Style Design Database

©Copyright Ben Rotter 2001-2008
www.brsquared.org/wine

This list is a database of the different styles, ingredients, philosophies, techniques and winemaking practises commonly adopted when making particular fruit, vegetable, flower, "country", etc wines. It is constantly being added to.


Contents

How to Use
General Practises and Principles
Standards and Notation
Layout
Wine Styles: List of Contents
Unlisted Food Matches
References


How to Use

This approach does not follow the "recipe" approach to winemaking. (See Why this approach? for more on this). It presents information on common practises used, and opinions prevalent, on particular wine types. It requires the winemaker to use her or his own judgement to determine what ingredients and procedures to use to obtain the style of product he or she desires. This is the approach I call "Style Design".

To illustrate by example: say a winemaker wished to make an elderflower wine that had a generally "sweet" profile, with a `sweet', fairly rich aroma and a sweet, medium bodied palate of more complexity than the dry, crisp, directly floral style they had been making in the past. They might then browse through the section on Elderflower wine. Desiring a medium bodied wine with a fairly rich aroma, they might reason that the quantity of flowers used had to be of a moderate amount (therefore choosing to use 350 ml/l given the figures quoted, rather than the low 70 or higher 500), that they would include some raisins for the body they required (choosing 100 g/l), that they needed to balance the sweetness with good acidity (say, an acidity of 6.5 g/l (tartaric) as their own experience with sugar balance indicated), that they would use honey to assist in the sweet-floral character (choosing 100 g/l). Thus, a list of ingredients is constructed. Based on their past experience, they might reason that using hot water to infuse the aroma/flavour caused no significant loss to the aroma/flavour of the wine and therefore they might use boiling water to pour over the flowers before straining and fermenting (which the section on infusion techniques covers). In such a manner, a "recipe" or winemaking schedule that relates directly to the wine style desired is developed.


General Practises and Principles

Practises

It should be noted that there are some procedures or ideas that are generally practised by winemakers, regardless of the wine type. These differ depending on personal preference and are generally not present in the outlines below since they are global procedures and therefore not specific to a wine style. An example of this is the fact that many winemakers freeze their fruit which successfully gives higher juice yields.

Where there is some debate, however, particular points in these areas have been included. Reasoning given by advocates of the different techniques or philosophies are supplied where possible. Examples of such cases include (but are in no way limited to):
  • when acidifying, acids that are not present in the primary fruit in the must should be used to complement those acids present in the must. Thus, when making a peach wine whose primary acid is malic, the addition of tartartic or citric (but not malic) might be used to raise the acidity. (See Elderberry or Rhubarb for a listed example)
  • when infusing flower wines some winemakers use cold water only, believing that the use of heat reduces the aromas because they are driven off by the heat, whereas others use boiling or hot water believing that this method does not reduce aroma or flavour significantly and, in fact, helps to set colour and flavour. (See Elderflower for a listed example)


  • Principles

    There are certain winemaking tenets that apply to all wines. Examples include (but are in no way limited to):
  • the quality of any wine is dependant on the quality of the ingredients used to make it - if low quality ingredients are used, a high quality wine cannot be a reasonably expected outcome.
  • generally speaking, store bought fruits tends to be picked prematurely. Picking fruit fresh and at the peak of ripeness (such as at a "Pick Your Own" fruitfarm) will generally provide superior fruit.
  • blending different varieties of the same fruit can help produce a better wine (more balanced and complex).



  • Standards and Notation

    Measures

    Flowers are measured by volume due to (the unfortunate) convention.
    Measures are generally in metric since this is the international (scientific) standard.
    Tables of equivalent amounts for weight and volume are shown below (Note that British Imperial measures are not the same as US measures, for e.g. 1 Imperial gallon is 4.54 litres, but 1 US gallon is 3.79 litres.)

