Welcome To Lets Do Wine Blog
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Our Most Frequently Asked Ten Questions: #5  Is My Wine Ready to Drink?

All wines benefit when they are allowed to settle down and get some age time. Some wines need more time than others. 

Whites - lighter fruity whites can usually be enjoyed within 2-4 months of bottling. Heavier, drier whites will need approx 6 months before they will be close to drinking.  

Reds - most reds are dry and have no residual sugar. They need the most age time to develop their unique characteristics.  We recommend 6-12 months before opening.  

Sweets - depending on the wine and sweetness level, sweeter wines are usually good to drink within just a few weeks of bottling. 

With all that being said, you are the wine maker and ultimately have the decision to say when your wine tastes the best. 

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our Most Frequently Asked Ten Questions: #4

Is my wine ready to bottle?

Your wine looks good so why not bottle? Here's a checklist to see if it is truly ready:

1. Was the wine stabilized?
2. Has it been degassed?
3. Is it clear and free of any sediment?
4. How does it taste?

You've gone through all the work and wait of fermentation, why not go through a few extra steps to assure your wine is ready for bottling? Remember, some wines look crystal clear in the carboy, however, we need to give the wine a closer inspection before we determine that the wine is ready to bottle. Remove a small sample of wine from the carboy by either siphoning or using a wine thief and place it in a wine glass. Take the sample to a window we need to get a good look at the clarity. Place a book or newspaper behind the glass to see if you are able to read through it. Regardless, if it's a red, white or blush, you should be able to clearly read what's on the other side. Also, be sure there isn't anything floating or suspended in the wine. If your wine isn't clear, be sure to add a fining (clearing) agent such as SuperKleer or Sparkolloid

While your wine is still in the glass, give it a good swirl.  We want to be sure there are no bubbles forming. Of course, you must give it a taste! Remember your wine is young so it may taste a bit "grapey" or bitter. This will correct with ageing, however, if you plan to drink your wine soon, you may want to make a few adjustments prior to bottling (wine adjustment blog post coming soon).

Be sure to check out How to Bottle Wine for more detailed instructions. 

by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Our Most Frequently Asked Ten Questions: #3

How do I clean/sanitize my equipment?

Approximately 90% of wine making failures are due to improperly sanitized equipment. We strongly recommend not to use household detergents to clean your wine making equipment. Household chemicals can leave behind a film on your equipment that can possibly interfere with yeast production or cause off-flavors in your wine.   

We carry several products that will do a great job to clean your equipment. All work well and are very affordable. Most cleansers will do an adequate job, however, we do recommend using metabisulphite (add hyperlink) as a final step. Metabisulphite is a strong anti-bacterial agent that prevents bacteria growth.  This is an extra step but is well worth the time and effort to help prevent a wine making mishap.  

Now that we have reviewed what to use, let's review how to use. Obviously, follow the instructions on whichever product you select for mixing amounts and application. Select an area in your home that is ample size to fit your equipment.  A utility sink is perfect to clean and sanitize your equipment. If you don't have a large enough sink, a bathtub could be an option. Or, fill a clean primary bucket with water and your cleaning agent and wash your smaller equipment right in the primary. 

Tip: get yourself an empty spray bottle - easily found at any discount store. Fill it up with water and 1 Tbsp Metabisulphite. Keep this on hand in your wine making area to spray down large equipment, or  it is even handy for small and quick clean ups.  For example, when you take a hydrometer reading, simply give it a squirt.  Give your corks a couple of sprays prior to corking.  Quick and easy!

by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Our Most Frequently Asked Ten Questions - #2

Am I using the right wine yeast?

With numerous wine yeasts available, it can be quite confusing to select the right one. Even though they will all "work" and create a fermentation, each one is a bit different.  

Here are some of the factors that create differences between wine yeasts:
  • alcohol tolerance
  • temperature range
  • so2 production
  • flocculation
  • rate of fermentation
  • foam production
Do most home winemakers need to know these differences? Not necessarily, however, be sure to match the type of wine you are making to the yeast. For example, there are a few different wine yeasts especially made for dry red wines.  Feel free to experiment with different yeasts. Keep notes and see if you can notice the difference. Be sure to read about each of the different yeasts to see which one is right for your next batch.

Here are some suggestions for selecting yeasts:
  • D47 Pasteur Blanc - dry whites
  • RC212 Pasteur Red - dry reds
  • 1116 Cotes de Blanc - fruit wines
  • QA23 fruity white wines & ciders

Check out all our yeasts - click here.

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Our Most Frequently Asked Ten Questions - #1

Instructions say to use a primary fermenter. Do I have to?

First of all, what is a primary? A primary fermenter is where the juice (also known as must) begins its journey into wine.  They are usually larger in size than the volume of liquid you are fermenting. Example: if you are fermenting a six gallon batch of wine, you would want to use a primary that would hold more than six gallons. Generally, a gallon larger than what you are fermenting (recommend a seven-gallon fermenter for a six-gallon batch). A primary would have a larger opening and can be a pail or large mouth carboy. The large openings also are helpful if you are adding solid fruit or other items into the fermenter.

Even though you could "get away with" not using a primary we do recommend that you do and here's why: 

1). Room to breathe - yeast need a few things for a healthy production (we will be covering how to have a healthy yeast production in a future blog post). One of the key elements is to provide an ample amount of oxygen for the yeast. Doing a six-gallon batch in a six-gallon fermenter does not provide any room for oxygen. 

2). Room to foam - with healthy yeast production, your juice (must) will begin converting to wine.  In addition to creating alcohol, carbon dioxide gas (CO2) will begin to form causing a layer of foam.  Depending on certain conditions (yeast types, temperatures, etc.), your wine may create a large amount of foam. In a primary fermenter, there is adequate space for the foam to rise without making a mess. 

3.)  Clarity - the juice/wine will only stay in the primary fermenter for a week or two. Once most of the sugars are gone (this will be determined by a hydrometer), your wine should be transferred (also known as racking) off the sediment (solid matters including dead yeast that sink to the bottom of fermenter). This will aid in clearing your wine. 

by: Lets Do Wine

Monday, February 1, 2016

Even though we have a large FAQ section on our website, we have seen the same
questions get asked over and over.  By all means, keep them coming. That's what
we are here for and you won't learn if you don't ask! 

