Whether you are already making your own wine or just pondering jumping into the rapidly growing hobby, one thing that you will want to experiment with is adding or changing the flavor of your wine.
Sometimes, just fermenting the fruit or grape juice doesn’t produce a taste that seems “full”. There seems to be something missing.
What can you do? How can you round out the taste?
Here’s 3 different things you can do that will improve the fullness of the taste of your homemade wines.
You can give your wine an aok flavor very easily. There are two ways to do this. You can add oak chips before the fermentation or after the fermentation. There are even 3 different flavors of oak chips.
Oak chip manufacturers try to duplicate the charring found inside the big barrels that are used to age wine in. There are light toast, medium toast and heavy toast chips. The toast part simply means how much charring from a flame there is on the chips.
You just add these chips directly to your must or your wine and let them soak.
Another oaking method preferred by a lot of home winemakers is to flavor some vodka with oak chips and then just pour some of the oaked vodka into the wine to add and oaky flavor.
Some people prefer their wines a little less than dry. Some like their wine downright sweet.
The secret to sweetening wines is this: you have to make sure the wine is stabilized before adding any sugar or sugar water. You can stabilize your wine using potassium sorbate, a common food preservative. This takes place after all of the fermentation is complete and the wine has mostly cleared.
How much do you add? Just sweeten to taste. Add a little sugar water, and taste. That’s all there is to it.
If your wine seems a little thin, you can thicken it up by adding glycerin. Glycerin will give your wine “legs” and a somewhat better mouthfeel. Legs don’t really have anything to do with the taste as much as the ability of the wine to cling to the sides of a wine glass.
Glycerin will give your wine a more rounded and smoother feel in your mouth when you are drinking the wine.