    Equivalent Weights
    g/llb/US Gal.lb/Imp. Gal.g/US Gal.g/Imp. Gal.
    500.40.5190227
    1000.81.0379455
    1501.31.5569682
    2001.72.0758909
    2502.12.59481137
    3002.53.011371364
    3502.93.513271591
    4003.34.015161818
    4503.84.517062046
    5004.25.018952273
    5504.65.520852500
    6005.06.022742728
    6505.46.524642955
    7005.87.026533182
    7506.37.528433410
    8006.78.030323637
    8507.18.532223864
    9007.59.034114091
    9507.99.536014319
    10008.310.037904546
    Equivalent Volumes
    ml/lpints/US gal.pints/Imp gal.
    500.30.4
    1000.70.8
    1501.01.2
    2001.31.6
    2501.72.0
    3002.02.4
    3502.32.8
    4002.73.2
    4503.03.6
    5003.34.0
    5503.74.4
    6004.04.8
    6504.35.2
    7004.75.6
    7505.06.0
    8005.36.4
    8505.76.8
    9006.07.2
    9506.37.6
    10006.78.0

    Acidity

    Titratable Acidity is measured as tartaric acid in grams/litre (ppt). (Divide by ten to obtain a percentage figure.) This is the standard in America and Australia. France's standard is sulphuric for which conversions may be made by multiplying the tartaric value by 0.654.
    According to the source, "Acid Blend" may refer to a range of different blending proportions. Common blends include: equal proportions of tartaric and malic; equal blends of tartaric, malic and citric; the classic 50% tartaric, 30% malic, 20% citric. When "acid blend" is stated here, figures (or a general idea of proportions) are given.

    Definition Conventions

    "Aroma" refers to the natural smell a wine takes from the fruit, and "bouquet" refers to the complex overtones it may develop with age.


    Layout

    Type: Outlines the primary winemaking material or type of wine
    Fruit: Points concerning the use of the fruit, common wine styles made from it, quantities used, yields and fruit quality
    Must: Covers the contents of the must, additions such as body/vinous character components, acids, tannin, and styles in respect to these; extraction and maceration regimes, etc.
    Fermentation: Fermentation methods, temperatures, etc
    Maturing: Clearing, stability, fining and filtering, and details on the expected maturing of the wines based on various historical data


    Wine Styles: List of Contents

    Click on a title to jump to the relevant section.
    (Listed in alphabetical order)

    Apple
    Blackberry
    Elderberry
    Elderflower
    Coffee
    Cranberry
    Dandelion
    Gooseberry
    Honeysuckle blossom
    Hawthorn blossom
    Orange
    Peach
    Plum
    Port-type
    Rhubarb
    Strawberry


    Apple

    (Note: Apple wine is not the same beverage as cider (called "hard cider" in the USA). Some reasons why, apart from alcohol content, yeasts used, and secondary/sparkling fermentation are listed below.)
    Usually made in dry or medium sweet styles, and good as a sparkling base.

    Fruit
    Fruit - One of the most important factors in making apple wine is the choice of apples to use. A good apple wine rarely comes from a single variety of apple. It is vital to apple wine quality to use a blend of different apple varieties. Without good blending, light bodied, usually flavourless, overly tart or tannic wines generally result.
    Usually the blend for apple wine is not the same as the blend for cider (pure apple juice fermented without chaptalisation, and sparkling). When cider uses a blend, it usually uses sharps and bittersweets. When apple wine is blended it usually uses sharps and sweets, often with a reasonable proportion of `dessert'/`cooking' apples. (Many winemakers recommend not using too many highly aromatic apples. Some advocate small proportions (20% or less) of bitter apples or crabapples in the blend which therefore suggests the use of bittersharps.)
    Most winemakers do not dilute the juice at all.
    Quality - using fresh is best and using old/rotten fruit definitely leads to inferior quality, many buy pre-pressed juice (without preservatives) to avoid the high labour required for apple crush
    Blending - not usually blended, but if so, usually with pineapple, raspberry, and rhubarb

