Welcome to Pressing News, the monthly newsletter published by
Fine Vine Wines, LLC, designed exclusively to assist the home
vintner in the pursuit of his hobby!
You can keep up with the changes and/or additions at the web
site by visiting the Updates
Page. If you discover anything that does not work properly,
please let me know.
THIS MONTH ON THE VINE!
I would like to thank each one of you for visiting our site. I
hope it was an enjoyable experience and you were able to find
everything for which you were looking. As I indicate on our web
site, we started this business last year, so unlike big business,
we are extremely flexible and nothing we have done so far is “etched
in stone.” As a result, being an early user of our site
and subscriber to our newsletter gives you the ability to influence
the future of our site and company!
We like to hear what you have to say about
our site and/or our service, good or bad. Please send your comments
and/or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am continuing to work on the MY
ACCOUNT page. It still needs a lot of work, but in the meantime,
you can see all of of your internet orders. I am working on adding
all of the phone-in orders. If you notice a discrepancy with your
orders, please let me know. The orders are separated as follows:
- Pending - Orders that you have
- In Process - Orders that
you have completed, but all or part of your order is awaiting
- Shipped - Orders where all
items have been shipped.
If you are a registered user and you request a shipping quote
and then decide to place the order, you can find your open order
under the Pending link.
ARTICLE - Helpful Hints (I hope!)
Since we took so many orders from and for new home wine makers,
I decided it would be a good time to offers some of my tips.
Controlling the Mess
It seems that no matter how hard I try, I always wind up spilling
some wine somewhere during the process. Whether it is when I pour
the concentrate in the bucket or during racking or while bottling,
I have always found a new way to make a mess! (I won't go into
the ways I have spilled a glass of wine just trying to drink it!)
I am fortunate in that my kitchen is ceramic tile, so any spillage
is easy to clean up, but I don't like to clean the floor every
time I make wine. I found the perfect addition that can find it
at most hardware stores for less than $7.00. It is a flat plastic
tub. The interior dimensions of my tub are 16" by 24"
and 6" deep. It will hold a fermenting bucket or carboy or
25 standard wine bottles. As a result, I can use it at any point
in the process. When I am finished, I pour the spillage into the
sink. Wash it out and it is ready for my next mess.
In addition, I keep plenty of paper towels handy. Since red wine
has a tendancy to stain anything it touches, if you use wash cloths
and hand towels, you will just wind up throwing them away; therefore,
just use paper towels. It's a lot less expensive.
As I mentioned earlier, I do most of my wine making in the kitchen.
I have yet to find a kitchen faucet that is tall enough to get
my carboy under for cleaning. I found a very simple, inexpensive
solution - a 6 foot length of garden hose! Like the plastic tub,
you can find one at any hardware store and the adaptor that is
used for the bottle washer also fits a standard garden hose. Just
hook it up and you can easily rinse your carboys and buckets with
minimal effort and almost no mess(If you remember to turn the
water off BEFORE you take the hose out of the carboy. Experience
I have read dozens of wine books and they all talk about the
benefit of Bentonite in the clearing of wines. I do have to admit
that I have a mental issue with putting CLAY in my wine; however,
I continue to follow the instructions and add the clay. For those
of you that have never made a batch of wine, bentonite is a type
of clay that is used to help clear your wine. I won't go into
the details, but it has to do with negative and positive ions
in the wine. To make you feel even better about bentonite, I will
tell you that it is also used when drilling an oil well to lubricate
the drill bit!
Anyway, if you add the bentonite straight to the wine, it will
form clumps and drop immediately to the bottom of your bucket.
This is not good. What you need to do is mix it with warm water
before adding it to your wine. You want to make sure you have
a liquid and not a paste when you pour it into your wine. This
involves some really good stirring, but since I don't like to
stir, I got an inexpensive blender just for my bentonite. Put
about a cup of warm water in the blender, turn it on the lowest
speed and slowly pour the bentonite through the hole in the top.
Let it mix for 15-30 seconds and you have a nice mixture to add
to your wine.
This is one of the easiest ways to save money and it is good
for the environment. I usually recycle about 3 cases at a time,
so I bought a plastic trash can ($9.99 at Lowe's). It will hold
at least that many bottles, if not more. Your fermenting bucket
will also do the trick, but it will only hold about 9 bottles
at a time.
I start by always rinsing my bottles as soon as they are empty.
This keeps mold from forming in the bottles, which you definately
do not want. When I am ready to clean them, I fill my plastic
trash can 2/3 full. Then I pour about a 1/4 teaspoon of Oxi-Clean
in each bottle. Next I put each bottle in the trash can, making
sure it fills with water and drops to the bottom of the trash
In a day or two, I take a bottle from the trash can and start
removing the label. Some of the labels have already come off and
some come off with a single pull. Others require more work. For
those, I use a box knife to scrape the label off. I have come
to the realization that some labels were not meant to be removed,
so instead of spending a lot of effort and frustration to remove
them, I throw those bottles away. For the remaining bottles, after
I have the label off, I use an SOS pad to remove any remaining
adhesive. At this point, the bottles go on the bottle drainer
and I open a bottle of wine to celebrate!
