It is important to make use of experienced wine makers in the preparation process. Though there may be some differences in the quality of grapes, the winemakers perform several things to make the wine taste better. One of the popular wine making techniques is aging the wine in oak. There are numerous techniques apart from this one. When you visit a winery, you will get across these terms.
As you know and get familiar with the terms, you will know the goals of the winemakers and styles they use to prepare a best and tasty wine. Some of the renowned wine making processes are corks versus screwcaps, oak versus steel tank, punchdown versus pumpovers, fermentation temperature, maceration time and harvest date.
The moment when the grapes are picked it has to be preserved and processed accordingly. The winemaker’s most important task is to prepare the best tasting wine. When they pick the grapes earlier, then it has chances to result in wines with lower alcohol, higher acidity, and more green aromas and flavors. It has also chances to result in bitter tannin. When you pick grapes after the harvest season, you will be producing wines with higher sweetness or alcohol, more subdued tannin, and lower acidity.
If the grapes are picked too late, then it should be artificially acidified to avoid the flat or flabby taste. Moreover, water can be added that is also called as watering back process. It helps in minimizing the alcohol absorption in the final product. It is the reason most commercial wines have indistinguishable Alcohol By Volume (ABV) levels of about 13.5%.
When you pick the grapes at the right moment that is where the sweetness and acidity level is in the right balance, you can prepare the best wine. Remember, every vintage is not the same. In some cases, the weather takes the toss and shows its power at the final stage of the budding season. It has chances to end up in bad vintage. If there is rain in the cool climatic areas like Oregon, Burgundy, Northern Italy, etc. the winemakers will pick the grapes before it reaches optimal ripeness.
Skin contact and cold soaking
When you discuss with winemakers, you will notice them talking about cold soaking and maceration time. Both the terms mean the time taken for the skin of grapes to touch the juice and turns into wine. The cold soaking process occurs before mixing the alcohol. The grapes have to be cold. It is mandatory since it helps in the fermenting the yeast. In the cold soaking process, the fruit flavors and color is extracted from the grapes without removing the bitter tannin. The maceration time is the total time where the grape skin comes in contact with wine.
Cool fermentation versus hot fermentation
The fermentation technique is an important technique that influences the color and fruit flavors in the wine. The hot fermentation can be near equal to the hot tub temperature that is between 26 and 37 degrees Celsius. At that temperature, the yeasts will metabolize and make alcohol.
The hot fermentation is mostly used for preparing red wines. It helps for increased tannin and color.
The cooler and cold fermentation methods are performed for rose and white wines. The cooler temperature can be between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius or 42 and 50 degrees Celsius. It helps in preserving gentle aromas in rose and white wines. It is the reason the taste of wine differs when served.
The old aging is like adding vanilla flavor to the drink. When the wine ages, the oak will expose the wine to oxygen. It helps the wine to reach optimal fruitiness.
Read More: Know about the Production of Red Wine