    Must
    Acidity - generally around 6-6.5 g/l (as tartaric). It is recommended to keep acidifying to a minimum. Acidification with citric acid is not advised as it changes the flavour profile of the wine considerably. Most winemakers either use straight malic, a blend of tartaric and malic (60/40% malic/tartaric recommended), or straight tartaric (to support the predominantly malic apple juice).
    High pectin - pectin destroying enzyme recommended.
    Oxidises readily - some use ascorbic acid to inhibit browning, suitable for Sherry imitation.
    Other - honey is sometimes added (values from 200-300 g/l are most common)

    Fermentation
    Final Alcohol - 9 to 10% is a common figure with the upper limits at 12-13%
    Malolactic fermentation - generally not done since this would reduce the acidity to extremely low levels (since malic constitutes most of the acid in apples)

    Maturing
    Clearing - generally quite slow (yeast tend to stay in suspension)
    Oak - oaking is a viable option with apple wine, though some feel it takes away from the fruit profile of the wine
    Ageing - 1.5 to 2 years can significantly `improve' the character of well made apple wine

    Drinking
    Food - cheeses, mushroom cream pasta, poultry, pork, fish, mussels, snails, sweet and sour dishes


    Blackberry

    The most common style is perhaps a dry or off-dry light red style (often quoted as being similar to a Burgundian red). Sweeter styles are often also made.

    Fruit
    Ripeness - as with many other fruits, under-ripe blackberries can be overly acidic and bitter, but riper fruit (indicated best by a shiny black colour) tends not to exhibit these characteristics and has a considerably better flavour development. Brick-red colour (sunburnt or bad), red transitioning to black (under-ripeness - not necessarily a problem), brown or white (bad/infected/withered) are also colour indications to look out for.
    Quantity - conventionally 400-600 g/l. Upper-end advocates use 700-850 g/l.

    Must
    Blending - commonly with apple, blueberry, elderberry, and plum.
    Extraction methods
    Often boiling water is poured over the berries following crush. Many winemakers avoid heating, however, believing it to cause bitterness and drive off aromas.
    Blackberries are most commonly either:
    (1) pulp fermented for 2-6 days; or
    (2) juice fermented (to avoid astringency and potential `off'-seed-flavours that the seeds can impart).
    Cold soaking (pre-fermentation maceration) for 2-3 days is sometimes used as an alternative extraction method to pulp fermentation.
    Tannin - 0.7 g/l (if any)
    Body enhancers - raisins (conventionally 60 g/l but higher band figures reach 100). Sometimes banana (conventionally 50-300 g/l) and/or grape juice/concentrate is added.
    Final Alcohol - most aim for 12-13%
    Acidity - most winemakers adjust acid to around 6 g/l. If added, tartaric or a blend is usually used.

    Fermentation
    Yeast - Burgundy (such as RC212) remains a favourite for many winemakers. (Lalvin's) 71B-1122 and K1-V1116 are also used.
    Cool to moderate temperatures (advocates for cold argue that this maintains fruit aromas, advocates for moderate argue that this gives optimum extraction). Pulp or juice fermentation. The most common approach is moderate-warm pulp fermentation.

    Maturing
    Blackberry wine colour is easily browned by oxidation.
    Fining - if at all, generally done with either egg whites or gelatine for stripping tannins
    Oak - blackberry wine is a prime candidate for oak

    Drinking
    Food - soft cheeses, chocolate, cheesecake, reckoned to suit game, used to marinate chicken & pork


    Cranberry

    Cranberries are considered a great winemaking fruit.
    The "Highbush Cranberry" (Viburnum triloba, native to North America and not of the same family as the traditional common cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)) is widely considered superior. It provides more fruit flavour and requires more ageing.

