A few weeks ago I attended a dinner party hosted by my wife’s employer who happens to be a successful facial plastic surgeon in the upscale city of Annapolis, Maryland. Immersed in a room that is occupied by many, many people with careers way more distinguished than my own, I’ve decided to lay back and let my wife do her rounds of mingling. As I’m standing next to a window overlooking the Severn River (beautiful at sunset, I do recommend the view) I found a lot of these people swirling their wine glasses around. Now, I don’t claim to be a wine enthusiast by any stretch of the word, my wife takes that role, but I have had a few glasses here and there. I usually just drink it and not think too much about it, though I should put more thought into what goes into the wine. (From what I understand wine making is a very precise and intricate process). However, I’ve seen this action done by people who know their wine and I’ve always wondered what the purpose was. Is it a technique to “jumpstart” the wine? Does it activate something in it? Or is it just a nervous twitch that people in uncomfortable situations tend to subconsciously do.
I asked my wife and she gave me a two part answer. First she told me that wine, being somewhat organic in nature, needs to breath and the action of swirling allows the wine to open up and release flavor. Ok, makes sense I suppose, but her second answer sounded a little less scientific. She told me that legs are a sign of good wine.
She proceeded to say that when you swirl the glass around, the wine will leave tear like residue on the on the glass resembling “legs”, thus indicating a high quality wine. Ok gotcha, wait a minute.. Why would that indicate good wine? This was the extent to which she could answer; she couldn’t get into the science of it. So my inquiring mind needed to know what about leggy wine made it superior to its counterpart. For the record, I tend to listen to whatever my wife says but sometimes it’s fun to call her on her bluff.
After a little bit of research and investigation I came up with some tasty nuggets. The myth that “legs” or “tears” in wine indicate high quality is just that, myth. They are in no way an indication of high quality product. The reality is that “legs” or “tears” in wine are a product of the level of ethanol in the wine, higher levels of ethanol, roughly 12% or higher, will result in this effect. There are physics and science that go into this explanation, which I will spare you and just give you meat and potatoes. As you swirl your glass of wine around, the wine goes up the side of the glass. The two primary components of wine are alcohol (ethanol) and water. Alcohol evaporates faster than water. As it evaporates, gravity takes over leaving the remaining water to run down the glass in tears. The residue is observable because the differences in how light is refracted by both water and alcohol. This effect is known as the Gibbs-Marangoni effect, and is named after two scientists whom investigated this phenomenon.
There you have it, this myth has been busted. However, there is a sliver of truth to this. Quality of wine is in the eye of the beholder (especially if the beholders make wine at home) and if you value a wine that’s a little more potent, than “legs”, can be one of your best friends.
Wine is a refreshing indulgence at the end of a long work day, a delectable pairing with a succulent steak, and new studies show that it can even be a key to a happy and healthy lifestyle. Home Wine Making is shown to increase happiness in many people because the tangible outcome of the project is quite rewarding, and well, tasty. Because of the fact that making wine at home in superior volumes produces more bottles than might be necessary for one home, people often give their wine as a thoughtful gift to a loved one, bring a bottle out to dinner, or use it for cooking; all positive things that have shown to increase contentment in one’s life. Confidence, happiness, fulfillment, and serenity all have shown to play an essential function in our physical well-being. When it comes to wine’s health benefits, the amount you’re drinking matters significantly. Studies show woman that drink one glass of wine a day and men that drinks two glasses a day can reap the vast health benefits, but if they drink more than that, they will lose those benefits and certain health risks may increase.
In addition to increasing happiness, wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and slow the progression of certain neurological degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Red wine has a certain phytochemical called resveratrol, which shows a remarkable propensity to reduce risk of various types of cancer because of the way they interact with other phytochemicals already in our bodies. Red wine provides more resveratrol compared to white wine, due to the difference in the wine making methods. When making white wine, the grapes skin is removed before fermentation, while it is left on longer while making red wines, which allows it to have a greater concentration of resveratrol. Studies also show that moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your good cholesterol which thins your blood, reducing the likelihood of complications such as blood clots and strokes.
If those benefits alone weren’t convincing enough to either set up your first wine making kit or simply pour yourself a glass, new studies are showing that wine can also lead to weight loss in many cases. If you’ve ever felt guilty while sipping on a glass of wine while on a diet, stress no more. Though wine does pack up to 150 calories per glass, it may encourage your body to burn extra calories for as long as 90 minutes after you down a glass. Many people, especially woman, subconsciously substitute a glass of wine for a snack or dessert, so it actually could be cutting your caloric intake per day. Research has shown that people who drink wine on a daily basis have lower body mass than those who only indulge once in a blue moon. Sensible wine drinkers generally have narrower waists and less abdominal fat than people who drink liquor.
