Making my first wine, thawing out the grapes currently (making a dry red wine), probably start fermentation tomorrow. The LHBS didn't have any bacteria in stock and won't get any until next weekend. I looked online, but the shipping kills you (those flat rate shipping deals that are good for grains make no sense for a pack of dried bacteria you could send with a stamp). The stuff is expensive to start with, and is becoming a real hassle to get.
My question, and I've searched the forum having expected to see it before, is: Is MLF necessary, desirable, or optional? I have Iverson's book, and he seems to swear by it. I don't mind $10 if it will make a difference, no reason to skimp after spending all that money on grapes LOL But if it doesn't matter, then I will skip it.
Another question: let's say I can't get any. It seems to me that the wine is going to bulk age for 9-15 months at least. As long as you pick a time when sulfite is low (assuming post fermentation sulfite does dissapate with racking and/or time), couldn't you start an MLF anytime? Certainly not as easy as 90% through fermentation, but possible?