Book Review: The Home Winemaker’s Companion

September 3, 2010

Since I was talking about technical things related to wine making this week, I thought I would find another winemaking book to review. I got my hands on The Home Winemaker’s Companion: Secrets, Recipes, and Know-How for Making 115 Great-Tasting Wines by Gene Spaziani, was a past president of the American Wine Society.

I have to say the lay out is pretty nice, and the pages are done in black and dark red fonts with boxes, so it is laid out really nicely. It starts with essential how-tos, wine from kits, wine from concentrates, wine from juices, white wine from grapes, red wine from grapes, wine from fruit, sparkling and fortified wines, and then troubleshooting. The appendixes contain a winemaking record, fermentation data and bottling data, a wine evaluation, and a list of winemaking suppliers.

Right now, I’m experiment more and more with setting up a lab to test acid and free SO2 in my wines. As part of the how-tos, it gives a basic list of things needed in order to test acid, and step by step directions in numbered bullets on the processes involved. It does the same thing even for simple processes such as racking wine or oaking wine.

I think this book is a great “how-to” book when it comes to making wine because it is bulleted, and the different font colors make it easy to find what you are looking for. However, it appears to be weak on theory, so this is a good beginners book, but not for the intermediate winemaker. However, it does have wine making recipes for grapes, grape concentrates, grape juice, and fruit (none for wine kits since those are designed to be optimal if the directions for the kit is followed).

This book is recommended by Jack Keller,  who probably has the largest collection of fruit wine recipes online.

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