Leigh Erwin: Sampling My Homemade Wines

Woman Sampling Homemade WineHi everyone! I hope all your home winemaking projects are working well for you and things are running smoothly!
A status update first:  I’m still in a “holding pattern” for my mead right now, as it’s still just hanging out in the carboy finishing up secondary fermentation.  I’ve been sampling my homemade wine. I tasted the Pinot Chardonnay wine that I had made several months ago, and have tasted the Carmenere I made more recently a couple of times.
The Pinot Chardonnay is OK.  Not bad, anyway.  I do feel like there is something missing, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I think it might be too heavy on the citrus flavors, and not enough floral kind of flavors that I have noticed from other Chardonnays that I’ve tasted.  Of course, I can’t directly compare what my wine tastes like compared to the wine made by a professional winemaker, since our methods were likely markedly different, but still, I think mine could be improved somewhat.  I’m not certain what changes I should make next time, but I’m beginning to think maybe steering away from fermenting in plastic might be the first thing I try.  Thoughts?
Unfortunately, while I don’t mind drinking my Pinot Chardonnay, my fiancé doesn’t think it’s up to par to serve as at our upcoming wedding.  Note: this is coming from a guy who enjoys drinking cheap boxed wine, so I was a little disappointed in my performance there.  Alas, not to be discouraged, he did tell me he feels much differently about the Carmenere!
Wine Ingredient KitsThe Carmenere, in both mine and my fiance’s less-than-expert opinions, is actually showing a lot of potential right now.  The flavors are starting to integrate nicely into each other, and there seems to be an extra level of complexity to the wine which I am chalking up to the fact that I added wood chips and wood cubes at two different times during the winemaking process.  I didn’t filter the wine, so the last couple bottles I had come off the line had accidentally been hammered with some of the sediment from the bottle of the carboy, but we made sure to separate those from all the others and keep those for ourselves instead of serving it to someone else.
It’s been a couple weeks since I last had sampled this wine, and I’m trying hard to lay off it since a few more months or aging should only do this wine even better.  Periodically, we pop one open and so far so good!  My fiancé actually thinks we can get away with serving this wine at our wedding, so in addition to the “professionally made” wines we get from Trader Joe’s, we’ll serve my Carmenere as well!  Fingers crossed!
Have you been sampling your homemade wines while they age? How are they coming along?

Leigh ErwinMy 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.