We thought it would be fun to share the top 10 questions we are asked and since
they are all great questions, we will do an individual blog post on each one! 
Whether you are a new winemaker or an experienced pro, this is a great way to
learn or refresh your memory on the most important aspects of winemaking. Here
are the top 10 and be sure to check back frequently for all the detailed

1. The instructions say to use a primary fermenter. Do I have to?

2. Am I using the right yeast?

3. How do I clean/sanitize my equipment?

4. Is my wine ready to bottle?

5. When will my wine be ready to drink?

6. Which corks should I use?

7. Does my wine taste as good as store bought?

8. Is my wine clear enough?

9. Is my wine finished fermenting ?

10. The instructions say to add chemicals to my wine. Do I have to?

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We are super excited about this new product from Vinter's Best.  They are natural and made with real fruit juice, our fruit wine bases are crafted from the same formulations used by commercial wineries. Vintner's Best® Fruit Wine Bases make five gallons of high quality fruit wine at 10% ABV. Extremely easy and convenient to make, requiring no PH adjustments and no acid adjustments. Simply dilute one gallon of Vintner's Best® Fruit Wine Base with four gallons of water, pitch a fruit wine yeast of your choice and stir!

Shelf stable for up to one year
-No refrigeration necessary
-Scalable to any batch size
-6-8 weeks to finished product
-Pre-blended - no straining out fruit pieces
-Re-sealable jug with tamper resistant seal

These concentrate fruit juices make a 5 gallon batch of wine. All you need to add is water and yeast to get them started. The pH, acidity and sugar levels are all balanced so there is no need to add any additional ingredients. They are perfect for a batch of wine, or divide it up and add to beer or other wines or just make smaller batches.

Available Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Black Currant, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Elderberry, Mango, Peach, Pear, Plum, Raspberry, Rhubarb and Strawberry

by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, December 6, 2015
3 pc airlock
We often get asked, why don't my wine making instructions mention using an airlock with my primary fermentor?  The reason why is most wine juices kits are manufactured in the Canada.  In Canada it is common to use a different style primary fermenting vessel.  These vessels don't require an airlock because they use loose fitting lids.  Using an airlock during primary is optional (depending on equipment), however, if your primary fermentor has a grommeted hole suitable for an airlock, we encourage you to use one.

by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, November 14, 2013
My wine isn’t working...

The only true way to determine if your wine is not fermenting is to take a hydrometer reading. 

A hydrometer measures specific gravity (the amount of sugar in the juice).  During fermentation, the sugar is converted to alcohol creating a change in specific gravity.  Seeing bubbling activity on the surface of the juice or in an airlock is a sign that your wine is fermenting but you cannot judge by this alone.  A juice can ferment without giving off much carbon dioxide (CO2), therefore, you may not see any activity. 

Take a hydrometer reading three days in a row and if it has not changed, check the ranges below:

    SG readings:

    1.090-1.070        juice has not started to ferment
    1.060-1.010        stuck fermentation
    1.000-.990          wine has completed fermentation

If your wine has not started fermenting after 3 days, check the following conditions:

Temperature - most yeasts ferment best between 65-75 degrees.  If you are unable to keep your ambient room temp near these temps, consider using a Brew Belt.
Yeast - be sure that you have fresh wine yeast
Yeast Nutrient or Yeast Energizer - provides nutrients to encourage yeast production
Oxygen - yeast needs air to start producing.  Stir your wine every few hours until it starts to ferment. 

If you cannot get the juice to start after all of the above, you can make a yeast starter.  Use a package of yeast (Lalvin EC1118 is good for stuck/hard to start fermentations) mix with a small amount of the juice, sugar and warm water in a small container - once there is a lot of activity in the container pour it into the juice.

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Bottled wines are dramatically affected by the environment they are stored in. In fact, proper storage conditions are so important in ensuring that your wine is at peak quality when opened, they should be considered the last unwritten step in the winemaking process.

Some wines are more susceptible to poor storage conditions. Generally, white wines - particularly off-dry wines and champagne - are more frail than reds. Grape variety can also make a difference; for example, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are generally more resilient than Pinot Noirs. However, no matter what the wine, it always pays to minimize the risks associated with bottle storage:

Temperature - Constant temperature is the key. By causing the wine inside the bottle to expand and contract, swings in temperature rapidly ruin bottled wine. Ideal cellar temperature is 45 - 55 F (7 - 13 C). At lower temperatures, maturation is slowed, though more complexity is allowed to develop. Wine could be safely stored to within a degree or two of freezing, but it would take decades to develop. On the other hand, wines can be stored at up to 68 F, where they will mature quite rapidly. Higher temperatures than this will quickly damage the wine.

Light - Sunlight and ultraviolet light (ie. fluorescent lamps) are as bad for wine as excessive heat, but are problems usually much easier to overcome. Though most wines are protected to some degree by colored glass bottles, place wines in areas away from direct light or cover them with a blanket.

Humidity - Some degree of humidity is beneficial for long term storage, to ensure that the exposed end of the cork does not dry out and allow oxygen into the bottle. Beware of air conditioners, as they actually suck moisture out of the air. Ideally, relative humidity should be between 60 - 75%. Humidity higher than that encourages mould growth in your storage area (not to mention label deterioration!).

Movement - Wine does not take well to constant movement or vibration (particularly if there is sediment present), thus a secure storage space is a must. Don't put your bottles next to the washing machine, or in a storage area where they will have to be moved often to reach other items. Secure storage should also mean storing bottles horizontally, allowing constant contact of the wine with the cork, preventing the cork from drying out and letting air in.

A simple check of all environmental influences in or near your storage area is advised. For example, areas such as garages or attics, which seem cool, may be subject to temperature fluctuations due to lack of insulation. A good option is to insulate a small room, large cupboard or area under the stairs, void of any heat sources like a water pipe or a boiler. Periodically checking the area with a thermometer is a good idea. A good way to do this is to put a floating thermometer in a one litre jug of water, and leave it covered in the space for 24 hours. This will let the water stabilize to the ambient temperature, and give you an accurate reading.

Allowing for the ageing of your finished wine in an environment which helps to preserve its finer qualities will pay big dividends in ensuring that you will have the best wine possible to enjoy with friends and family.

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What do you get when an IPA meets a Belgian White?  One of the hottest beers of the summer: White IPA.

Exotic flavors are created when the IPA's Citra hops meet the refreshing orange peel & coriander from the Belgian White.   

Want to brew up a batch?  Stop by or call Lets Do Wine & Beer and we'll hook you up!

by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Two new kits from Island Mist!

Leave it to Winexpert, the leader in wine kits, 
to come up with these two new exciting flavors
just in time for summer!  
Each kit makes 6 gallons of exquisite wine! 

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Every year we are blessed with some terrific finds from Winexpert. They give us great, hard-to-find juices for home winemakers. If you are new to this program, do not miss this fantastic opportunity. The juices in this program make some of the most outstanding wine we've ever tasted. Wines made from these special juice series have received numerous awards at winemaking competitions throughout North America. Using a combination of 100% pure varietal grape juice and premium grape concentrates, the juices yield wines possessing superior flavor, aroma, and complexity.

