Keeping Things Clean

13th Jun 2022

The most important part of winemaking is getting good grapes.  But if you don't clean and sanitize your equipment correctly you risk ruining your wine.  

First, what NOT to do - never, never use bleach in your winemaking.  The chlorine in bleach can react with corks in the final process and produce trichloroanisole (TCA), also known as cork taint.  This compound gives your wine a musty, moldy, stale aroma and flavor.  There is no way to fix it, and you won't know what bottles have it until you open it.  Also never use regular dish soap, the fragrances in the soap will get into your wine and ruin the flavors and aromas.  Dish soap can even affect your wine glasses, so rinse thoroughly if you wash your glasses with soap.

The best way to clean and sanitize winemaking equipment is Easy Clean, available in 8 ounce jars or 5 pound pails.  Easy Clean both cleans and sanitizes; after using to clean give a final rinse with Easy Clean solution, then do not rinse off.  You can also use Easy Clean solution to give corks and bottles a quick rinse just before bottling.  Alternative sanitizing solutions include potassium metabisulfite or Star San - though these are only sanitizers, not cleaners. If you are cleaning barrels use chlorine-free water, Barolkleen or a citric acid and potassium metabisulfite mix.

Two New Wine Kits from Winexpert

Adelaide Hills SB
Winexpert is introducing two new kits to replace past offerings:

Winexpert Private Reserve Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc ($185.95)
Adelaide Hills has a reputation for premium wines and has set the benchmark for Sauvignon Blanc in Australia. The cool climate is the perfect setting for growing Sauvignon Blanc with defined acidity and strong varietal character. Vibrant and aromatic with generous flavors of passionfruit, tropical fruit and citrus, with notes of melon and herb. Juicy and crisp with refreshing acidity. (This kit replaces the Private Reserve New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc).
Alcohol: 13% 
Body: Medium 
Oak: None 
Sweetness: Dry
Coming Soon:  Winexpert Private Reserve Willamette Valley, Oregon Pinot Noir
Oregon is internationally renowned for its Pinot Noir and Willamette Valley in particular is proving itself to be the epicenter of Pinot Noir in the U.S. (This kit replaces the Private Reserve Sonoma and New Zealand Pinot Noir kits)  Pricing and availability coming soon!

VineCo Global Passport Series Limited Edition Wine Kits

VineCo Passport 2022

Get them before they're gone! A range of classic varietals to charismatic blends, this limited release wine series celebrates creativity and insists on excellence. Available for a short time by reservation only, it's a one of a kind wine experience.

SOLD OUT - Italian Primitivo 
The Wine: As one of the first varietals to be harvested in Italy, Primitivo loosely translates to ‘early ripening’. It was given this name because every growth stage for the Primitivo grape happens early, starting from flowering through to color change. This full-bodied wine brings aromas of dark raspberry, black currant, and preserved cherry with hints of coffee and baking spice. It’s earthy, bold, and luscious character are complemented by round tannins and a smooth finish. 
The Region: The Puglia region which is known for its Primitivo wines. Located at the south-eastern tip of Italy or at the ‘heel of boot’, this sunny dry region is surrounded by water on all three sides. Cool breezes off the Mediterranean help regulate the temperatures in the vineyards offering ideal growing conditions for this grape. The region also produces half of Italy’s olive oil because of the warm and dry climate. 
The Food: Sausage with fennel and fire roasted tomatoes and peppers Eggplant parmesan Smoked gouda 
Sweetness: Dry 
Body: Full 
ABV: 13% Kit

