Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Turning Grape Juice to Wine

At the end of 2014 I made my first batch of wine. 27 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon. It wasn't perfect; but the feeling of success made the first sip I had of it one of the best wines I've ever had... That feeling didn't last. It quickly went from the best wine, to an average table wine. What happened?!

Well inexperience happened. Making wine isn't the science I'd like to think it is. Following all the directions, and checking the boxes isn't the only requirements to making a good wine. Wine Making is an art, and only with experience am I going to get better. 

I'm hoping age will make my first wine better; the distinct feeling of small, almost microscopic, bubbles on your palate as you take a sip is infuriating. I degassed the wine during fermentation!!! WHY am I feeling bubbles on my palate. Well next time I'll degas it better (check out my tutorial on wine making to better understand this process). 

I'm not giving up. Stay tuned for the update on the next bottle. I made a Merlot in late 2014, early 2015. I bought a tool to help with the degassing for that batch so hopefully the results are better.  

Quick Facts: MY FIRST WINE MAKING EXPERIENCE

  • 10/15/2014   Primary Fermentation: Sanitized with soap and water. Yeast activated in 8 hours. 78'F when yeast started, stored at 75'F.
  • 10/23/2014   Secondary Fermentation: Sanitized Carboy with bleach and water, rinsed, then transferred wine from Primary Fermenter to Carboy. A bottle or two was left in the primary and dumped. Carboy is about 6 inches from the top.
  • 11/02/2014   Stabilising and Clearing: After the second fermentation the wine was stabilized and cleared.
  • 11/17/2014   Bottling: Sanitized Bottles with One Step, filled 27 bottles. Let them rest standing up for 3 days. 
  • 11/20/2014   Turn Bottles on Side for rest of aging. 

Below are the pictures that were taken during the Primary Fermentation, Secondary Fermentation, Stabilizing, and eventually Botting.