Here is the 2012 Limited Edition Line-Up:

Washington Meritage

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot, this wine features great extract, deep color and intense aromatics of dark berry fruit, cassis, peppery spice, cedar and smoke. The seductive nose of this wine foreshadows magnificent texture and flavor, including dark berries, liquorice, vanilla and warm brown spices that glide across the palate. The texture and mouthfeel of the wine offers up silky tannins and a velvety smooth structure. Sweetness: Dry

South African Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Sauvignon Blanc has wild, herbaceous flavors and tart, grapefruit-like character, which shows strongly in the young wine, while Sémillon has flavors of honeydew melon and sweet honey that take a bit longer to come out. Together the two grapes make a lush, balanced wine with great up-front fruit and a satisfying, rich finish. Sweetness: Dry

California Petite Sirah/Zinfandel

Grippingly tannic, bold and deeply colored Petite Sirah complements the jamminess of Zinfandel, taming the abundant blueberries and blackberries with a hint of dark cherry and vanilla. Full-bodied with a lingering palate and peppery spice, this is a wine of unprecedented power and length. Sweetness: Dry

German Traminer Spätlese
Traminer is the parent of the more familiar Gewürztraminer and Spätlese is a German wine term meaning ‘late harvest’, indicating a wine made from fully mature grapes that are picked at least 7 days after normal harvest, so they are riper and have higher sugar levels. This is a gently golden-colored wine, unmistakable in its heady, aromatic intensity, with a pungent fragrance of lychee, tropical fruit and rose petals. Its flavors are ample, lusciously fruity and spicy. Sweetness: Off Dry

Spanish Matador Trio Red

Tempranillo are deep blue-black berries, high in color and extract, with delicate aromas. Cabernet Sauvignon’s small berries yield high tannins and intense structure, while Monastrell adds grip, earthiness and ripe red fruit. Lush, tannic and complex, with intense black fruit flavors of black cherry, raspberry, black currant and notes of plums and tobacco, the wine takes gracefully to oak, adding layers of vanilla, cedar and rich coffee nuances. Sweetness: Dry

These juice kits MUST be pre-ordered

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Winexpert is at it again! Creating phenomenal flavors in a brand new Island Mist kit. Raspberry Dragonfruit Shiraz. This blush wine has been given some fire of excitement with the addition of sweet dragonfruit then gently splashed with tangy cool raspberries. Light the grill and sear some spicy shrimp skewers, or prepare some Thai green curry cuisine for a night of fire and flare.
Raspberry Dragon Fruit Kit

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by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Wine Kits from Winexpert

The addition of processed grape skins to kits can be an excellent way to improve and enhance body, mouth-feel, tannin and color. With lower levels of processing, grape skins carry more solids into the finished wine than concentrate/juice alone kits have traditionally had. The result is enhanced body, mouth-feel, tannin and color and in this case the trade-off for a marked increase in character is not accompanied by the need for increased ageing.

Chilean Malbec Shiraz
Spanish Tempranillo
Sicilian Nero D'Avola
Australian Petit Verdot

The process followed for producing Winexpert grape skins removes most of the short-chain (harsh) tannins, leaving behind the smooth, mouth-filling tannins and the desirable flavors. The wines will drink very well almost as soon as they are bottled, and will improve on the same scale as regular Selection International: 6-12 months to achieve a high peak of flavor and improvement for up to three years under good cellaring.

These kits will be available in September 2011 and we are excited to try them!

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by: Lets Do Wine

Monday, July 18, 2011
Dallas Edminston

Congratulations to our trivia contest winner, Dallas Edmiston! Dallas, who brews up a pretty decent beer and his wife, Linda, who makes outstanding wine, own Discover Diving. Discover Diving is located right down the road from us at 5319 Transit Road. Be sure to send your diving friends there or if you are ever interested in learning to dive, be sure to give them a visit!

Congrats to all the correct answers - next contest will be a bit more challenging!

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by: Lets Do Wine

Friday, July 15, 2011

Clue #4
I am one of the few grapes permitted in the making of red Bordeaux wine. All correct answers will be entered into the drawing and the winning name will be selected on Saturday, July 16. Please email your answer to info@letsdowine.com

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by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It is believed that I was named after a Hungarian peasant and my main aromas are cherry, plum, chocolate and raspberry.

See July 4th post for Clue #1 and contest rules. Final clue will be given Friday, July 15 - all answers must be emailed to info@letsdowine.com. Answers must be received by Saturday, July 16 by noon. All correct answers will be put into a drawing and will be randomly selected at our wine tasting on Saturday, July 16.

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by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Here is Clue #2

I am a grape that is most commonly grown in France but I actually grow better in South America. What grape am I?

See Blog July 4 entry for Clue #1 and details of contest.


by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Check out the Vintners Reserve Angel Blanco and Diablo Rojo new wine kits from Winexpert. We have a wine for both our good and bad side!

The Angel Blanco is rich and boldly fruity from a blend of Chardonnay, Muscat and Riesling that delivers up a floral aromatic nose and a fine mix of peachy, honey, pineapple fruit, finishing with a perfect balance of acidity and fruitiness.

The Diablo Rojo is dark purple in color with a nose of blackberry jam melded with creamy vanilla aromas and a touch of tobacco. Rich in the mouth, it has gently smooth tannins and ripe plum and berry flavors similar to an off-dry Merlot. The finish is long and fruit-filled, with the perfect amount of toasty oak. Delicious with robust foods and excellent all on its own. Intro sale price for a limited time.

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by: Lets Do Wine

Monday, July 4, 2011

Win a One Gallon Deluxe Wine Making Kit or a $50 Gift Certificate in our Trivia Contest. Simply Guess the Grape after four clues (clues will be given every 4 days - July 4th, 8th, 12th & 16th). Clues are given (on FB, Twitter, our email newsletter and our website/blog). Here is the first clue:

Guess the Grape:

Clue #1 - I am purple in color and have very thin skin. I require hotter temperatures than most other grapes.

No need to guess until the end of the contest. To be eligible to win, all guesses must be emailed to info@letsdowine.com. All correct emails will be put into a drawing and the random winner will be selected in the store at our wine tasting event on Saturday, July 16.

Please "share" this contest and if you referred the winner of the contest, you will win a $50 gift certificate! That's WIN/WIN!

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by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Attention all winemakers! Do not miss this opportunity to get these awesome juices. Our Chocolate Raspberry Port, Blackerry Port and Peach Ice Wine are Pre-order by July 26, 2011. They will arrive in the store by mid-September. These are very special and unique juices. Don't miss this opportunity. A bottle of port or ice wine makes a great Christmas gift. Click here for >>>> more details and ordering info

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by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Twisted Mists

They're back!!!! Again, Winexpert has given us another chance to get "Twisted" this summer with the ever popular high-alcohol, ready-to-drink cocktail beverages. Available in three awesome flavors:

Strawberry Margarita
Twisted Mojito
NEW>>Lime Margarita

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by: Lets Do Wine

Monday, April 4, 2011

South America is currently harvesting its grapes and we will be soon be receiving our fresh juices from Chile. Chilean wines benefit greatly from The Andes Mountains that provide abundant irrigation water as well as the perfect climate for a great grape growing region.

