RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Pumpkin Update

Well, it's getting close to Pumpkin Bottling time, so here's an update on the latest.

Last night, I added the Sparkolloid to my Pumpkin Wine. The directions on the bottle were to dissolve 1 teaspoon per gallon in a cup of water in the top part of a double boiler and let simmer for 30 minutes, then add to the wine and agitate, and let it sit for a week.

I don't have a double boiler! So after a quick call to mom to get some advice, I used a regualr pot and a glass Pyrex bowl to a makeshift double boiler. I used the tip of a spoon between the bowl and the pot to allow venting (I didn't want anything blowing up from too much pressure!) This worked great. I actually only let it cook for 20 minutes, as it looked like it wasn't going to do anything more.

Before I added it to the carboy, I had to remove some of the wine from the carboy so everything wouldn't overflow. More on that in a minute. I poured the bowl of the Sparkolloid mixture back into a measuring cup so it would pour more easily into the carboy. Then I poured it in, attached my Mix-Stir to a drill, and stirred for a little bit to agitate the wine. I put the airlock back on and put the carboy back in the closet to wait for a week.

The wine I removed was about a glass worth of wine, and I decided I would just go ahead and taste it to see how it was coming a long. It was great! First of all, the color in the glass was like a normal white wine - kind of like a mix between a Chardonnay and a Grigio color. The aroma was very nice too. I sipped a bit. Very fruit forward with a start of pumpkin. Good and dry. Nice mouthfeel - almost perfect body and tannins. Not "heat" from the alcohol at all. Finished with the perfect amount of acidity and maybe a little too much ginger. Lots of complexity with flavors of spices, pumpkin, grass, and more that I can't remember right now.

Overall, it was a good crisp clean wine with great flavor and nice roundness. And that wasn't even chilled! I'm excited about this one! I think I've decided that I would like to bottle it in some cobalt blue bottles, maybe Riesling style, but any style would work. This is what I would like:

But we'll see. I should probably go ahead and order them so I can bottle next week.

Other Things:

Last night I also did a couple of other things - I layed all my bottles of Merlot on their side, now that I'm pretty confident there will be no cork mishaps. I took 6 of them out of the closet and put them on my wine rack going down in a column. As soon as I get the Pumpkin bottled, it will be in a column beside that. I'm thinking that it may be time to go buy some more of those racks. The rack is a stackable set of single 4 bottle wine racks. I have 6 of them, therefore I have 24 bottles worth. I'm about to have over 100 bottles of wine, so it need to get on that!

I took a look at the Strawberry Wine. It's looking great! Clearing very nicely. If luck goes my way, I won't have to add any agents at all!

That's it for now! Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!


Anonymous Ian Scott said...

I wish I had more space for wine racks in the part of my house where storing is best, where the summer heat doesn't raise the temperature much. But alas, I live in one of those century old homes where the basement isn't much more than a crawlspace - I can almost stand up straight, but not quite - and there's not much room for anything more than the furnace, water heater, and water softner.

I'll have to make some extra bucks soon so I can maybe tunnel something out!! :)

11:52 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Hi Ian! Thanks for the comment. I actually live in a 3rd floor apartment, so the temperature can be a big problem for me. We've been using the AC for weeks though, so it should be fine for now. What I'd like to do is save up to buy one of those big (and I mean big) wine fridges.

8:31 AM  

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