Speaking of friends, they are an excellent source for wine bottles.
They are going to throw them away, anyway, so why not ask them
to save them for you. If they do, be sure to ask them to rinse
the bottle and to not re-insert the cork. It's that mold thing
again. If your friends are reluctant, you can always bribe them
with a bottle of your own home made wine!
All wines go through a phase called bottle shock. This occurs
when you bottle the wine, DUH! What happens is that the wine gets
exposed to oxygen while you are bottling. It is not enough to
have a lasting effect on your wine, but it does affect the taste
for the first 2 weeks after bottling. After you bottle your wine,
allow it to sit up for several days. This allows any oxygen in
your wine to escape before the cork completely seals. After a
couple of days, lay your wine down for 2 weeks before drinking.
It will be worth the wait.
When you get tired of stirring, get a Fizz-X. It attaches to
your power drill like a drill bit and it saves a lot of wear and
tear on your arms. I made 6 batches, before I gave in and bought
mine. I would only recommend using this with a variable speed
drill. If you get the Fizz-X spinning too fast, you will find
that you have wine everywhere, so you need to be able to control
I hope these tips have helped and I am always looking for more,
so please, if you have a tip you would like to share, send it
to me. I will include it in the next newsletter and I will give
you a $5.00 off coupon.
---If you would like to offer your comments and/or suggestions,
please send them to email@example.com
I don't know when they will arrive, but soon you will see a new
cork with the "finevinewines" name on it. These will
replace the "grapestompers" corks on our web site. We
will have finevinewines cork in both the 1.50' and the 1.75' sizes
and it will be the same exact cork, but with our name on it. We
are doing this for a number of business and branding reasons,
but be assured that our wonderful relationship with grapestompers
has not changed!
This month we have 3 specials as follows:
- 30 free corks with every purchase of a Vino Del Vida or Grand
Cru wine concentrate kit.
- 30 free corks and 30 free capsules with every purchase of
a Cellar Classic or Cru Select wine concentrate kit.
Transfer Pump for $109.99! This normally lists for $126.50,
but this month, you can save $16.51. This translates into a
13% savings. If you are tired of lifting those carboys, get
Transfer Pump and never lift a full carboy again.
For specials 1 & 2, be sure to tell us which cork and which
style of capsule you want in the order comments.
In addition, for all of you lucky people that received a wine
kit from us for Christmas, finevinewines.com will give you a $10
off coupon on your first order with us. In the order comments,
just tell us that you received a kit from us for Christmas and
who ordered the kit for you. We will do the rest.
Remember, as soon as you register, you get a coupon good for
$5.00 off. This coupon can be used immediately and it can be used
in conjuction with any specials.
THE WINNNER WAS?
Last month, we decided to give away one Vino del Vida wine kit
based on a drawing among everyone who ordered a wine kit in December.
We are proud to anounce the winner was:
Congratulations to Carol and chances are extremely high that
we will do this drawing again in the coming months. I never know
when the urge will strike, so read your newsletters and watch
the web site.
I have added an option to the ordering system that allows you
to request a shipping quote without placing an order. Upon receiving
your request, I will send you an email with the estimated shipping
costs. You can then decide if you want to place the order or not.
You can learn more about our shipping policy on our Shipping
If you have any questions about our products, our service and/or
wine making, please call us. We are not Corporate America! We
are here to serve you. I bring this up, because a number of my
callers apologize for bothering me or using my toll-free line.
You are definately not bothering me and I have a toll-free line
so you WILL call me. By the way, my long distance rate is 4 cents
a minute, so even if we talk for 1 full hour, it only costs me
$2.40. If I can help you, it is worth every penny.
Sometimes, I am unable to answer the phone. If you get the voice
mail, please leave your name, number, brief message and a best
time to call. I will return your call as soon as I can. By the
way, the best time to reach me is between 4-10pm CST.
If you don't want to call, just send me an email.
I usually answer my email daily. In addition, your emails and/or
calls do not have to relate to wine. I will discuss any topic
you like, so please remember, I am your resource and I am here
Starting June 1, 2003, we have created the FVW
Growers Club. You can get all of the details on our website,
but the bottom line is we want to buy your loyalty! Once you spend
$1,000 with us, you get a 5% discount on everything you buy from
us. Find out more on the website.
We appreciate all of your comments, whether good or bad. To demonstrate
our committment to outstanding customer service, I have created
a web page with your feedback. As we receive emails that comment
about our service, I will post them on this page.
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