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by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Years ago home winemaking was messy, required a lot of patience and didn’t always produce good results. Most everyone has a memory of their uncle, grandfather, neighbor, etc. who had some awful tasting wine brewing in their basement. With today’s technology, home winemaking is now a very easy and affordable hobby that can produce very high quality tasting wine. Besides making a quality wine there are other reasons to make your own wine.

Making your own wine is affordable. Thanks to technology more modern equipment is now available to the home wine maker. You can purchase prepackaged equipment kits that will provide you with most of the necessary items. These items can be purchased at Let's Do Wine for around $100. After your initial purchase of equipment, you will have to buy the ingredients for each batch of wine you make. If you enjoy drinking more traditional varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernets and Pinots and want wine similar to what is commercially available, then it is best if you purchase wine in a concentrate kit form. Most concentrate kits have easy to follow instructions, pre-measured packets of the necessary additives such as yeast, stabilizing and clearing agents. The most important item in the concentrate kit itself is the juice. The better juice kit manufacturers source high quality grapes from some of the best grape growing regions in the world. Once the grapes are pressed, the juice is properly balanced for sugar, acidity, pH levels, etc. and then flash pasteurized and concentrated to allow for a good shelf-life and easy handling. High quality wine juice can be purchased for as little as a few dollars per bottle.

Not only is wine making is a fun hobby, it’s affordable too. Many folks have fun hobbies such as golf, stamp collecting, reading, etc. The great thing about wine making is you have something to show for your efforts. Most wine making supply stores offer a selection of bottles, labels, foil shrink tops to make your wine have a professional look. Desktop publishing software can be used to make personalized custom labels. Not only is it nice to bring a bottle of homemade wine to a dinner party, a bottle of wine makes a wonderful gift at the holidays or used for wedding and shower favors.

Wine making is a four step process that takes approximately 4 weeks to ferment, stabilize and clear a batch of wine. Most batches are made in 6 gallon amounts which yield 30 bottles of wine. All you will really need at home is a small space that has running water to clean your equipment. While the wine is fermenting it will need to be stored in a place that will maintain average room temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees.

Once your friends learn that you make your own wine they will be very intrigued. As soon as they discover how good it is, you will become the most popular person in your neighborhood and family. You will be proud to say: “I made this!”

To get started making wine click here.

Written by: Wendy Kielar, Let's Do Wine
This article can also be found on Ezine.com

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by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Whether you make your own wine, collect wine or are just a weekend wine warrior, it is important to have at least four “must have” staple wines in your collection.

The first wine everyone should have on hand is a Riesling. This white wine is a must because of its popularity and familiarity. People are comfortable with wines they have heard of before and can easily pronounce (rees’-ling). Riesling grapes originated in Germany but are grown all over the world. Riesling wines don’t have a lot of strict “standards” placed on them. This allows the wine maker a bit more liberty when it comes to color and sweetness. Rieslings can range from a light pale straw to a golden color. They can be semi-sweet, off-dry or dry. For your collection be sure to find one that is a lighter body off-dry. This style will usually boast great flavor and please a wide range of people.

Now that we have a white in our collection, lets balance it with a nice red. Cabernet Sauvignon (aka “Cab”) is a required wine for anyone who wants to do some serious entertaining. A good Cab’s taste should be well-defined and recognizable. It is a nicely structured red medium-to-full bodied. The taste should remind you of berries, black currants with a nice lingering finish. Cabernet is the top growing grape in California. Therefore, whether you are purchasing a bottle, a case or the juice to make your own be sure to look at the available options from California.

If you can only afford a couple of choices, I would be very comfortable serving a Riesling and a Cab at a dinner party. If you want to build on your selection, a heavier more flavorful white would be in order. A Chardonnay is a very robust white and even in a pinch, red wine lovers will gravitate toward this well structured vino. It’s a white that won’t please everyone but that’s why you have the Riesling. Chardonnays are typically dry and have a very unique flavor profile ranging from buttery to oaky. They are one of the few whites that due well being aged in oak. Typically reds are aged in oak barrels. Chardonnay grapes grow nicely in California as well as France and Australia.

The fourth and final staple wine is a Pinot Noir. A Pinot is a red wine that is light in body but not light in taste. It is a very aromatic wine and will round out your collection nicely. Its intense aroma will remind you of red berries, black cherries and a slight hint of spice. Pinot grapes are not easily grown. They are very delicate and only survive in certain specific climates. Many parts of the West Coast including California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia grow very nice Pinot Grapes. New Zealand boasts one of the best Pinot grape growing region.

With these four great choices you will have a nice balanced collection of wine that will be sure to delight the palates of your friends and family regardless of their wine experience and knowledge. A few other common wines to consider adding would be Merlot, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio.

Written by: Wendy Kielar, Owner of Let's Do Wine!

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by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Did you know that recent studies prove that beer actually has more health benefits than wine?!

Beer is loaded with lots of antioxidants as well as the hops have many health benefits including anti-inflamatory properties.

These benefits are found mostly in darker colored and bitter tasting beers. And just like wine, moderation is the key.

Interested in making your own healthy beer? Simply visit LetsDoBeer.com

Click Here to watch the health benefits of beer video.

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by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yes, call me crazy but when I read this article about watermelon beer, I knew that it wasn't just me who thought that watermelon could add something to a beer. Sure enough after my first attempt of adding a hint of watermelon to my last batch of wheat beer, I really got the attention of my friends and family. After many thumbs up from my taste-testers...I have packaged it in our Easy Ass kits.

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by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Orchard Breezin has done it again! Another two new wine kits have hit the market.

Black Currant White Merlot and Kiwi Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc.

Both kits are in stock and ready to ferment. Make 6 gallons (30 bottles) $59.99

by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Selection Limited Edition is now in its 20th year!!! As a tribute to the 20th year, Winexpert has brought back its most popular Limited Editions!

If you are new to this program, do not miss this fantastic opportunity. The juices in this program make some of the most outstanding wine we've ever tasted. Wines made from Selection Limited Edition Series have received numerous awards at winemaking competitions throughout North America. Using a combination of 100% pure varietal grape juice and premium grape concentrates, Selection Limited Edition yields wines possessing superior flavor, aroma, and complexity. Only available by pre-ordering. Makes 6 gallons (30 bottles .750) of wine) Place your order now (your credit card will not be charged until the juice is shipped to you.

