grapes. In an excellent year a good winemaker will “get out of the way” and allow the wine to express itself. In a challenging year a good winemaker will use various cellar techniques to improve the vintage. Wi ..read more
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Is My Wine Ready to Drink?  Aging For Character and Depth
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
3M ago
By Kevin Kourofsky Louis and Madeline are a very talented winemaking duo I had the privilege of interviewing. In 2018 they won a Double Gold and Best of Show in the AWS judging for a 2016 blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Petit Syrah and 4% Petit Verdot. I wanted to know how they did it. They told me that they entered that same wine in the 2017 AWS judging and though pleased with the award, it only received a Silver Medal. It was clear to them that something happened to that wine. In just one further year the wine had developed greater character and depth. It went from Silver to ..read more
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It’s Time to Polish Your Wine:  Clear, Correct and Combine!
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
5M ago
By Kevin Kourofsky What makes a great wine? One you like drinking, of course. But, it’s not just the flavors in the wine, a great wine draws you wholly into the wine, tasting all its elements in balance. These elements are called texture, the sum of the wine’s parts. Texture includes acid and tannin. A wine with good texture doesn’t create a circus in your mouth. It doesn’t shout out one element such as oak or acidity. If you find yourself noticing an individual element on the palate, then the wine is probably not in complete balance. It’s like someone talking to you while you’re watching a m ..read more
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If I Can Make Sparkling Wine So Can You: Kevin’s Very Practical Guide To Bubbles
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
7M ago
By Kevin Kourofsky Many myths surround sparkling wine, especially Champagne. For instance, Dom Perignon did not invent the process of intentionally bottling ‘stars’ as the French claim. Dom Perignon was trying to get the bubbles out of Champagne wine, which was then very much like the Chablis of today. Indeed, the French didn’t even invent this process! It was actually the English, yes the Brits, who first started making sparkling wine probably much like our pét-nats of today. Another myth is that sparkling wine is difficult or dangerous to make or that you need expensive equipment to do so ..read more
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Your Fermentation Has Stopped: Now What?
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
10M ago
By Kevin Kourofsky Even though wine yeast don’t really know this, fermentation has three stages: initiating, maintaining and finishing. Keeping the yeast happy by maintaining a sound, clean and ongoing fermentation is the most important aspect of winemaking. Failure to maintain an ongoing fermentation is called a ‘stuck’ fermentation, defined as “… a condition, undesirable in the production of dry wines, occurring when yeast activity has ceased.” In humbler terms, it is when the wine appears to be finished but either tastes, or tests, sweet. More undesirably, it’s when a wine thought to be fi ..read more
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What Exactly Is a Pét-Nat?:  Phil Plummer Explains Pétillant Naturel.
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
1y ago
By Kevin Kourofsky “Sometimes you have to be like Luke Skywalker, throw the instruments away and go by feel.” Quotes by Phil Plummer Phil Plummer held the bottle warily at an arm’s distance as one might hold a stink bomb that might explode at any time. He carefully lifted up the crown cap on one side, then the other and then the other side again. He explained that he brought to the lecture some purchased pét-nats along with his own wines and he did not know these makers. He explained that pét-nats can be unpredictable and can gush or fly out of your hand on opening. If not made carefully, the ..read more
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Time to Bottle Your Wine? Part Two: Five Additional Things to consider Before You Do.
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
1y ago
By Kevin Kourofsky Everyone should visit and have a chat with their wine from time to time and especially before bottling. It’s then when you remind your latest vintage of your expectations and your wine’s obligations. You must be firm:  No fizzy bottles for a still wine. You must also be supportive as you don’t want your wine to sulk and go bad on you. And while you’re there, you can make sure your carboys are topped up and your airlocks full. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your airlocks aren’t roiling and there are no tiny bubbles coming up the side of the carboy. So, it must be time to b ..read more
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All Yeasts Were Wild Once: Phil Plummer Explains Indigenous Fermentation
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
1y ago
By Kevin Kourofsky In the modern era of winemaking we understand that fermentation of sugar into alcohol is done by yeast and not by magic, though some of us still marvel at this great gift of nature. When we commence a fermentation, we routinely add SO2 to kill unwanted and unauthorized microbes and yeasts in our musts that might interfere with our chosen fermentation. We open a package of our favorite yeast, selected after hours of cogitation as to the qualities of this particular yeast, knowing that it is reliable. It is almost always from the genus Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. cerevisiae ..read more
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LET’S GET WILD: PHIL PLUMMER TALKS ALTERNATIVE YEASTS.
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
2y ago
By Kevin Kourofsky There is a quiet revolution going on in winemaking that may very well change how we make wine. It’s really a re-evolution of wine’s most essential element of creation, harkening back to  pre-modern winemaking without ignoring the past 70 years of increased technology. It’s how we ferment wine. The difference between grape juice and wine is yeast and how we manage that process. Though it is often said that wine is made in the vineyard, it comes to life in the vat. What our ancestors believed to be magic we now know is the action of yeast changing sugar into alcohol. In ..read more
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Don’t Be Hidebound: Embrace The Possible
Kourofsky Wine
by kourofskywine
2y ago
By Kevin Kourofsky Oz Clark is a name most Americans would not recognize, despite its intriguing sound. He’s an English singer, actor and most of all a well-respected wine writer and early advocate for “New World” wines. He didn’t come from a wine drinking family, indeed his family didn’t drink at all. He wrote in a recent Decanter Magazine article that he decided to become a wine expert because he thought he would become irresistible to women. That didn’t work out so well, but his opinions on wine and especially New World wine became irresistible to wine drinkers. Oz Clark became well known i ..read more
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