Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wine Processing Table

I have been wondering about whether I need to add more sugar to my Pinot Grigio to make it more robust; that is to say higher alcohol content. I want my wine to burn a bit and be a little astringent.

This table is lifted in whole cloth from beekmanwine.com . The original source is truthinwine.com .

Beekman rages about how the measured alcohol content is actually lower than the government standard, and that the additive levels are too high. I would want to know more about how the tests were run before I would say that. I am certain that the large mega-wineries know their wine content to the hundreth place, and that there is no bureaucrat there that wants to go to jail or wreck the reputation of the company by watering down the wine.

Alcohol Alcohol Sugar Sulfites Polyphenols Catechins Resveratrol
Actual % Labeled % ppm. mg/gram mg/175g mg/liter
RED WINES TESTED
Yellow Tail Merlot 11.1 13.5 0.5 103 3.26 102.4 2.00
Rosemount Shiraz 10.9 14 0.2 104 3.22 84.7 2.01
Columbia Crest Merlot/Cab 10.8 13 0 99 3.20 93.6 0.60
Clos du Bois Merlot 10.8 13 0 140 3.24 93.1 2.28
Blackstone Merlot 10.7 13 0.4 152 3.05 116.9 1.11
Beringer Founders Cab 10.5 13.3 0 198 3.62 83.6 0.39
BV Coastal Cab 10.5 13 0 122 3.40 69.5 0.43
Rodney Strong Cabernet 10.5 13.8 0 140 3.76 77.3 1.19
Concha y Toro Merlot 10.3 13 0.4 231 2.77 78.4 5.95

Alcohol Alcohol Sugar Sulfites Polyphenols Catechins Resveratrol
Actual % Labeled % ppm. mg/gram mg/175g mg/liter
WHITE WINES TESTED
Woodbridge Chardonnay 11.2 13.5 0 224 0.41 58.3 0.14
Fetzer Chard 11.1 13.5 0.4 184 0.39 39.8 0.11
Kendall Jackson VR Chard 11.0 13.5 0.6 201 0.48 26.4 0.22
Ch. St. Michelle Chard 10.8 13 0.1 208 0.40 39.5 0.09
Lindemans Bin 65 Chard 10.7 13.5 0.3 241 0.52 58.9 0.34
Vendange Chard 10.7 13 0.6 215 0.39 34.6 0.29
Corbett Canyon Chard 10.7 13 0.6 174 0.36 27.9 0.09
Glen Ellen Chard 10.6 13 0.5 154 0.30 27.9 0.09
E & J Gallo Chard 10.6 13.5 0.7 153 0.27 15.4 0.09
Duboueuf Francais Blanc 10.4 12 0 287 0.47 28.5 0.29
Sutter Home Chard 10.0 13 0.9 205 0.42 36.1 0.09
Bella Serra Pinot Grigio 9.7 12 0.3 308 0.34 13.5 1.66
Bolla Soave 9.7 12 0.2 199 0.30 9.8 0.16
Cavit Pinot Grigio 9.6 12 0.4 276 0.35 14.4 0.09
Almaden Mt. Chablis 9.4 11.5 0.8 233 0.33 7.3 0.09
Franzia Chablis (5L box) 8.8 11 1.1 212 0.35 10.2 0.09
Livingston Cellars Chablis 8.4 10.5 1.1 240 0.33 10.7 0.09
Carlo Rossi Chablis 8.2 10.5 1.6 172 0.32 15.2 0.09

My Pinot Grigio should turn out at about 9.5% which is almost on top of the Pinot Grigio in the table. This does not include any alcohol that is already in the grape juice, which must be measurable. Based on this I will probably leave it alone.

Having said that I would have expected Pinot Grigio at 11-12%. I am a little tempted to add some apple juice concentrate for some fruity flavor and a little extra uumph.




Saturday, November 15, 2008

Racking the Wine

I racked the wine today, both the Pinot Grigio and the Merlot. Racking means to decant the wine, clean out the sediment, and then pour the wine back in the demijohn for fermenting.

The good news is that the Merlot tasted great.

The bad news is that the Pinot Grigio did not. It had an off-flavor that I was hoping was yeast, but I am fearing that it was mold. I don't know where mold could have come from.

I had an incident with Pinot Grigio where the siphon hose came out of the receiver, and spilled on the floor, which unfortunately had a carpet fragment on it. I had to cut the carpet up, and through it out. (I am doing it in the basement; but I should have anticipated a spill.) This meant I had to buy extra wine to top off the demijohn. Since the wine tasted so bad, I bought cheaper wine. I put in almost four liters after racking, which is a lot on a 27 liter batch. Next time I am going to buy extra juice and ferment an extra gallon or so of each kind.

When I was done, I put the wine aside, and I am not going to touch it until January at least, when I rack it again.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Capellini Al Fresco


Ingredients:

3 ounces of capellini (boiled 6 minutes: hold in cold water if you need to) I suggest breaking it in half.
1 small eggplant peeled and sliced (1.5 - 2 cups)
1.5 to 2 cans Hunts FireRoasted Diced Tomatoes -DRAINED WELL. I use a strainer. (a superior product worth shopping for)
4 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped black olives
8 ounces of chopped mushrooms (sauted)
1/2 cup grated Asigo cheese (1/4 cup after grating)
1/2 avocado, mashed (cook it, if its not ripe enough to mash)
1/4 cup red wine (A good excuse to open a bottle...)
salt, MSG, garlic, pepper
[most people would add an onion, but my DW does not like onion, so I sneak some onion flakes in.]

1. Bake the eggplant at 350 until soft. Lightly coat with oil before baking.
2. Saute the mushrooms.
3. When done add the tomatoes, olives, tomatoes, eggplant and red wine. Heat through.
4. Add the capellini and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted
5. Add the seasoning
6. Sprinkle on the Asigo cheese.



Serve before the capellini gets mushy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tilapia Cacciatore


Tilapia Cacciatore is a variation of Chicken Cacciatore with the same flavors including tomatoes, red wine, olives, peppers. Variations include white fish poached in wine & apple juice.

Ingredients

4 fillets of Tilapia or other white fish, cut into 2 inch pieces (thawed)
1.5 cans of diced tomatoes (Hunt's Roasted are best.)
2 servings of capellini (fine pasta), about 1 cup cooked
1/2 cup black olives
3/4 sweet orange pepper
1.5 cup red wine (I use $3 wine from Walmart.)
1/2 cup of apple juice
3/4 cup of sliced, peeled zucchini - if you have it
3/4 cup of fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon MSG
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon capers

Directions

  1. Saute the pepper, olives, garlic and zucchini - note the pepper will take longer to cook so begin with it. (Onion if you want, but my wife does not like onion.) Remove from the pan. 
  2. Chop the other vegetables. Drain the tomatoes using a stainer, and save the juice.
  3. Start the water for the capellini. 



  4. Mix the wine, apple juice, and tomato juice from above. Heat it to boiling, and place the fish in. Let it cook on four minutes. Not longer. 
  5. When you put the fish in, also start the pasta. 
  6. When the fish is done,  remove the fish and  most of the liquid. Take the capellini out now too. (If you used fatter pasta, you will need to adjust.)
  7. Place the vegetables and pasta in the pan and heat them in a modest amount of the wine mixture. Don't use too much liquid because this is not soup. When warm add the fish, and ensure it is all heated. See the picture below.
  8. Add seasoning.