It’s important to do some homework and learn exactly what’s entailed before undertaking the hobby of winemaking. It is not something that can be simply plunged into and then learned along the way. Without the vital research required to have the necessary foreknowledge of each and every critical winemaking step and process, failure is a certainty. When it comes to winemaking, failure can taste as awful as success is sweet.
Winemaking is a fun hobby that can easily be done in one’s spare time and at the end of the process–provided everything goes well–there will be a glorious result. Many people find winemaking to be an addictive pastime, because no matter how well they might do they always envision room for improvement, in the next batch. As more is learned about winemaking and as more wine-making experience is gained the wine will get better and better. As more and more tips and tricks are learned to help improve the final product, an endless process begins of improving the next batch, and then the next batch, and then the next, and so on.
The vast majority of wines are made from grapes for a very good reason: the grape has nearly all of the ingredients necessary to making wine already infused into it. Success in winemaking entirely wrapped up in the balance of chemicals, and the grape has many of the necessary chemicals in it already, in a balanced ideal for winemaking.
The right balance of sugar, tannin, moisture, and nutrients, is vital to creating a quality wine, and it just so happens that the grape perfectly fits the bill. This natural balance allows the grape to ferment exactly as it needs to for successful winemaking. However, selecting the proper grape is only the beginning of a successful winemaking journey.
There are of course many different grapes that can be used in different combinations. As the hobbyist becomes more skilled at winemaking they may want to try adding a bit of some other fruits to the mixture to give the wine some extra depth and flavoring. Reading about the different grapes that can be used in winemaking and how they affect the outcome of the winemaking process can be enormously helpful. Knowing what kind of wine the maker prefers will give them a good idea of which direction to set out in.
As with any hobby, it is important to keep close in mind that winemaking is supposed to be fun. Mistakes are bound to be made, and no one takes up winemaking without making a few along the way. Don’t let mistakes destroy the fun of the hobby. Rather, learn from them and seek to correct them.