The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Bottling Bourgeron Rouge and the Role of O2

Cal Claassen BR label2 2007

In making this wine, I became obsessed with keeping oxygen out of the wine.  Watching my hubby make beer, he would often purge the carboys with CO2 or nitrogen gas before racking into them to reduce oxygen exposure;  I rationalized that this should also be good practice for winemaking.  However, after I started incorporating this practice I got suspicious why this had not been emphasized in the instructions so far.  I found out it is because oxygen actually plays an important role in wine flavor development.  A little bit of oxygenation as the wine is being made is actually good;  thus the barrel is a fine vessel for the wine to sit in, since there is a small amount of oxygen that interacts with the wine.  I’m not sure how this will ultimately effect the outcome of this wine, but it’s time to bottle either way.

There was no oak in this wine kit.  Final alcohol 11.8%. This wine came out a nice clear ruby color, without filtering. Initial impressions are very fruity nose, but very tart taste that falls flat. Hopefully this one will shape up better, not exciting at bottling (2 months bottle aging is recommended).

Del Mar Racetrack Red bottled1

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