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The Home Winemaker's Companion: Secrets, Recipes, and Know-How for Making 115 Great-Tasting Wines Paperback – July 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Few pleasures are more gratifying than pouring a glass of fine wine, admiring its clarity and color, savoring its rich bouquet, raising it to your lips, and knowing that you made it yourself. With this complete guide to home winemaking, such pleasures can be yours with little fuss and lots of fun. The Home Winemaker's Companion will guide you as you progress from making your very first batch of kit wine to mastering advanced techniques for making wine from fresh grapes. Included are Gene Spaziani's tried-and-true recipes for 115 delectable wines -- even port and champagne!

Making consistently great wine at home is easy; the hardest part is being patient while your wine ages!

About the Author

Author Ed Halloran is a freelance writer, a radio and television commentator, and a college marketing professor.


Author Gene Spaziani has been a home winemaker for over 40 years. He shares his knowledge by teaching wine courses in New Haven and Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is a charter member of the Society of Wine Educators, president of Amenti del Vino-The Wine Society, and a past president of the American Wine Society. Together with Ed Halloran, Gene has co-written the Storey book, The Home Winemaker's Companion. Their book is a complete guide for the beginning or advanced winemaker, with instructions for using concentrates, kits, juices, fruits and herbs to create a wide variety of homemade wines. In addition, Gene is a writer for New England Wine Gazette, WineMaker Magazine, and the American Wine Society Journal. At the sixth annual Connecticut Amateur Home Winemakers Competition, Gene took home the show's highest award. He won Best of Show for his 1996 Cabernet Franc, as well as gold, silver, and bronze medals for other entries. He has also won gold medals for his entries in the American Wine Society Amateur Competition, the Indiana State Fair Amateur Wine Competition, the Connecticut Amateur Wine Competition, and the Pittsburgh Amateur Wine Competition.

Gene lives in Connecticut with his wife, Isabel. He has four children and five grandchildren.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580172091
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580172097
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
We are the owners of Maltose Express, the largest winemaking and homebrew store in Connecticut. Whenever a winemaker is looking for a winemaking book, whether the customer is a novice or an experienced winemaker, this book is the one we sell them. It is written by a home-winemaker who knows his craft; after all, he has been making award-winning wine for over 40 years. Not only is Mr. Spaziani a past president ot the American Wine Society and teaches college classes on winemaking and appreciation, but he is also ranked as one of the top ten national home wine-makers ever! This is one author of a winemaking book that doesn't just sit in front of a computer and write. He makes alot of wine and has the purple hands in September and October to prove it! Follow his advice, methods and use his expertise to make your own luscious and award winning wines. Buy this book, your next wine might be a gold medal winner!
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Format: Paperback
Gene Spaziani and Ed Halloran have written a book that needed to be written. The first three chapters are the obligatory "how to make wine" chapters ("Getting Started," "Essential How-Tos" and "Wine from Kits"). These have been done better by others, but the book would be incomplete without them.
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.
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By A Customer on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a newer wine maker and as such, I found this book to be just what I needed to help get the job done! Other books I own were much more difficult to follow or they went off on some tangent or were incomplete. The Home Winemaker's Companion achieves exactly what is needed to help anyone make good drinkable wine and have fun. Thank You!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This might be fine for beginners, but it will probably be a bit of a disappointment for anybody who wishes to move beyond that point. Frankly, I was expecting 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.
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Format: Paperback
I have been making wine for over 20 years, and can attest that the book will provide all of the information needed to make the adventure of winemaking a success.The chapter on "Essential How-Tos" and "Troubleshooting" will be enormously helpful to any serious homewinemaker. A great addition to any library.
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