Should You Try Making Wine at Home?
If you watch cable networks like TVLand or Nick at Nite, you may remember the episode of I Love Lucy where she’s stomping grapes in a big wooden vat. If that’s your vision of home winemaking, then clubs like the Missouri Valley Wine Society may come as a revelation to you. This organization promotes home winemaking and offers forums on their website which provide tips, recipes, sources for grapes and recommendations for choosing the latest wine-making equipment. They even host competitions for home vintners. This year is the 7th Annual Missouri Valley Label Competition and BYB is sponsor for the first place winner. Last year they had 370 entries and this year they expect even more! Who knew wine making was so popular in a state other than California? And guess what? No stomping grapes with your bare feet is necessary. If you’re thinking of becoming a home wine maker then clubs like MVWS may be for you.
If Making Beer is Called Brewing Then What is Making Wine Called?
Beer is brewed and whisky is distilled, but what do you call it when you make wine? Technically speaking the word is vinify and the process is vinification. But normal people don’t talk that way, so we just call it making wine. Kind of disappointing isn’t it? I was hoping to throw around vinify since it rolls off the tongue easy. It sounds more sophisticated than the word “distill” which conjures up images of shady unshaven men, backwoods stills and gangsters.
Wine Making Starter Kits
To the uninitiated the best way to learn home wine-making might be to purchase a starter kit. These kits, which are available from local brew supply stores, include all the special equipment you’ll need to start making wine in gallon configurations. You’ll receive detailed instructions that are easy to follow. There are a variety of kits on the market running from $35.99 to around $100. Wine kits may include the following items:
- A glass primary fermenter with stopper
- A secondary fermenter
- Siphon and tubing
- Stirring spoon
- Corker and corks
- Bottle filler & tubing
- Cleaning cloth, oxygen wash cleanser & sanitizer
Why Join a Wine Making club?
The benefits to becoming a member of a wine club like Missouri Valley Wine Society or any other wine making club is the knowledge you’ll have at the click of your mouse. You’ll have access to information on how to get started making your own wine, and for troubleshooting when you’re in the midst of fermenting. When you join a wine making club you’ll have a log in to their website with entry to forums where other home wine makers give wine making tips, share their supply sources, and provide recipes for special blends. Then there’s also the camaraderie and friendships that come out of a shared interest. And who knows? They may also hold a competition like the one we’re sponsoring.
How to Find a Wine Making Club Near You
You can always do a search on the internet to find a club near you, but there’s a web page found here that lists wine making clubs in every state in the USA. Join one right away to find the answers to all of your wine making questions.
Are You a Member of a Home Wine Making Club?
If you’re part of a wine making club and you’ve ordered wine labels from BYB, we’d like to hear about your activities and contests. Email us: [email protected] and send us some photos of your wine making, labeling and bottling your homemade wine. We’ll share them on our Facebook or Instagram feeds.