If by now you aren’t currently enjoying a glass of chardonnay or pino noir, the list of benefits continues. Wine can help improve your memory and build better bones. It can even prevent against certain bacteria and prevent infections such as salmonella. So go ahead, pour yourself that glass of wine. Self control is the most important thing when consuming alcohol, because drinking in excess essentially erases the benefits in wine and replaces them with a long list of health risks and dangers. Happy wine making… and drinking!
It was not always like this – staring out the window at the orchard as your memories of the creaking steps fade away into the quiet of the house. With the kids grown up and moved on, you need not focus on a quiet home, reflecting on memories of noises and activity long since past. It’s time to get neck-deep into the creation of new memories, and there’s little better place to begin than just in sight of the house, amongst the grapevines. What may have lain dormant for some years can now be a new source of creative passion.
With the grapes available, as well as more space in the house than in the past, there’s plenty of incentive to get into a new pastime – making your own wine! Plus, there will be less distractions to your concentration on flavors, as the kids won’t be there to demand emergency band-aid applications for their latest playtime wounds.
With your full attention devoted to creating wine with subtle nuances and exquisite natural flavors, it won’t be long before you’re churning out libations that will be the talk of the neighborhood. It’s fine and good to think that you can single-handedly manage to knock Sonoma county off the winemaking map – competition really does make things better for all concerned – but you’ll need help. Becoming an experienced winemaker involves a lot of time and effort. Making mistakes is an inevitable byproduct of the process. To speed your efforts towards making quaffable wines, you’ll do best to learn from some folks who have managed to notch some experience onto their belts. You could go it alone, but by the time you’ve made enough mistakes and learned enough to manage to create some delicious varietals, you might not have time to age them properly and enjoy them!
Skilled assistance is available from practiced winemakers E.C. Kraus, who know the ins and outs of every step of the process. It’s always nice to have the knowledgeable eye of a master next to you as you delve into any new undertaking. This helps to prevent your learning incorrect things at the outset, thus avoiding mistakes that could set you back more than one season.
And who has time to learn the fine art of winemaking by their lonesome? E.C. Kraus has over 40 years of winemaking experience to assist you as you learn how to make wine, how to grow grapes, and everything else you need to know to improve the vino that you pour at your table! Not convinced that you can create a wine that’s as good as that offered on the shelves of your local wine shop? You might surprise yourself. Try this on for size: every new brand label that’s for sale at the store began with someone, much as yourself, who was convinced that their grapes were ready for public consumption. What pours forth from that realization is merely testament to your dedication and effort.
Beautiful days are made by combining the best of the things that you like to do. There are some things that can make a beautiful day even more memorable, a touch more personal and excellent. How about if you were offering hand crafted drinks to your pals; able to describe the creative process behind each subtly nuanced flavor? What if you could do that without visiting a microbrewery? Of course, you know that you can.
Becoming the ‘Smiling Bartender’
You’ve heard of those beer makers who brew beer at home, ranging from the palest of ales to the deepest, darkest, most full bodied brew. Maybe you’ve even tried your hand at the process, or know someone who crafts drinks to suit their tastes. Have you ever noticed their proud demeanor and smile as they pour you a drink and talk about the taste sensation you’re about to experience? This experience can be yours..
Moving Beyond the Sealed Bottle
Whether you’ve only contemplated wine making from the consumer’s vantage point – a sealed bottle, ready to be opened – or have delved into these age old crafting traditions in the past, E.C. Kraus is your source for all the necessary materials. Well, all the manufacturing necessities, anyway.
You don’t have to only think of others when crafting your own specialty libations. Nor do you have to hide the keg in a fridge in your off-limits space. Your approach can be your own, just as surely as your brews will be. Want to make crisp summer lagers to enjoy a glass at a time as you sit on the front porch during the summer? You don’t need to worry about sharing with others if you’d prefer to have a quiet drink on your own each day.
Regardless of your approach to the art of brewing, E.C. Kraus can help you arrive at your destination. With more than forty years of experience under their belts, they can answer any questions you may have. In no time at all, you’ll be making drinks that taste just how you’ve imagined they should.