Grillo Pinot Grigio  
The Wine: A unique blend of Grillo and Pinot Grigio, this fruit-driven wine is a playful balance between freshness and body. Grillo (pronounced GREE-lo) originated in Sicily and is a more robust alternative to Pinot Grigio. It brings more body to this blend along with floral notes and hints of grapefruit. The Pinot Grigio keeps this wine crisp, offering bright acidity along with notes of cantaloupe and sweet pear on the palate. 
The Region: Sicily is the southernmost region in Italy and the largest island on the Mediterranean Sea. It is consistently blessed with bright sunshine, warm temperatures, moderate rainfall, and coastal breezes. This classic Mediterranean climate is described by Sicilian wine producers as a magical place to make wine thanks to the unique geography, climate, and cultural influence. 
The Food: Grilled Calamari with preserved lemon and fresh herbs Tomato and watermelon salad Fresh goat cheese 
Sweetness: Dry 
Body: Medium 
ABV: 12.5%

Tempranillo Bobal 
The Wine: Experience Spain with this juicy blend of Tempranillo and Bobal, two of the most widely planted varieties in Spain. Ripe fruits of dark cherry, strawberry and blackberry are complemented by notes of plum and fig preserve. Toasted oak brings hints of vanilla bean and baking spice. This medium bodied wine delivers freshness and balance with well- structured tannins and a long lingering finish. 
The Region: Manchuela is a large wine growing region in central Spain inland from Valencia and located in the valleys between two rivers, the Jucar and Cabriel. These valleys and the influences of the Mediterranean Sea make the climate relatively mild. The moist winds coming off the coast help to regulate the temperatures in the vineyards to ensure optimal growing conditions. Red grape varietals dominate the region with Bobal representing approximately 70% of the vines grown in the region. 
The Food: Paella with chorizo Grilled vegetable lasagna Manchego cheese 
Sweetness: Dry 
Body: Medium 
ABV: 13%

SOLD OUT - Cabernet Shiraz Montepulciano
The Wine: A classic Australian blend with a twist. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are married with Montepulciano to create a complex and full-bodied wine. Dark fruits of blackberry and currant follow with notes of plum and preserved cherry. Firm but velvety tannins are met with a rich mouthfeel, with hints of black pepper, sweet red fruits, and baking spice. This is a playful blend bringing three classic varietals together, creating a wine with alluring texture and bold style. 
The Region: The Murray Darling region straddles the Murray River and covers a large area between northwest Victoria and western New South Wales. A hot and dry climate with extended hours of sunshine, low humidity and cool nights allows for the ideal ripening conditions. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz thrive in Australian soil producing some of the most iconic wines in the southern hemisphere. The region is now becoming known for alternative Italian varieties like Montepulciano because winemakers have realized those varietals perform extremely well in the warm climate. 
The Food: Grilled strip loin with a mushroom peppercorn sauce Garlic sauteed spinach Aged sharp cheddar 
Sweetness: Dry 
Body: Full 
ABV: 14%

Each kit is $185.95 at Curds and Wine.  Contact me to check availability - very limited quantities are available!  

Winexpert Limited Edition 2022 Wine Kits

Selling out fast! This annual showcase features hidden gems in limited quantities and is available by reservation only. It's a one-of-a-kind global adventure you don't want to miss.
Well balanced with sour cherry and red fruit flavors, dark plum, blueberry and light spice. Juicy, vibrant, elegant and energetic with bright acidity. 
Sweetness: Dry Body: Medium Oak: Medium Alcohol: 13.5% 
Complex and fresh with citrus, tropical fruit and white flower aromas. Green apple, grapefruit and tropical fruit flavors with accents of honeysuckle and grass. 
Sweetness: Dry Body: Medium Oak: None Alcohol: 13.0% 
Flavors of blackberry, plum, black currant spice with well-rounded tannins. Smooth with balanced acidity. 
Sweetness: Dry Body: Medium-Full Oak: Medium Alcohol: 13.0%
Lively and off-dry with flavors of yellow apple, white peach, melon and citrus. Fresh minerality. 
Sweetness: Off-Dry Body: Medium Oak: None Alcohol: 12.5% 
Black fruit, cherry, red berry, plum, spice, oak and licorice flavors. Rich velvety tannins with well-integrated oak and a long finish. 
Sweetness: Dry Body: Full Oak: Heavy Alcohol: 14.0%
Contact me to check availability - very limited quantities are available!

WE LE 2022