I made blackberry wine! It took two months to get it ready to bottle. Two months of sanitizing things, smashing berries, measuring sugar levels with a hydrometer, watching yeast bubble, stirring, adding mysterious ingredients, siphoning, and wondering if I was doing everything right. It was all very science-y.
I bottled my wine earlier this week, and it took every ounce of my strength to get the corks into the bottles. After corking I realized I hadn’t even tasted it, so I poured some of the overflow into a glass and sniffed it like a fancy wine tasting person. It smelled like… farts.
As you can imagine, I was bummed that my 2 months of work had yielded fart wine. I figured I’d never drink it, although it did taste better than it smelled. I’d been dreaming up my wine bottle packaging all summer, so I went ahead and designed labels just to cheer myself up.
After stepping away for a day and letting my frustration fade, I did some more sniffing and googling. I realized the smell was actually sulfur. Hydrogen sulfide is produced during the fermenting process naturally, but if something is a little off you can end up with sulfur scented wine. I read that decanting the wine could cause the sulfur smell to fade and make it taste better. I figured it was worth a try, so I set a glass of wine out on the counter and kept sniffing it every hour or so. Roughly 5 hours later it smelled like wine and tasted decent too. Even Daniel approved. Whew!
As I made my wine I jotted down the process, but I’m not going to share the instructions since it didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. I mean, when have you ever bought a bottle of wine that needed to air out for 5 hours so the fart smell could dissipate? I’m guessing never.
I will say that I started with this kit to make 1 gallon of wine. The kit came with booklet of recipes to make a bunch of different fruit wines, but the instructions are incredibly vague. I had to piece together the process from YouTube videos, blogs, and winemaking forums. So, maybe I should just be happy my wine turned out as well as it did!
Have you ever made wine or beer… or moonshine? ;) I don’t know if I’ll try it again, but I like having a better understanding of the process and an appreciation for how much work goes into a bottle of wine. Now that it’s all said and done, designing the label was absolutely my favorite part!