I am terribly under-qualified to do wine tasting notes. I’m going to try, but I’m going to pad the post out with some details about the making of the wine. If this was beer, it would be two separate posts.
Anyway, Amy and I made this Piesporter from this kit. It was our first wine and to be sure we didn’t screw it up, as well as to make it a more suitable date night activity, we decided to take advantage of a program at our local homebrew shop. Lancaster Homebrew offers a wine workshop. This is more geared towards people who don’t homebrew but want to make a batch of wine for a special event, like a wedding.
The wine kits are very straight forward and all of the needed equipment is stuff that I already have from brewing beer. I’m still glad we did the workshop for our first wine, though. It was fun to go to the store together and gave us an excuse to work a night of activities around the trip. I also learned one new technique which I’ve applied to my brewing.
We bottled the wine using an auto-siphon straight out of the carboy it was conditioning in. I decided to start doing this with my beer, skipping the bottling bucket. While it would be an issue if you’re adding sugar to the beer for carbonation as it will kick up any sedimented yeast, my next move of using sugar cubes in the bottle for carbonation eliminated that problem. Skipping an extra racking limits the beer (or wine)’s exposure to oxygen and wild yeast or bacteria in the air. It also saves time.
Back to the wine. We picked the wine from a list after Amy described what she likes. We ended up picking this one out of the list of recommendations based on a couple of different things. First of all, it is German. If you’ve been following along since the early days of the blog (Kölsch Week), that makes sense. We had never heard of the style and figured most other people hadn’t either, so we thought it would be interesting and even if it didn’t end up tasting like the real thing, no one would know as opposed to if we did something like a pinot grigio or something.
I won’t get into the actual brewing process in this post because it was basically identical to our more recent batch of wine, which I’ll cover tomorrow. Instead, on to the tasting notes.
I poured myself a glass as I started writing this post and have taken a couple sips already, but I’ve been drinking this wine for two years and am already very familiar with it so this was never going to be much of a blind tasting. I will approach this just like my beer tasting, whether that is proper for wine tasting I have no idea, but here goes.
The aroma shows just a hint of alcohol, which I honestly never noticed until now. So much for being very familiar. The main components of the aroma are fruity, though. Grape, is of course the predominant fruit I smell and I’m sure the specific varieties would be evident to someone more knowledgable. There is a distinct grape character that I instantly recognize but could not identify beyond knowing that I’ve experienced it before in other wines.
There are other fruit notes, but they are subdued. I get a little bit of apricot and maybe peach. It smells great. The alcohol doesn’t come out unless you take a very deep breath, which I guess I’ve never done before. Mentioning that first is a disservice to this wine, but I was very surprised, twenty plus bottles into the batch to notice it at all.
Taking a sip, more of all the things I already mentioned come out but I think it is sweeter than I’d expect from the aroma. At least early on. By the time I swallow, it seems to have dried out and it cleans up well.
It starts out sweet and fruity, then dries out and leaves only grape behind. Maybe the fruitiness is actually making it seem sweeter than it really is.
Wow, I’m really not good at this. This wine tastes like grapes. I guess I need some practice. Or to just stick to beer. What I’m trying to get at, though, is that this is really good. And it’s very easy to do. Check back tomorrow when I’ll fill in all the steps in the process while talking about our second batch of wine.