    Fruit
    Quality - fresh cranberries are considered superior to juice (such as OceanSpray), Highbush cranberries are considered to taste better in the spring than in the fall (autumn)
    Quantity - 300 g/l is considered low, and generally amounts around 400-550 g/l are used

    Must
    Blending - apple, honey (i.e. cranberry melomel)
    Pectin - cranberries are high in pectin so the use of a pectin destroying enzyme is recommended
    Extraction methods commonly include:
    1. Hot infusion (pour boiling water over berries and macerate for 12-24 hours)
    2. Boil berries themselves and pulp ferment
    3. Cold crush and pulp ferment
    Pulp fermentation schedules vary widely from 1 day to up to 2 weeks.
    Body enhancers - considered essential by some (else the wine can be thin and harsh, particularly for the Highbush Cranberry) and recommended by many (but not all). Typically raisins (100 g/l), or grape juice/concentrate (100 ml/l concentrate, 500 ml/l grape juice)
    Sweetness (residual sugar) - usually dry (SG 0.990) but sometimes off-dry (SG 1.005-1.010)
    Final Alcohol - most aim for 12-14%
    Acidification - the must is usually (given the fruit quantities above) acidic enough not to require acidification

    Fermentation

    Maturing
    Fining -
    Ageing - a year is generally recommended and often the wine is rough when 6-12 months old

    Drinking
    Food - often drunk as a good match with poultry, particularly roasted poultry


    Coffee

    Often made in a high-alcohol style with some residual sugar. Most people believe it tastes most simply like a "coffee flavoured wine", as opposed to being unlike coffee (some wines are unlike their primary ingredient in character), and requires ageing before becoming drinkable.

    Coffee Beans
    Generally an acidic coffee is best since it assists with the acid profile. A fresh, fine ground coffee is the most superior for flavour and extraction.

    Must
    Quantity - 2-3 times the normal strength (some quote 30 g/l).
    Extraction - some winemakers choose not to brew the coffee grounds, whereas others brew before making up the must. It should be noted that method of extraction will affect flavour and filter percolated coffee can oxidise coffee and give a very different flavour profile to that of a plunger.
    Chaptalisation - dark honey and/or brown sugar give a more interesting flavour profile.
    Body/vinous character - grape juice/concentrate is generally avoided, raisins are sometimes added at 100 g/l
    Acidification - usually done with an acid blend.

    Fermentation
    Residual sugar - aimed usually around 2%, depending on alcohol level and sweetness desired.

    Maturing
    Fining - generally not needed
    Ageing - generally considered undrinkable in it's youth. After a few years, however, it is deemed interesting and pleasant.

    Drinking
    Food - often drunk as an "after dinner" dessert style wine


    Dandelion

    Dandelion wine is widely considered to be one of the most interesting and individual of fruit/flower/vegetable/(country) wines.

    Flowers
    Quantity - figures vary quite widely, but generally larger amounts are used than the average flower wine, being anywhere between 950 and 5700 ml/l with lower limits at 500 and 750 ml/l.
    Ripeness - ripeness is indicated by the amount of petals that have unfolded. Under-ripe flowers have an obvious central core of unravelled petals.


    ====>> riper ====>>


    Must
    Sweetness - any
    Acidity - typical ranges are from around 5-7 g/l (tartaric); oranges and lemons (which impart extra character) are traditionally used instead of, or with, acid blend
    Body Enhancers - conventionally 60-150 ml/l grape concentrate, 100 g/l raisins
    Tannin - typically 0.18 g/l
    Infusion -
    The most common infusion techniques are:
    double boiling - pour boiled water over the flowers, macerate for 2 days, strain, and boil the liquid on a low heat for 10-60 minutes
    pulp fermentation - flowers pulp fermented for 1-7 days (but most commonly 3)
    pre-fermentation hot extraction - flowers boiled in water for 1 hour and strained
    pre-fermentation immediate hot infusion - boiling water poured over and strained almost immediately
    pre-fermentation hot infusion - boiling water poured over and flowers steeped for 1-2 days
    pre-fermentation hot infusion with maceration - boiling water poured over and flowers fermented for 3 days to 2 weeks before being strained
    pre-fermentation cold infusion - soaked in cold water for 24-48 hours
    Advocates for double boiling argue that the first heating extracts flavour and the second sets the colour and flavour. Those for cold infusion argue that this maintains floral aromas, and those for hot argue that heat sets the colour and flavour without losing quality.
    Destalking/destemming - the stems/stalks of the flower are rarely used, however, the green part of the flower heads often are; the greenery imparts bitterness (and some claim, off-green flavours) and their inclusion is usually practised with heavier/fuller bodied styles and not delicate styles

    Fermentation
    Cool-moderate (12-18 C / 51-62 F) fermentation recommended to maintain fruity aromas.

