One of the most popular people in wine making is the famous winemaker, Margret Fisher. Her restaurant, Solace Garden in Manhattan is one of the best known in the world. Her line of wines is amazing and very expensive. She has all of the good qualities that a good winemaker should have: drive, ambition, and tons of experience.
Margret is a great teacher. Recently she has come to a workshop with me, having invited me to be her intern, and shared with me her secrets of making wine. First of all, she likes to learn by doing. I learned a lot just by catching her eye and asking what she was working on. More recently, she’s made a real breakthrough in making wine by using a traditional method.
Her “old fashioned” method includes using a corked wooden rack that contains a sugar mixture to ferment the wine. The fermentation will create new flavor in the wine. The wine is transferred to an oak barrel with corked holes. You see, before fermentation is complete, the alcohol vaporizes in the barrel, and the sugars that were naturally present in the grapes are suddenly released into the air.
What this means is that you are receiving an incredible purer and more flavorful wine – with none of the flaws of the older methods. Her rack makes it possible for even the most hard to manage grapes to get the full amount of oxygen that they need. These grapes go through a longer process, but the end result is still quite wonderful. It seems that every step of the process is well made by someone who knows their stuff. I like the fact that she’s willing to share all of her knowledge with people, instead of keeping it all to herself.
One of the more exciting methods of making wine is to use an older style French press. Some people are afraid of these because of their tendency to grab the cork right away. This could lead to disaster if you are using the press without taking the cork out first. It certainly wouldn’t be ideal if it came out on top of your food.
This type of press generally has a smaller body than their American counterparts, but they make up for it in spiciness. There are plenty of great tasting wines that can be made this way, and if you enjoy red wine you’ll be in for a real treat. Before starting your own venture making wine at home, check out some books or videos to help you. You may find that the method you are currently using isn’t the best. That’s okay – once you have a good idea about wine making, you can always change your methods to something that works better.