2010 Limited Edition Varieties

Mid January - South African Shiraz (Originally offered in January 2006)
The Region: Stellenbosch is South Africa's oldest growing region, the center for study of viticulture and oenology in Africa, and the heart of the wine industry. Famous for its stunning natural beauty, it has soaring mountains, forests, vineyards, olive groves and veldts. South Africa's finest red wines thrive in the Cape's moderate climate, and the Shiraz from this region is dense with jammy richness, intense fruit, and complex spiciness.

The Wine: This wine has a dense, chewy blackberry, earthiness and robust character. This medium/full bodied wine almost begs for early drinking, with spice and rich fruit, but the bold tannins and rich jamminess (typical of Shiraz) will allow it to improve with age for a further 2 years.

The Food: The pepper, plums and red fruit aromas and abundant tannins blend wonderfully with barbecue, grilled red meat and stews.

Sweetness: 0 Dry
Available: Mid-January 2010
Quantity: 6 gallons
Price: $139.95

Late January - California Lake County Trio Blanca (Originally offered in January 2005)
The Region: In California's Lake County, the vineyards nestle in steep hills in the west, while Clear Lake, directly east, moderates the blistering heat of summer, ensuring slow, even ripening and perfect grapes.

The Wine: A unique blend of three grapes, Selection Limited Edition Trio Blanca is an outstanding white wine that showcases bright fruit flavors, excellent structure, and a long finish. Pinot Blanc contributes the delicate floral character and full body while Chenin Blanc gives a wonderful melon honey aroma with hints of apple. The third grape variety, Sauvignon Blanc contributes zesty acidity and aromas of gooseberry and herbs. After six months ageing, the Sauvignon Blanc will dominate with zest and crispness. After a year, the Chenin Blanc's honey and melon will come out, and at 18 months to two years the Pinot Blanc will show a perfumed floweriness and lingering structure.

The Food: Enjoy by itself or serve Trio Blanca with seafood, chicken or vegetarian dishes.

Sweetness: 0 Dry
Available: Late-January 2010
Quantity: 6 gallons
Price: $139.95

February - Australian Petit Verdot (Originally offered in April 2004)
The Region: South East Australia is a literal hotbed of grape growing. The abundant sunshine hours and heat allow growers to ripen varieties that have all but been abandoned by growing regions less blessed. Petit Verdot is one such variety. It makes unsurpassed red wines in Bordeaux, where it goes into their classic Cabernet\Merlot blends, yet the climate there is too cool to ripen it reliably.)

The Wine: Best described as a Super Cabernet, it makes dark, rich wines, with wonderfully concentrated flavors of spice, blackberry and blackcurrant. With smooth, gripping tannins and an elegant structure leading to a magnificent boldly oaked finish, this is a wine for long term ageing and special occasions.)

The Food: Excellent when paired with steak, prime rib, lamb, intense cheeses, and game.

Sweetness: 0 Dry
Available: February 2010
Quantity: 6 gallons
Price: $139.95

March - Pacific Quartet (Originally offered in March 2007)
The Region: The Pacific Coast of North America has micro climates that match those of the blazing sunshine of the Mediterranean to the crisp mountain air of the upper Rhine. With so much range and variety, there is a perfect terroir for almost any grape you can name.)

The Wine: This wine showcases bright fruit, excellent structure and a long finish. Vidal from British Columbia gives spiciness and stone fruit. Chenin Blanc from California gives a wonderful melonyhoneyed aroma with hints of apple. Gew¨¹rztraminer from Washington contributes lychee, rose petals and floral notes, and Muscat from Australia's Murray Darling Valley gives wonderful grapey notes with dried fruit and hints of orange peel.)

The Food: This wine has a range of fruit character and enough acidity to stand up to a wide range of foods, particularly spicy and savory dishes, including Thai cuisine, grilled fish, herbed roast chicken or barbecued salmon. Although delicious right on bottling day, drinking it early would prevent it from showing its best Cafter six months the Muscat and Vidal will dominate with spicy/grapey notes, after a year the Chenin Blanc's honey and melon will come out, and at 18 months to two years the Gewurztraminer will show a perfumed floweriness and lush structure.

Sweetness: 1 Off-dry
Available: March 2010
Quantity: 6 gallons
Price: $139.95

April - Italian Brunello (Originally offered in April 2007)
The Region: Italy’s long, narrow peninsula reaches deep into the Mediterranean, basking in the relentless sunshine and welcoming warmth. Gentle sloping hillsides, rich mineral soils, the moderating breezes off of the Mediterranean waters and unique grape varieties work to make wonderful wines.

The Wine: Brunello is a large, berried variety of the Sangiovese grape, most famous in Brunello di Montalcino. The flavor profile of Sangiovese is fruity, with strong natural acidity, a firm and elegant assertiveness and a robust finish that can extend surprisingly long. The aroma is generally subtle, with cherry, strawberry, blueberry, and violet notes. Medium-bodied but boldly tannic and intense, this gripping wine will begin to open up after six months, but the richer flavors will take at least 18 months to show, with cherry and spice dominating the long, fruity finish.)

The Food: Brunello shines in the company of assertively flavored foods. Hard cheeses such as Asiago and Parmigiano Reggiano are splendid accompaniments and the wines backbone of acids and tannins make it work well with rich and spicy foods like Italian sausages or lasagna.

Sweetness: 0 Dry
Available: April 2010
Quantity: 6 gallons
Price: $139.95

Be sure to pre-order your 2010 Limited Selections NOW!! Deadline for ordering is December 1st!! Each kit makes 6 gallons of wine. Be sure to get the coupon from Oct & Nov newsletters to save $10 on each kit! Must be used at the time of order. If you're not receiving our newsletter be sure to sign up on our home page. To read our current newsletter as well as archived newsletters go to Community Corner.

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by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cool weather, grapes, apples, and warm mulled wine - no wonder Fall is my favorite season!

Mulled wine, also know as Gluhwein (glue-vine), is warm red wine with some sugar and spices added.

Click here to for a recipe on how to make Mulled Wine.

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by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Here is a message to home winemakers if you want to make great tasting wine that is similar to commercially made wines: "USE KIT WINES"!!!! Sorry for the "all caps shout out" but I have no other way of making my point.

For years I have been helping people make wine from all sorts of stuff including fresh grapes, blueberries, apples, barley, maple sap, dandelions, beets, you name it!

One of the biggest challenges of getting people to start making wine is trying to convince them that it won't taste like that "god-awful" stuff their Grandpa used to concoct in the basement!

Now, I'm not saying that home winemakers cannot make good wine from scratch but it sure is a lot easier to do with a wine kit.

So why are wine kits so good? As with most things, when starting with high quality ingredients, you end up with good results. The wine kits we carry contain very high quality juice from some of the best grape growing regions in the world.