    Maturing
    A period of 6 to 12 months maturation is generally recommended before drinking and dandelion wine in particular is reputed to benefit from bottle ageing very much.

    Drinking
    Food - usually with fish or salads


    Elderberry

    Elderberries seem enigmatic in that some claim to have produced great wines from them, whereas others find nothing but distaste or imbalance. This may be due to personal tastes, or it may be more complex with such factors as climate, terroir and annual weather playing an important role in berry quality. There is little material on this subject. Current suspicions are that weather and climate have a highly significant influence on the flavour profile.
    Elderberries are rich in colour, tannin, and acidity. At the quantities usually used, some claim that elderberries produce thin wine that lacks flavour over the mid-palate. They are considered a great blending material.

    Fruit
    Ripeness - indicated by colour (black for Sambucus nigra) and the berry cluster drooping
    Quantity - conventionally 200-300 g/l because it was felt that more than this would give too harsher extracts (some winemaker's experience is contrary to this)

    Must
    Blending - commonly banana, damson, sloe, apple.
    Extraction methods include:
    1. Pulp fermentation is commonly held for 1-14 days, with 2-3 days usually recommended for wines hoped to be drunk within 2 years. Beyond this period of extraction, high levels of tannin are released (though tannin polymerisation might be experimented with by extended maceration beyond dryness)
    2. Hot infusion (pour boiling water over berries and let stand 20 mins or so, then crush)
    3. Boiling (some boil the berries with water - some use minimal timing (for e.g., 1 minute) and others use longer times (commonly 30 mins). Advocates of this procedure claim it reduces the samborginic acid present in the berry (a taste many find off putting) and reduces `green' flavours
    4. Cold infusion (crush in cold water, then strain)
    Body enhancers - banana (conventionally 50-300 g/l), raisins (50-200 g/l), grape juice/concentrate, other fruits with good depth mid-palate (eg plums)
    Acidification - There are differing lines of thought on the type of acid to acidify elderberry wines with. Some acidify with citric acid only, believing this to be in keeping with the natural (citric-dominant) acidity of the berry, though others avoid citric entirely due to it's biological instability and opt solely for tartaric instead; others still, acidify with a blend (generally: 50% tartaric, 30% malic, 20% citric). The divide may also demonstrate the differences in styles: citric acid being used to acidify fresh, fruity, younger drinking wines; and blends or tartaric being used for wines intended to age for some time.

    Fermentation
    Cool to moderate temperatures (advocates for cold argue that this maintains fruit aromas, advocates for moderate argue that this gives optimum extraction). Pulp or juice fermentation. The most common approach is a moderate-warm pulp fermentation.

    Maturing
    Fining - generally done with either egg whites or gelatine for stripping tannins, though bentonite is a viable option
    Oak -

    Drinking
    Food -


    Elderflower

    A potent flower that is widely used for winemaking.

    Flowers
    Quantity - traditionally an extremely small quantity of flowers are used with typical figures: 70 (being towards the lower end), 100, 150, & moving to 225 ml/l (at the upper end). Generally winemakers believe that high concentrations lead to a spoiled aroma. I personally encourage a higher concentration of a minimum of 50%/volume (500 ml/l) lightly packed flowers for light to medium bodied styles.
    Flowers - Check the aroma of the flowers before picking (as some shrubs produce unpleasant smelling flowers). Pick from more than one shrub (picking from only one tree may cause a stinky aroma).

