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The Home Winemaker's Companion: Secrets, Recipes, and Know-How for Making 115 Great-Tasting Wines Paperback – July 1, 2000
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From the Back Cover
Making consistently great wine at home is easy; the hardest part is being patient while your wine ages!
About the Author
Gene lives in Connecticut with his wife, Isabel. He has four children and five grandchildren.
Top Customer Reviews
The meat of this book begins with chapter 4, "Wine from Concentrates." And what a chapter it is, covering 13 specific white wine concentrates (Chenin Blanc to Vino Blanc) and 13 specific red wine concentrates (Barbera to Zinfandel), with recipes and step-by-step instructions for each (all suspiciously similar, but if the shoe fits....).
Chapter 5 is "Wine from Juices," and it does a superb job with 15 white grape juices (Chardonnay to Vidal Blanc), 15 red grape juices (Barbera to Zinfandel again, but many in between are different) and one blush.
Chapter 6, "White Wine from Grapes," covers 20 great grapes, from Aurora French-American Hybrid to Vidal Blanc French-American Hybrid, with some real classics in between. Chapter 7 is predictably "Red Wine from Grapes," covering another 20 grapes from Alicante-Bouschet to--again--Zinfandel, but the in-betweens are both classic and unusual.
Chapter 8, "Wine from Fruit," offers up 14 classic non-grape wines--from Apple to Strawberry. I found some of the ingredients thought-provoking(Epsom salts, for example, in fresh-crushed apple juice), but I found their choices of yeast less than inspiring (their heavy reliance on sweet mead yeast was a bit unimaginative, in my opinion).
Chapter 9, "Sparkling and Fortified Wines," offers a very good primer on these subjects, with more emphasis on the latter than the former.Read more ›
Back when I first started brewing beer, I bought a book by Charlie Papazian, called "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing", which ended up really being the only book that I ever needed to go from a beginner to an advanced brewer. By the time I was done with that book, I pretty much knew everything that I needed to know about advanced all-grain brewing right down to the fundamentals of brew chemistry and trouble-shooting. For some reason, I assumed that this book would do the same for me with wine. I got that impression, because the book's description said that it would teach us how to make wine at all stages from kits to whole fruits. However, I found that it didn't really teach much of anything, especially from a chemistry standpoint. It read like a children's cookbook, introducing the reader to some basic wine equipment, glossing over a few fermentation fundamentals, and them jumping straight into the most basic recipes.
The saddest part is that I found this book to be incredibly boring. Each chapter on making wine with different bases had almost the same exact repetition, going through each recipe step by step, over and over again. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it definitely isn't for anybody who wants to move beyond the basics. All of that time spent on repetition would have been better spent on something that added value.
The bottom line is that this book seems to be more geared towards beginners. It would be fine for somebody who is just looking to get his or her feet wet and nothing more. If you want to learn anything beyond that, you really should consider shopping around for something a bit more comprehensive.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book if you are starting to make your own wine. I wish I would have had it before I did my first batch!Published 1 month ago by swhite
Was one if my first books and a good one to have in your library.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I bought a home with Concord grapes, which aren't great for wine, but fortunately this book has a recipe. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Max Reeder
This is a great resource but we found this was the way to go[...]Published 5 months ago by Lauren Heitert