I thought it might be fun to try and get a sense of the winemaking process by doing a batch of Chardonnay at home. After a little research, it seemed like most of the products from distributors in the US came from the Master Vintner company, so I ordered from them directly.
The box came and I was so excited! So many mysterious objects. Bummed that the bubble wrap didn’t pop, though. Whomever made the decision to change to un-poppable bubbles hates fun and probably doesn’t use turn signals or wave after someone lets them change lanes.
The kit comes with all kinds of bits and bobs! Before I read what they actually are, I shall make wildly inaccurate guesses as to the purpose of each. I promise I’ll do a serious post when I do step 1 and actually be informative. For now:
On top, we have a small box of wine. I assume this is to drink while you’re figuring out how to make wine with all of the other stuff in the kit. Below is the “big mouth bubbler”, which is some kind of artisanal fish tank to look at while you wait for the wine to undergo malolactic fermentation. There’s a beaker on the far right so you don’t have to drink the wine straight from the box on top.
Here are some chemicals. From the bubbles on the front package, I think it could possibly make Chardonnay turn into Champagne. So that’s how it’s done. Hmm. I always thought there was more to it. Underneath is a packet of freeze dried ice cream they sell at the Air & Space Museum. Nice touch!
This may look like some kind of fermentation vessel to you, but my expert musical eye tells me that I’m only one banjo and a washtub bass away from a real live bluegrass hee-haw! Hmm, for a wine making kit, I’m not seeing much to do with wine.
Well, this pile of stuff looks serious. I took a listen through the tube, and just as I thought, you can hear the wind rustling through Napa if you’re very quiet. There’s also a jumbo flyswatter (who wants bugs in their wine?), some corks, and a package labeled “Rack Magic”. This seems like an unnecessarily personal attack, and though my rack is perhaps not as magic as it once was, I’m pretty sure some pipe siphon thing isn’t the answer.
I’m a little surprised that the kit did not come with instructions, and when I went to the website and initiated a chat, I was asked if I looked in the kit (yes) and then the guy typed “chat is closed for a half an hour” and left. 🙁
Hopefully I’ll be able to get one sent out soon or find one to download. If there are any home winemakers reading this, please share your experience and pointers.
Cheers! To your health, friends.