    Must
    Sweetness - any; (medium sweet wine of 12% abv is the classic style; but dry, elegant styles work well too)
    Acidity - typical ranges are from around 6-7 g/l (tartaric), with the majority seeming to prefer the lower end of the spectrum. Many feel the lower end is better since this balances with the light-medium bodied floral style wine that elderflower is usually made into. In fuller bodied styles, however, the acid can easily be increased while maintaining balance. Numerous variations in acid types to use exist. Some use a blend of tartaric, malic and citric, while others use largely citric, still others use predominantly malic. Tartaric tends to lend hardness, and solely citric tends to make the wine taste (in many winemaker's opinion) like sweet sparkling beverages (soft drink/soda). Blends may be the most reliable, tending to rely more on malic than tartaric.
    Variations - if you want to try something different from the usual fresh, full floral elderflower aroma wine, try variations such as the addition of honey (conventional wisdom aims at 80 g/l for lighter styles and around 160 g/l for heavier styles) or other flowers (eg roses, honeysuckle - generally 50 ml/l and up). This will produce a more complex wine.
    Infusion -
    Pre-fermentation/during fermentation: some infuse, strain flowers off, and then ferment (believing that boiling reduces aromatics); others allow flowers to ferment in the must for 2-6 days.
    Cold infusion: recommended to the point of obtaining a brilliant gold colour (infusion colour changes from green to gold with time). Cold steeping for 24 hours or so (with occasional disturbance/stirring) is recommended.
    Hot infusion: pour boiling water over flowers / boil flowers in water
    Body/Vinous character - the use of some grape concentrate for vinous character is recommended; raisins (conventional wisdom aims for 100-200 g/l, but 50 g/l is still very apparent in elegant styles) appears too brown in a young wine (less than a few months) but with age gives a deep brown-golden colour
    Tannin - less than 0.22 g/l is recommended for elegant styles, 0.44 g/l is still acceptable (medium grip) in heavier styles.

    Fermentation
    Cool-moderate (12-18 C / 51-62 F) fermentation recommended to maintain fruity aromas.

    Maturing
    A period of 6 months maturation is generally recommended before drinking.

    Drinking
    Food -


    Gooseberry

    Traditional styles include: off-dry ripe (red/yellow) gooseberry, sparkling, dry green gooseberry.
    Gooseberry wine is considered excellent as a sparkling wine base.
    (C.J.J.Berry claimed that green gooseberry wine is similar to "hock" (German Riesling from the Rhine made in an amber-coloured, mature, full-flavoured style), though personally I find this hard to understand. I would associate green gooseberries more with something like a Sauvignon Blanc, not Riesling. The hock style seems unsuited to green gooseberries to me.)

    Fruit
    Quality - gooseberries are seen as a fairly astringent and acidic fruit, the skins being particularly astringent and acidic; however, astringency and acidity reduce drastically as they ripen. Most gooseberries are probably picked unripe (particularly for stores/eating), so if the winemaker has the ability to ripen the fruit this can be highly advantageous. Gooseberries fruit changes from having a "green" under-ripe flavour profile and being highly malic-acidic, through to tropical flavours with acidic and astringent skins, through to having tropical flavours with soft astringency in the skins (if given enough "hang time").
    Quantity - 300 g/l is a conventional figure (for slightly sweet and sparkling styles especially), some advocate higher levels at 600 g/l

    Must
    Infusion - crush by hand, let stand 3 days, strain and inoculate

    Fermentation
    Traditionally:
    Pulp ferment - 3 to 8 days

    Maturing
    12 months maturation generally recommended.

    Drinking
    Food -


    Honeysuckle blossom

    Flowers

    Must
    Infusion -
    Pre-fermentation/during fermentation: some infuse, strain flowers off, and then ferment (believing that boiling reduces aromatics); others allow flowers to ferment in the must for 2-6 days.
    Cold infusion: recommended to the point of obtaining a brilliant gold colour (infusion colour changes from green to gold with time). Cold steeping for 24 hours or so (with occasional disturbance/stirring) is recommended.
    Hot infusion: pour boiling water over flowers / boil flowers in water
    Tannin - around 0.09 g/l

    Fermentation
    Slow and cool, to minimize loss of aromas.

    Maturing
    Simple styles generally peak at 6 months.