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Australia isn't just known for its kangaroos anymore...they have some great ass kicking grapes to make wine. Our grape juice supplier, Winexpert, has contracted with many vineyards in Australia to obtain a large quantity of grapes to produce some of the finest wine making kits available for the home winemaker. Be sure to check out the wide variety of our Australian Wine Kits.

Here are just a few of the juices we carry:

Australian Chardonnay
Supple and slightly buttery, this wine lingers on the palate with layers of toast and spice. Extremely versatile with foods, this is the 'red wine' of white wines, combining beautifully with grilled pork, chicken, fish, salads and cream-based pasta sauces.

Australian Cabernet Sauvignon
The bold, individualistic style of Australia's winemakers has unleashed the full potential behind the making of red grapes, captured here in our Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. Combines forward fruit flavors of cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant with a tremendous backing of tannin and structure. Rich and polished with a long, layered finish warmly accentuated with oak.

Australian Shiraz
The grape that was made for Down Under - its hot climate perfec for bringing out the best traits in this popular grape varietal. Australian Shiraz is seductively delicious, with startlingly rich, ripe aromas that deliver right through to the full zesty finish. Amazingly, the style allows for polished tannins early, so the young wine is not rough or harsh. The aged version retains the core fruit flavours of plums, cherries and blackberries, but gains extra polish. Pair this Shiraz with flavorful meals!

by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We recently had a trivia contest to guess what our best selling wine making juice kit has been over the past five years. Even though we had many correct answers, many were surprised that it was Island Mist's Green Apple Riesling.

So what does it taste like? Take a nice crisp Riesling and marry it with a hint of Granny Smith Green Apples and viola...you've got a glass of Green Apple Riesling! It does have some residual sugar but it also has a nice balance from the tart apples.

Several of our customers have won many awards when entering their bottles of Green Apple in State, County, and other local wine competitions.

If you haven't tried this unique and wonderful wine, give it a try. Now is a great time to make it so it will be ready for the Fall. It's great to serve with Apple or Pumpkin pie as well as chicken fingers, nachos.

by: Lets Do Wine

Friday, July 17, 2009

I have been making wine for years but it wasn't until I made an Amarone (aw-mah-row-nay) that I completely "wowed" myself. I knew I could make good wine but it was that batch of Amarone that gave me the confidence to open a wine shop as well as a winery. If home winemakers could learn how to make a wine this incredibly good, I wanted to help show them how.

So why is Amarone so special? It is made from Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella grapes from the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Once the grapes are picked from the vine, a portion of them are laid to rest on straw mats for three to four months in a well-ventilated room. This concentrates the flavor of the grapes, lending to the big bold flavors of Amarone. The high cencentration of flavor is also reflected in the sugar content which makes it a higher alcohol yield (approx 15-17%).

So what's it taste like? It is powerful, intense, and has a stunning complexity of vibrant flavors. It is a deep rich red color and its intense flavors and high alcohol make it a full-to-heavy bodied wine. It is packed with rich raspberry, blackberry, almond, with slight hints of chocolate flavors. Due to its high tannins, it has a beautiful long finish. Whether young our old, this wine requires breathing to allow the complex flavors to open up.

Even though it is drinkable quite young, this wine benefits well from ageing a year or two. We offer the two best kits on the market. Wine Expert Amarone concentrate and RJ Spagnols 100% Amarone Juice

by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We are proud to announce a great summer special to help you discover the exciting wines from Chile.

Try one of these fantastic wines:

Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
Chilean Chardonnay
Chilean Pinot Noir
Chilean Merlot
Chilean Carmenere

Purchase any Chilean Selection juice kit and receive 10% off; buy two Chilean kits and get a set of four crystal wine glasses FREE! Offer good thru July 31, 2009 or while supplies last!

Online purchases use Promotion Code EC79 for 10% off of one kit or EC89 when purchasing two kits to get 10% plus FREE crystal wine glasses.

For more details or to order

Chilean Wines at LetsDoWine.com

by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's back!!! Or at least it will be! You can get this by "pre-ordering" only. Order before August 1st and they will be delivered to us by mid-September, 2009. This awesome limited release juice makes the most outstanding Port. Read on...

Multiple Gold medal winner at the 2008 and 2009 WineMaker Amateur Wine Competition. Hugely popular for the last two years, many of our customers were left wanting more or some just plain missed out. Make sure you pre-order now!

Bursting with rich, intense flavors and aromas, this wine has traditional Port character of warm, rounded cherry and plum, supported by a racy zing of bright raspberry, perfumed and gently tart, giving way to luscious liquid chocolate, beguiling with dark, bittersweet aromas of coffee and vanilla—it’s like an entire chocolaterie in a glass! Toasty hints of oak guide the way to a long, rich finish. Excellent within three months, this wine will age gorgeously—if you can keep any that

Oak: Toasted
Sweetness: 7
Body: Full
Alcohol by volume: 15%-16.5%

Like last year, Chocolate Raspberry Port will come complete with everything needed to produce 3 gallons of Port. It contains 3 gallons of juice...this is NOT a concentrate. No water added. 30 peel and stick bottle labels included. $109 per kit. Again, this kit must be Pre-ordered by August 1st and will arrive mid-September 2009. These will make awesome Christmas gifts! Call today 716-686-9969.

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Q. As a home winemaker, do I have to add sulphites to my wine?

A. Many people are concerned with sulphites but the answer is YES!!! Yes, we highly recommend adding sulphites to wine. As wine ferments, yeast die off creating bacteria. When sulphites are added, they kill off the bacteria and making the wine safe to drink. Just remember, you don't have to add a lot to get the job done. Home winemakers add much less than commercially made wines.

by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oh yes, another dandelion season is in full swing! This time of year I get the biggest kick out watching my husband carefully scan our yard for even a slight sign of anything yellow. He has waged a full out and out war on dandelions. He seems to be winning. For others, they love the sight of the little yellow sprouts. Those are the people who that with a little tender loving care, dandelions make delicious wine.

Making dandelion wine is not a simple task. You can't just pick them and throw them into a fermenter with a little yeast and off they go. Oh no. None of the green can be used in the wine because it will cause bitterness. Therefore, the petals must either be picked off or cut off. Very labor intensive!

I have tasted some very bitter dandelion wine - I suspect that the bitterness was caused from using the green part of the dandelion. I've also tasted some very good dandelion wine. Actually, a dandelion wine took 2nd place in our 2003 wine making competition!

If you are up to a little bit of work, here is a recipe for dandelion wine:

Dandelion Wine Recipe
7 cups of Dandelion petals
1 lb chopped Golden Raisins
2-1/2 lbs Sugar
1 tsp Acid Blend
1/4 tsp Tannin
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1 oz Bitter Orange Peel
1 gallon hot water
1 packet of champagne yeast

Cut off or pluck petals from stems (discard all stems and green parts). Wash and drain petals - set aside.
Pour hot water in a primary fermenting bucket and dissolve sugar.

