Welcome to Pressing News, the monthly newsletter
published by Fine Vine Wines, LLC, designed exclusively to assist
the home vintner in the pursuit of their 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 indicated 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 our company!
We like to hear what you have to say about our
site and/or our customer service, good or bad. Please send your
comments and/or suggestions to email@example.com.
CLUBS AND GUILDS
I now have 2 Wine Guilds posted on the web site,
Space Coast Wine Guild and North
Texas Winemaker's Guild, and
would enjoy adding more. If any of you are involved in wine
clubs or guilds, and would like your club information posted,
please pass it on to me. If I get one more, I will add a link
for home winemaking clubs on my home page.
ARTICLE - Cleaning and Sanitizing
Whenever I talk to a new vintner, I always stress the importance
of cleaning and sanitizing everything that touches your wine.
Why do I do this? It's simple. The
number one reason for a failed wine is not using clean and sanitized
The first thing to consider is that there is
a difference between cleaning and sanitizing. Cleaning is the
process of removing all of the visible matter from your wine
making equipment and bottles. Sanitizing is the process of removing
all of the bacteria that could spoil your wine.
As a point of reference, sterilizing refers
to a process whereby all living microorganisms are eradicated.
Sanitization, on the other hand, refers to a process that reduces
the quantity of living microorganisms to an acceptable level.
For wine making, we are concerned with sanitizing to the point
that the remaining living microorganisms will not affect our
Some of the products available to clean and/or
sanitize your wine making equipment are the following:
- B-Brite - cleans and sanitizes
- C-Brite - cleans and sanitizes
- Bleach (plain, no additives) - cleans and sanitizes (see
- OxyClean - cleans only
- Potassium Metabisulfite - sanitizes only
Please note: DO NOT USE DISWASHING
CLEANERS! They tend to leave a filmy residue which
you do not want.
When cleaning, I use a carboy brush, a bottle brush,
a plastic bristle
sell on the kitchen utensil
aisle of the supermarket) and my hands. The use
for the carboy and bottle brushes is obvious. I use the plastic
and spoon. To clean the siphon and tubing, I just use my hands.
To properly sanitize, prepare a 1-2 gallon mixture of B-Brite,
C-Brite, Bleach or Potassium Metabisulfite. For B-Brite or C-Brite,
mix 1 tablespoon
per gallon of warm water. For Bleach, mix 1 part bleach to 9
parts water. When using Potassium Metabisulfite, add 3 tablespoons
per gallon(see correction below!). You can
of the sulfite solution by adding an equal amount ot Citric Acid.
All of the mixtures above can
be re-used and will keep throughout the day. If you store your
sulfite solution in a stoppered vessel, it will keep for several
months. I always keep a sulfite solution stored in a carboy with
an airlock in my wine cellar. That way it is always ready and
when I get the urge to sample my wines, I can dip the wine thief
in the sulfite solution and start sampling!
To clean my bottles, I soak them for several days in OxyClean,
then remove the labels. When I am ready to bottle, I rinse them
with the sulfite solution. The sulfite solution adds a little
more sulfite to the wine, without affecting the flavor.
---If you would like to offer your comments and/or
suggestions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
This month, we have added four new wine concentrate
kits from the Cellar Classic Harvest line. As with all of the
RJ Spagnols kits, these kits also make 30 bottles of premium
quality wine. The four new kits are listed below:
Also, be sure to check out our new labels.
Even though spring has just started and Christmas
is still 8 months away, if you want to make wine to give
as Christmas presents, now is the time to start your planning.
For my Christmas wine this year, I am going to make Ice Wine
Style wine(see correction below!). Ice Wine in the store
costs anywhere from $20-$80
bottle, but with this month's special, you can make it for $4.00
a bottle. If you, too, think this would be an excellent present,
we are offering the following special for the month of May:
- White Ice Wine Christmas Package $109.99
- Red Ice Wine Christmas Package $114.99
With each of these packages, you get 1 Ice Wine Style wine concentrate
kit, 2 cases (24 bottles) of Bellissima bottles, 30 finevinewines.com
perfect corks, 30 Shrink Wrap Capsules and 30 custom wine labels.
This represents a savings of over $17.00 (14%) and works out
to less than $4.00 per bottle. When ordering, just enter "Christmas
Special" in the special instructions box on the the order form
and I will take care of the rest.
Don't forget that when you are finished with your tutorial VHS
tape or CD, you can return it for a credit of $19.95. Also,
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 conjunction
with any other discounts.
For those of you in the FVW
Growers Club, all monthly discounts are always in addition
to your 5% permanent discount.
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 definitely 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
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.
Effective March 1, 2004, we have a customer referral
program that provides for additional discounts to registered users.
We will give you a coupon worth 10% of the first order placed
by any person that you refer to our web site. The only stipulations
are as follows:
- You must be a registered user of finevinewines.com,
- The person placing the order must register and provide your
name in the appropriate field on the registration screen, and
- The discount is only good for future orders with finevinewines.com
and is not redeemable for cash.
That all you have to do to get another discount from finevinewines.com.
We appreciate all of your comments, whether good
or bad. To demonstrate our commitment 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
May 3, 2004
First, do not use bleach as a cleaner or sanitizer. Based on
subsequent comments, some people use bleach for sanitizing beer
equipment, but Bleach is NOT recommended for wine equipment.
Secondly, there have been some questions regarding how much
sulfite to use when sanitizing. The jar of Potassium Metabisulfite
says 2 ounces per gallon, while I stated 3 tablespoons per gallon.
3 tablespoons is about 2 ounces, so the amounts are similar.
Lastly, regarding the Ice Wine Style wine, I offer this kit
now as it takes 6 months to age, so if you start it now, it will
be ready for Christmas. You should also note that you need a
3-gallon carboy to make this wine, as it makes 30-375ml bottles
(splits). In addition, the instructions suggest filtering, but
I do not recommend this as filtering will remove some of the
color, taste and aroma. If you rack and age the wine properly,
filtering is not required.
Please accept my apologies for the miss-information, confusion
and the omission of the additional information on the Ice Wine
Style and thanks to my readers for sending me their comments.
I will be more thorough in future newsletters.
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