    Drinking
    Food -


    Hawthorn Blossom

    Generally produced in a light style, it exhibits sweet floral/honeyed aromas and flavours.

    Flowers
    Quantity - 270 ml/l and up

    Must
    Sweetness - traditionally medium sweet to sweet
    Acidity - typical ranges are from around 5-7 g/l (tartaric)
    Variations - honey (conventional wisdom aims at 80 g/l for lighter styles and around 160 g/l for heavier styles) or other flowers (for e.g., elderflower - generally 50 ml/l and up).
    Infusion - The most common techniques are:
    Cold infusion: recommended to the point of obtaining a brilliant gold colour (infusion colour changes from green to gold with time). Cold steeping for 24 hours or so (with occasional disturbance/stirring) is recommended.
    Hot infusion: pour boiling water over flowers / boil flowers in water
    Body/Vinous character - the use of some grape concentrate for vinous character is recommended; raisins (conventional wisdom aims for 100-200 g/l)
    Tannin - generally 0.22 to 0.44 g/l if any

    Fermentation
    Slow and cool-moderate temperatures (12-18 C / 51-62 F) recommended to maintain fruity aromas.

    Maturing
    A period of 6 months maturation is generally recommended before drinking.

    Drinking
    Food -


    Orange

    Fruit
    Type - Navel oranges give a juice and wine which become bitter, Valencia oranges do not.
    Quality - Over-ripe fruit tends to show stale flavours.
    Skins - Oils from the peel are toxic to yeast and slow fermentation, but the use of peel (not white pith) is often used to enhance the aroma/flavour. The white pith lends bitter flavours and is generally avoided.
    Quantity -

    Must
    Orange juice is easily oxidised and protection against oxidation is therefore of high importance.
    Sweetness -
    Acidity -
    Infusion -
    Body/Vinous character
    Tannin -

    Fermentation

    Maturing

    Drinking
    Food -


    Peach

    Peach wine is generally light bodied and many winemakers consider body enhancers as highly important for this wine type. Others use a higher proportion of fruit than the quoted 350 g/l.

    Fruit
    Quantity - 350 g/l is a very common figure, figures rise from there; winemakers doing high concentrations go from 500 g/l to around 1700 g/l
    Quality - it is particularly important to obtain ripe peaches since flavour development is significantly less at lower ripeness levels
    Skins - the peach skins are generally discarded as they contribute astringent tannins

    Must
    Crush & Extraction - it is probably most common to crush the fruit (discarding stones) and then pour boiling water over the pulp; other winemakers simply crush and ferment, while others do purely juice fermentations. Advocates for the boiling water method believe it results in better extraction, while others believe this extracts excessive phenolics. Some include skins and other do not, avoiding the phenolics this imparts.
    Sweetness - varies widely from bone-dry to sweet, though the most common levels seem off-dry and definitively sweet
    Body enhancers - bananas (100 g/l), raisins, or grape concentrate (100 ml/l, or juice at 400-500 ml/l)
    Tannin - 0.09 to 0.18 g/l if any

    Fermentation
    Commonly either a juice fermentation, or a 5-10 day pulp fermentation.

    Maturing
    Is reputed to mellow considerably after 3-6 months.

    Drinking
    Food - desserts, light fish, poultry, light green salads, cream pasta dishes


    Port-Type

    Fruit
    Use a combination of fruits:
    Primary fruits - elderberries, bilberries, sloes, damsons, blackberries (particularly good for imitating a Tawny as the wine browns significantly with age), deep red plums, cherries
    Background fruit character - raspberries, loganberries, blackcurrants
    Secondary fruits as blends - often include peaches, apples
    Quantities - 0.5 to 3 kg/litre of primary fruit. Examples of average fruit contents from typical blends (these are averaged from sources and may therefore not add up to 100%):
    33% elderberry, 33% blackberry, 17% sloe, 17% blackcurrant, 3% grape concentrate
    70% bilberries, 19% banana, 12% raisin, 10% grape concentrate
    56% apple, 35% elderberry, 8% blackcurrant, 10% grape concentrate