Place petals, raisins and orange peel in a small straining bag. Tie off bag and place in the primary fermenting bucket.

Allow to cool to 70 degrees and then add all other ingredients. Stir well.

Stir daily for 7 days. After 7 days, gently squeeze straining bag into fermenter and discard entire bag. Transfer the liquid contents from the primarty fermenter into a gallon jug. The jug should be full - if not, top up with water. Allow to sit for approx 1 month. Transfer back into primary fermenter and add 1/2 tspMetabisulphite and 1/2 tsp of potassium sorbate. Stir well for approx 5 minutes to drive off excess gas. Transfer back into clean gallon jug. Allow to sit for another month.

The above recipe will yield approx 1 gallon of wine. When picking, keep away from fertilized areas and you may want to pick in a "pet-free" zone.

by: Lets Do Wine

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This wine kit hit the market about a month ago and we were pleasantly surprised when a customer brought us in a bottle. I have two words: IT ROCKS! We had to get one started immediately. If you want to be very popular this summer, you will get one started too! Island Mist Pomegranate Zinfandel!

by: Lets Do Wine

New Winexpert juice kits coming in May!!!

*Estate Barolo
*Selection Okanagan Valley Pinot Blanc
*Vintners Cabernet/Zinfandel

We will let you when they become available.

by: Lets Do Wine

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Become a Facebook Fan...if you are on Facebook, become a fan of Lets Do Wine to receive special offers, coupons & special announcements that are only avaiable to Facebook fans! Become a Fan

by: Lets Do Wine

Monday, April 6, 2009

I love when the wine juice companies "tweak" the wine making instructions just enough to drive all wine makers crazy! I should have kept track of how many phone calls and emails we've received about the 8 gallon fermenting bucket reference in the instructions. These occassional "tweaks" do prove that you guys (yes, I mean the men too) read the instructions!

The newer instructions have you using an "eight (8) gallon fermenting bucket"; previous instructions simply mentioned a "primary fermenting bucket". Our equipment kits come with a 7.8 Fermenting Bucket, therefore, it concerns a lot of folks that their buckets won't be large enough to handle primary fermentation.

Not to worry the 7.8 gallon fermenters are able to handle the 6 gallon juice kits just fine! A larger fermenting bucket may be needed for the Estate Crushendo kits only.

by: Lets Do Wine

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Without a doubt our best selling top of the line juice kit! We recently were in Lodi, California where they grow the best Zin grapes. We bought several bottles to bring home. We had a few friends over to do a wine tasting. We tasted two bottles of California Zin along with a year old bottle made from the Old Vines kit. It was a blind tasting so we didn't even know which bottle was which. All three wines were outstanding...the Old Vines kit bottle was just as good, if not better than the other $25 bottles!

Deep and rich with bold, zesty aromas and ripe berry fruit flavor. Robust and exciting, it bursts with a spiciness that is met head on by the premium French oak. Recommended aging of 4 months.

For more details check out Old Vines Zin kit

by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Here is a great blog-post about wine written by my son, Neal...Half my age

If you think he knows wine, check out his photography website...nealurban.com

by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, March 1, 2009
I sure don't need anyone to twist my arm to open a bottle of red wine...but just in case YOU might...

"Researchers in Denmark recently looked at 25,000 people to find out what drinking alcohol does to mortality and discovered that wine drinkers slash their overall risk of dying from any cause by about 40%."

The above quote was in a recent article by Terri Mitchell. The article is also on our website and is loaded with lots of wonderful info about the benefits of red wine.

Please remember to drink responsibly. It's only good for you in moderation!

by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, November 23, 2008
I can't believe my last post was in October! Remember you only have a short time left to order any of the Limited Edition Juices.

We also put a special section on the website for Holiday Items. This way you can direct loved ones right to that area to shop for your holiday gifts.

by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, October 5, 2008
A customer stopped in the other day and asked why when I make homemade soda pop with sugar and wine yeast it doesn't make alcohol?

Because the bottles get sealed right away it doesn't allow the CO2 escape which suffocates the yeast and it dies off before the sugar is consumed. With that being said...a very small amount of alcohol is produced but is such a small amount that it does not affect behavior or is harmful.

by: Lets Do Wine

Saturday, October 4, 2008
Congratulations to our wine label winners. We were impressed with the great artwork and inspirational stories behind the labels. Great job everyone!

Grand Prize Winner: Vincent Felicetta
Gold Medal Winners: Bill Rindfuss, Phil Zynda
Silver Medal Winners: James Colton, Paul & Marcia Burkard
Bronze Medal WinnersL Carol Barager, Mark Mahon, Chris Marks

by: Lets Do Wine

Monday, September 22, 2008

They are back!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, once again Limited Edition and Restricted Quantity wine juices are back. Be sure to check out the great selection of

2009 Limited Release Juices

by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

After hearing mixed reviews about this film, I had to go see if for myself. The movie not only brought me back to the 70's but made me remember why I love wine so much!

Great performances coupled with a great story makes this movie a must see for anyone who loves wine. Check your local listings and go see it!

by: Lets Do Wine

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Happy Labor day-weekend friends!

Since we are having a few family and friends over for the holiday weekend...I thought I had better sample some wines to see what I would offer (like I need an excuse to sample!)

I opened a bottle of the 2007 Limited Edition Pacific Quartet and as usual I'm kicking myself for not making more!! This wine, is about 5 months old and is absolutely fantastic!

Keep in mind that the 2009 Limiteds will be announced shortly (probably October...if you haven't tried them, be sure to this year...you won't be sorry!)

Happy Labor Day!

by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Q. It seems whenever I drink wine I get a headache. What causes this?

A.It has been widely publicized that wine is beneficial for our health. In moderate amounts, a glass of wine can benefit our hearts as well as HDL cholesterol levels. However, some people have an adverse reaction and experience a migraine-type headache shortly after consuming a glass of wine. In general, most headaches are experienced after consuming red wine rather than white wines. Researchers still have not pinpointed an exact cause for the headaches but there are a few components in wine that may be the culprit.

Tannin, a component in grapes, is the most likely cause of wine headaches. Tannins are found in grape skins and stems. The tannin gives some wine that dry, puckery sensation in your mouth while drinking. They’re not only found in wine, but also in cheese, nuts, chocolate and tea. The tea industry has been recently publicizing the health benefits of the antioxidants found from its tannins. Unlike white wines, red wines are in contact with their skins and stems during the fermentation process causing higher levels of tannin. Tannin consumption can affect serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical found in our brain. High levels of serotonin have been known to cause headaches

A common belief is that the sulfites found in wine are the common reason for wine headaches. Sulfites are natural byproducts of fermentation and are also used by most winemakers for their antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. If sulfites can cause headaches, then why add it to wine? Sulphites are truly helpful in wine by keeping it bacteria-free and safe to drink. Without any sulphites, wine would turn to vinegar in a quick amount of time. One of the advantages of making your own wine is that you can add much less sulphites than commercially made wine.