Like the tight seal on a bottle of perfect wine, you can make an impeccable beverage today, just like masters of beer brewing and the wise vintners who make wine at home. There’s no need to wait. E.C. Kraus has everything you need to begin!
The history of wine production dates back to 6,500 years ago, where archeological evidence has been cited in various sites in Europe. Since the first days of wine production, wine has continued to play an integral role in the history of culture, civilization, cuisine, and agriculture. The United States alone has nearly 3,000 vineyards, clearly depicting the continual high demand for this product. As wine continues to be an integral aspect of culture, personal winemaking is also becoming a popular pastime and hobby. Wine making kits and supplies make creating personal wines a simple process and an enjoyable hobby that can be shared with friends and family. Wine making also presents a myriad of options that might not necessarily be available with store bought wines, and allows you to customize the drink to your liking. Creating homemade wines allows for adjustments in sweetness, heaviness, and alcohol content. Additionally, there are endless recipes and opportunities for new types of homemade wine, allowing for varying wine making experiences and flavors. To get started, make sure to check out our E.C. Kraus recipe guide and Wine Making FAQ.
We decided to share with you the ten top facts about making wine at home that you may not have known.
1. One in every five bottles of wine are personally made at home with wine making equipment.
2. Homemade wine is approximately a third of the cost of store bought wine. Over time, a home wine making kit will pay for itself.
3. You can produce up to 30 bottles of homemade wine in as little as four weeks with the correct wine making supplies.
4. Wine making equipment does not require a large space, and can easily be used in smaller kitchens.
5. Wine making also is not time consuming. The entire process totals a mere 4-5 hours, spread over the period of one month.
6. Many wines are made from grapes, but wine making allows for the option to choose from various fruit types or juice concentrates to create new flavors.
7. You can easily grow your own grapes and fruit to further customize the overall wine making process.
8. Wine making additionally allows you to customize wine to your liking, and choose from a variety of preferences such as sweet vs. sour, light or heavy, and alcohol content.
9. Wine making kits are easy to acquire and E.C. Kraus offers a variety of wine making supplies at varying price points to suit your wine making needs.
10. Each wine making kit comes with a how-to guide which guides you simply through the wine making process.
For more information on wine making and how to get started with the process, be sure to check out our informative resources and wine making guides on E.C. Kraus.com.
There are some things that are just easier to buy instead of making yourself. Just like mattresses – apparently, no one has ever tried to make a mattress on their own. And then there are some things that people buy instead of making because they don’t know how to do it or don’t know if it would be worth doing.
Beer and wine are things that can be made at home and it’s surprisingly simple. Here are some things you may not know about it.
1) It’s not as hard as you think
Making wine or beer is a science. Getting everything just right – removing grittiness, maintaining flavor and freshness, etc. – can be a complicated process. But that doesn’t mean it’s an especially difficult process.
Anyone with the proper home beer brewing or wine making equipment can make their own. E.C. Kraus sells wine and beer making kits with complete instructions for the novice home brewer.
2) It’s legal
The thought of making your own beer or wine may conjure up images of backwoodsmen moonshiners hiding from the law; cranking out bottles of white lightning from stills secreted away in the hills. Or perhaps, the Baldwin sisters from TV’s The Waltons who made a very alcoholic and very illegal concoction that they called “the recipe.”
While it is illegal to make your own whiskey or moonshine, making your own wine or brewing your own beer is perfectly legal. There are however certain restrictions. Homemade beer and wine is for “personal” consumption so you can’t sell it. Also, you can only make a certain amount of it – 100 gallons a year per adult in a household.
3) It’s not as expensive as you think
When the CD player first came out, it was very expensive. Only the richest of kings of England could afford it. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you understand. It was expensive, but, with time, the technology became cheaper. This is true with wine and beer making supplies, too. While once costly, it is now relatively inexpensive.
Also, in the past, bulky and pricey fruit presses or crushers were needed to make wine. Now concentrates or juices can be used instead.
4) It can be just as good as or better than commercial wines and beers
The commercial beer and wine makers have a variety of tastes and products, but you’re still limited to that specific group of tastes and products. Making wine at home or homebrewing beer gives you more options. And since you’re making it yourself, you can customize it to fit your tastes exactly. You can’t do that with the commercial stuff.
The quality of what you make can be as good as anything found in the stores. E.C. Kraus has sold quality winemaking and beer-making supplies since 1966 and has had customers returning for over 40 years.