Hi guys! Leigh here!
It’s been 2.5 weeks since I bottled my first batch of Pinot Grigio that I made from the winemaking kit from ECKraus.com, and I wanted to pop open a bottle with you to share with you how it is developing. If you remember, I did have half a bottle (the last of the wine at bottling) and of course I had to drink that! I believe I had made a comment about how I thought I could taste plastic from the fermenters and carboys that the wine had been in, so I definitely wanted to see if that would go away over time.
Taking the bottle out of the fridge, it still looks very clear! There was a teeny weeny “dusting” of sediment on the bottom of the bottle, but it was so minor that I still do not regret not filtering my wine prior to bottling.
Popping the cork, I really can’t tell if I am still smelling the plastic, or if it’s all in my head. I’m afraid since I wasn’t tasting this blind that I am really at a disadvantage here. I should have purchased another bottle of Pinot Grigio and tasted that one against mine in a blind setting to see where I could improve.
Anyway, after tasting the wine, I do think that the “plastic” smell/taste I noted before is starting to go away slowly. It has a strong mineral character to it, though I don’t think it is completely balanced. I think the acidity in the wine may be on the higher side, though I couldn’t tell you for sure since I didn’t purchase an acid testing kit (next on the to-buy list?). After a couple of sips, I think my wine is totally drinkable, though it’s certainly not an award winner (I wasn’t expecting it to be).
I think this particular wine of mine would be better with food in order to help balance it out more, but when it’s all said and done, I’m really happy with the way my first try at making homemade wine came out!
What made me feel really great about my first home winemaking experience and results was when I was chatting with a couple of my friends who happen to be commercial winemakers. They commended me for doing home winemaking, as they said that home winemaking is much more difficult than commercial winemaking! Really? These two guys that make award-winning wines think I’m awesome for making my own small batch homemade wine? ALL RIGHT! They basically told me that with small batch, it’s really hard to make a wine that’s “perfect” or in other words, not faulted. They said that with commercial wine, you’re making it in much larger quantities, so a little spot in a huge tank that happens to be bad will blend away into the rest of the “good” wine, while a little spot in a teeny carboy will basically ruin the entire batch of wine.
Impressing two solid commercial winemakers with my home winemaking endeavors made me so stoked! Granted, I didn’t actually have them taste my wine, but we’ll leave that for another day when I’m a more seasoned home winemaker!
My name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.