Histamines could be another cause of wine headaches. However, some researchers don't believe there are enough histamines to be considered problematic. Histamines are more common in red wines than in white wines. Over-the-counter non-drowsy allergy medication block histamines. Taking an allergy medication an hour prior to consuming wine, may help prevent a headache.

The problem of the wine headache is far from being solved. If you are one of the lucky individuals that does not experience wine headaches, consider yourself lucky! If you do suffer from wine headaches, keep a journal and experiment. See how you react to white versus red wines. If red wines seem to trigger headaches more, try reds that have less tannins such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, and French Reds from the Burgundy region also have less tannins.

As always, moderation is the key.

Written by: Wendy Kielar, Owner Let's Do Wine

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by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, August 17, 2008
Italian wine can be simplified with one word, intimidation. The vast array of wines from one of the worlds finest wine making countries can leave heads spinning before the lasagna is out of the oven. But, don’t be afraid. The process of choosing the right Italian wine has been ongoing for 2,000 years. You are not the first person to try and conquer this feat. Below, we will list some helpful hints and suggestions to help you enjoy one of the finest beverages available.

Generally speaking, Italian wines can be divided into two main categories: Table Wines and Higher End Italian Wines. First, lets investigate Table wines. Table wines are a mainstay on Italian dinner tables. They are usually your simple red or white wines, which are inexpensive. Table wines are enjoyed in casual, easygoing atmospheres. First time wine drinkers enjoy Table wines because of the sweeter, light-medium bodied flavor. Remember, Italian wines are typically enjoyed with food. Whether it is a simple shrimp cocktail, or a heavy pasta meal, the flavor of the wine should match the food you are enjoying.

Our Higher end Italian Amarone 100% Wine Juice will dig deep into the most educated wine drinker. Unique to the Veneto region of Italy, our Amarone is packed with rich raspberry, blackberry and cassis flavors. Complete with sun-dried raisins, it is full-bodied, deep, dark and inviting with a tannic, fruity finish. Amarone is quite recent but produced by skilled and experienced winemakers, which is what is needed to drive to the right level of desiccation the grapes designed for this precious wine. Higher end Italian wines can be a serviceable addition to any dinner party.
If you enjoy white wines, be sure to try our Italian Pinot Grigio Selection. The uniquely Italian version of the well known Pinot Gris grape, picked earlier in Italy than in all other regions and well before its characteristic loss of acidity at ripening, for a bright, crisp, dry white wine with a gentle perfume and a detectable spiciness. Fresh, fragrant and lively, its flavors include a certain flintiness with hints of citrus and almonds. Pinot Grigio, plantings can be found in the Lombardy region around Oltrepo Pavese and in Alto Adige, Italy's northern most wine region. The grape is also prominent in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

These Italian classics will brighten up your day or make you the wonderful dinner host that will have guests begging to return. We understand that it may seem like an overwhelming process to choose the Italian wine that is right for you. Through simple taste testing and research, you will find the right Italian classic that is best for you and your event.

by: Lets Do Wine

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Congratuations to all of our customers who won medals at this year's Erie County Fair! It is always great to see that so many kit wines are winning awards.

For all our customers who won using kits, please contact us as the kit manufacturers award prizes for all award winners.

Again...keep up the good work!

by: Lets Do Wine

Monday, August 11, 2008
We are happy to announce that we are having a wine label contest. We always get a kick out of seeing how creative our customers are making their own labels. We would like to recognize all you creative folks by holding a wine label contest.

The contest will be held on October 4, 2008 and labels must be submitted by Sept 30, 2008. For more information click here for contest details

by: Lets Do Wine

Sunday, August 10, 2008
Since so many of us are finding more ways to recylce, we thought we'd share one of our favorites...after your red wine has been oaked with either Oak Cubes or Oak Staves, use the used oak in your grill.

Trust me, nothing is better than a ribeye grilled over French oak soaked in Cabernet Sauvignon! Of course, serve with a glass of Cabernet.

by: Lets Do Wine

Saturday, August 9, 2008
Being home wine makers, we've all had a batch or two that just turn out as well as we had hoped. Before you toss any wine here are a few suggestions:
  1. Be sure that your wine has aged sufficiently. Many times I've tasted young wine to find that it only needs some time to age.
  2. Wine Jelly - here is a great wine jelly recipe to turn your wine into wine jelly.
  3. Vinegar - okay, it might already taste like its vinegar but here is a great way to make awesome tasting wine vinegar.
  4. Marinade - I love cooking with wine (sometimes I even add it to the food!). Use your wine to marinade meat or here are some cooking with wine recipes.
  5. Salad dressing - I make an awesome salad dressing with my wine - here is the wine salad dressing recipe.
  6. Blender drinks - Pour some of the wine into a blender with a little fruit juice, vodka and ice and blend away!
  7. Fortify it - add a little blackberry brandy to it and see if it doesn't straighten it up a bit.

by: Lets Do Wine

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Do you ever get tired of bottling your wine? Or just looking for an alternative to using traditional bottles and corks? Here are a few suggestions...

Wine on Tap is a great alternative to traditional bottling. These are easy to use too. Simply put your bottle filler or siphon hose into the opening of the wine on tap bag and let it fill up. It holds up to 9 bottles of wine! All bags are pre-sanitized.

Eliminate corking by using these great easy flip-top EZ Cap Bottles. We bottle everything from our homebrews to wine and mead. Give them a try!

by: Lets Do Wine

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Q. How do I know if my juice has the correct amount of acid in it?

A. The most accurate way to test the acidity is by using an Acid Titration Kit.
Included in the kit is a jar of Sodium Hydroxide, phenolphthalein color solution, syringe and a small measuring container. Don't let the long words scare you! It is easy to use. Simply use the syringe to draw off a sample (15 cc) of the juice and put into the small measuring container. Add 3 drops of the color solution. Wash out the syringe and draw 10 cc of Sodium Hydroxide. Add it slowly to the container of juice. The juice will turn dark - continue to add until it stops changing color. White wines will change to light red and red wines turn bluish grey. Check the amount of cc that were used from the syringe. Each "cc" of Sodium Hydroxide used indicates percentage of acid. Therefore, if it takes 5 cc to attain the color change, the acid is .5%.

Wine juice contains 3 main acids: malic, citric and tartaric. These 3 acids are blended toghether and sold as Acid Blend. 1 oz of acid blend to 6 gallons of must will increase the acid by .15%

Desirable acids levels:

Fruit Wines .60%
Red Wines .65%
White Wines .75%

by: Lets Do Wine