adding character to "welches" wine

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Tim Rhoads

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Folks,
I have made lots of wine, mostly from Muscadines that I grew in Georgia years back. Now I am in Virginia. I planted 10 Norton vines last year and they are not yet producing. I could not buy grapes this year from local wineries due to short from the drought. So, I made Welches concentrate wine this year. It is tasty but lacks character - rather bland. My question: do you have suggestions of some way to add character to the concentrate wine such as you would expect in a good merlot, cabernet or sangiovese? I wonder if it is an astringency issue, and will add extra tannic acid to the next batch to test this theory. Beyond that, I am at a loss. Teach me. See my current recipe below. Thanks in advance.

3 x 12 ounce containers of welches concentrate
2.5 pounds sugar
7 quarts water
4 teaspoon acid blend
1/4 teaspooon tannin
1 teaspoon pectic enzyme
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
Lalvin Bourgovin yeast
 
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Tim Rhoads

Tim Rhoads

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Thanks HB 99. I have never heard of using malto-dextrin in wine but I will give it a try. Actually this is not the type of character that I am refering to. People who like really good reds with "big" flavors (like good examples of Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon etc.) know what I mean by character. The flavor that I am talking about is what a person who dislikes reds would call "harshness." This character comes from the skins, part of it being astringency from tannins. As for the rest? Not sure. Concentrate wines just dont have it. Other than simply adding more tannins, what can I do to add more of this character to a welches concentrate wine? Thanks again in advance
 

Yooper

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Well, sometimes the welch's is too tart, so if you sweeten it up to 1.000 or so with some honey (after stabilizing) that might help. Oaking it a bit really helps, too. I would also consider adding tartaric acid to taste, if the welch's is "flabby". More tannin would also help.

What is lacking? Is is acid? a "bite" (tannin)? I'd pull off a sample and try adding some tartaric acid, or sweetening and see if that helps. Add some tannin and see what that does to your sample. I would think that the acid in the welch's would be enough, especially since you added acid blend, but it might be lacking the tartaric acid you've come to expect in wine grapes.

I wouldn't go with malto dextrine- that would make it "thick". If it's lacking legs, though, you could try glycerin.

Also, remember what you're dealing with! Concord grapes are not used for wine except in rare cases (think MadDog 20/20) because they are not really suitable wine grapes. You can't expect the body/flavor/richness of wine grapes in a concord grape. That's like expecting filet mignon out of a cow's hoof. You might make an ok table wine (and you can!- I do it with Welch's) but it will not be a cabernet.
 
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Tim Rhoads

Tim Rhoads

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Thanks Yooper,
I will try your suggestions. Yes, I may have unreasonable expectations. It is actually fairly good as is.
 

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homebrewer_99 said:
That's OK, I've never actually heard of anyone referring to Welches Grape Juice as wine either...;) :D
Haha, Bill, it sounds like you need to be "converted" to the Welch's corner. You're right- it's not fine wine, but it's actually pretty good!
 

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I have a welches wine in secondary now with 6 blocks of dry white oak floating away that are 1 3/4" x 1 3/8" x 2 1/8" (119cm of surface area each). I am hoping that this will give the concoction the genuine complexity that actual wood can offer, rather than trying to rely solely on prepackaged tannins.....(hoping)

~M~
 
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How did this welches oaking experiment come out? I have some welches in secondary right now, and a bag of oak cubes came in the mail today. I am new. Can I just put a few of them in there, or do I have to "sanitize them" somehow?
 
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