Beer & Wine Hobby Blog

  • Winexpert LE16 Wines

    We've been asked so many times - what exactly are WinExpert Limited Edition wines? So I thought I would give you an explanation of the program and why you should consider them!

    For years, WinExpert has created some really excellent Limited Edition wine kits. These kits are really special - they often contain pure varietals or blends that you may have never experienced. This year, WinExpert is releasing some blockbusters, that I really look forward to making and tasting. The kits are Eclipse-quality - the finest wine kits offered by WinExpert - and they are best enjoyed when aged 6 or more months.

    The releases are monthly starting in January and the schedule is:
    January
    Cabernet Franc
    Vermentino

    February
    Milagro

    March
    Blanc de Noir

    April
    Grenache Cabernet

    Each wine is unique and you can read their detailed descriptions at the links below.  What we've found though is that WinExpert really takes time in selecting their grapes to ensure an AMAZING wine - like the Cab Franc from Washington's Yakima Valley.  Usually a great blending grape, the Washington Cab Franc is literally the finest our country has to offer.  It grows at the same latitude of France's Loire Valley, and the climate makes the pure varietal wine absolutely exceptional.

    Similar to the Cab, the Vermentino is sourced from another fine winemaking region - Tuscany!  The Italian white is easy on the palate and perfect for summer parties.

    The Blanc de Noir is special.  Made from red pinot noir grapes, the blanc de noir grape is crushed and immediately pressed, creating a white wine that is wonderfully bodied and refreshing and crisp.

    To learn more visit this page and choose your wine: Winexpert Limited Edition Wines.  

    Remember, if you want to make these exquisite wines, be sure to order by November 30!  Choose your delivery method and we'll either ship your kit when it arrives, or notify you to stop by!

  • Fall Harvest Update

    We expect to see some grape varietals the weekend of September 12 - barbera, muscat, thompson seedless and many others. Be sure to order early to get the freshest grapes!

  • The Fall Harvest Grape Flyer

    Its time again to get your grapes and juice for winemaking! This year we're offering grapes from Southern and Northern California with a special surprise - grapes from Paso Robles! Get the grape flyer here or go to www.beer-wine.com and order online.

  • Meet Christina Musto of Lanza Musto Vineyards

    Here's an event to put in your calendar - taste fine wines of the vineyards from which we offer grapes!

    Stop by this Saturday 12-3 for a special wine tasting event and meet Christina Musto of Lanza-Musto Vineyards. We source grapes for you from this exquisite vineyard, located in Suisun Valley, CA, one mountain range away from Napa Valley. The terrior and climate of Suisun is identical to Napa, producing wonderful award-winning wine grapes and wine varietals.

    Be sure to stop in this Saturday and taste these fine wines. And don't forget, even if you want to try a couple cases we will crush and destem the grapes for you.

    Lanza-Musto wine grapes are exclusively available at Beer & Wine Hobby!

  • Beer & Wine Hobby's Brew Club! First meeting Thursday, May 7, 6:30 - 9 PM

    One of our great friends asked recently 'hey, would you be interested in having a brew club at Beer & Wine Hobby??'  It took about 3 seconds to think about it, and the answer was a resounding 'Yes!!'  So here we are, ready to launch something new for our Brewers - your own brew club with a place to call home!

    Our all-grain teacher, Erick C., will be our Inaugural Club Leader.  He's the brains behind the Club - the guy who thought up the idea and put our collective words into action.  Erick - thanks from all of us at Beer & Wine Hobby for spearheading the effort!

    We have some basic principles that we hope you'll appreciate.

    • Our Brew Club is open to all brewers, regardless of expertise . Extract or all-grain brewing.  Newbie or seasoned brewer.  Your expertise level is expected to grow as you both learn and share.

    • We are all about learning.  This club will help you learn about every aspect of beer.  Share and participate.  Sample unique styles.  Suggest new topics...and maybe even present a topic!  The Club is yours to build.

    • New brewers are always welcome.  If you've never brewed before, we'll teach you how to make fine craft beer from the first batch.

    • Participation is FREE.  There are no dues, no room fees, nothing.  If you want to have light refreshments before meetings, we will accept donations to cover their cost.

    Please join us!  Our first meeting is Thursday, May 7.  Arrive between 6:30 and 7:00 PM.  The meeting will start promptly at 7.  Please click here to reserve your spot in the first meeting.

    First meeting topics:

    • Name the Club
    • Set club guidelines
    • Brainstorm meeting topics
    • Open Question and Answer Period
  • How to Adjust Specific Gravity

    Specific Gravity Adjustments

    To increase the specific gravity of juice: Add table sugar to increase the gravity. To calculate the amount needed, take an initial gravity reading, then subtract that from the specific gravity you wish to begin with. The difference will determine approximately how much sugar to add (use column on right). Continue reading

  • Wine Making from Concentrates

    Winexpert "I Made This" DVD
    These easy-to-follow instructional videos for Winexpert kits will help you make the perfect wine every time! If you are just starting out, wine concentrates offer an easy way for you to get rolling. They come with simple directions and all the ingredients pre-measured and ready for use, that eliminates all of the guess-work. Concentrate kits produce impressive grape wines with remarkable flavor, body and character for a fraction of what they would cost you at the store. A truly rewarding hobby! Continue reading

  • Buon Vino Filter Trouble Shooting

    Q: Why Should I use "Buon Vino" Filter Pads?

    A: You should use Buon Vino Filter Pads because the micron sizes and consistency of Buon Vino Filter Pads have been designed to give optimal performance when used with Buon Vino wine filters. The flow rate of the pump is designed to work in conjunction with the Buon Vino Filter Pads to give you the best filtration possible. For more information, please visit the Filter Pads page here.  Continue reading

  • Grains for Brewing

    Barley malt is the basis of most beers. The malting process converts the starches in the grain to sweeter, softened kernels. The grain is first steeped in water until it has absorbed a fair amount of moisture; then drained and kept at controlled temperatures until it begins to sprout. During this time, enzymes are activated which will later convert starch to sugar. The sprouting is halted by gently drying the malt. The sprouts are removed and the malt cured before use. The remaining starches are later converted in a process called “mashing” to fermentable sugars by the previously activated enzymes. Modification refers to how much of the original starch had been used in the germination process. The higher the modification, the more starch was used. Highly modified malts are easier to mash, yield a clearer beer, but also have less sugar to extract into the wort. Less modified malts will yield more sugar after a mash, but also require a controlled mash schedule and protein rest. Continue reading

  • Using Your Buon Vino Filter

    Filtering can render wine instantly clear. Filtration can remove yeast, bacteria, and grape debris from the wine, making it more stable. Stable wines are less likely to change their appearance or taste with time. By removing yeast or bacteria that could referment the sugars, the amount of SO2 and other chemical preservatives can be reduced.

    Filtering works by removing small particles from wine. If your wine is young (less than two months old) or very cloudy, a filter will clog too quickly to clear any of the wine. The large particles in a young or cloudy wine block the filter pads, causing the pressure inside the filter plates to rise. This in turn causes the wine to spray out the sides of the filter and puts stress on the pump and hoses. Continue reading

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