    Must
    Acidity - 4.6-5.4 g/l (tartaric)
    Body enhancers - bananas (commonly 100-200 g/l)
    Body/Vinous character - up to 500 ml/l red grape concentrate
    Aroma enhancers - elderflowers/rose petals (60-120 ml/l), honey
    Raisins - traditionally around 100 g/l is used, but a new stream of thought (emulating the fruit characters found in Port) are experimenting more with higher proportions (I `belong' to this stream and support it)
    Glycerine/Glycerol - some winemakers add glycerol (glycerine) in an attempt to imitate style, and others feel this can imbalance the wine. If adding, aim for 2% (there is, for reference, 1-2% in an average table wine & 2-3% in Sauternes)

    Fermentation
    Pulp fermentation - extended pulp fermentation (at least 5 days) recommended for good extraction.
    Yeast feeding - commonly practised to minimise the amount of distillate/spirit that needs to be added
    Final Alcohol - 18-20%
    Residual sugar - true Ports vary greatly in this regard, with figures usually in the range of 3-9%.

    Maturing
    Usually follows the schedule of commercial Port with bulk/cask maturation and bottling being appropriate to the type of Port made. (Commonly 2-5 years in cask.)
    Oak casks - 20 to 41 litre (4.5 to 9 UK gallon) casks with an 18 month minimum maturation period.
    Oak chips -

    Drinking
    Food -


    Plum

    Fruit
    Recommendations (not mine) for varieties include Friar, Golden Nectar, Victoria
    Quantity - 240-700 g/l by conventional wisdom; I recommend 100% pure plum juice

    Must
    Extraction - simply crush; crush and pour boiling water over; boil fruit (yields more `jammy'/`baked' flavours which some drinkers enjoy)
    Body - there are varied opinions on whether plums generally yield wines with sufficient body (I suspect this is largely to do with fruit quantity, quality and variety).
    Sweetness - varies widely according to taste (though many find the sweeter styles more sickly and/or medicinal)
    Tannin - 0.18 g/l if any
    High in pectin - pectin destroying enzyme recommended.

    Fermentation
    Commonly, pulp fermented on skins for 2 or more days, with upper limits at 7 days (some are weary of high tannin extraction from the skins).
    Pre-dryness racking advocates favour 1st racking at SG 1.030, and again at 1.000

    Maturing
    Clearing - notoriously slow
    In bottle - 6 months and beyond

    Drinking
    Food - mature cheddar, lamb, duck, Asian dishes, Cajuan, curries, venison, fowl


    Rhubarb

    There is a fair amount of debate over rhubarb: primarily over whether it produces a "good" wine or not. Based on the fact that it is malleable (in blending it marries well with other wines), in style (it is produced successfully in a variety of styles - see below), its individuality, its ageability, and even its flavour profile (whether you like it or not), I it's fair to say it's a great winemaking ingredient.
    It seems to be a wine for which there is a sharp divide between those who like and those who dislike it. In addition, it should be pointed out that people who do not like rhubarb generally dislike the wine too.
    Many consider it's flavour profile similar to some grape wines (especially aged examples), though others would argue that it produces a very individual wine unlike that of the grape.

    Styles
    Range widely from dry to dessert, a blending material (it marries well, taking up the flavour of another wine), a sparkling base, from pale white to gold to rosé styles.

    Fruit (technically the leaf petiole)
    Quantity - use 275 g/l fruit and up. Higher-band advocates use quantities of 600-850 g/l.
    Maturity - most advocate harvest before June (northern hemisphere) and generally in late May, while others enjoy the different characteristics that the `riper fruit' gives.
    Forced rhubarb is considered by some to offer the highest in rhubarb quality; being sweet, bright pink in colour, and having a delicate flavour. (Forcing is conducted during the late winter and early spring by exposing the rhizome to freezing temperatures (0 C, 32 F) and then bringing it into a dark and cool environment (10 C, 50 F).)

    Must
    Toxicity/chalking - rhubarb contains oxalic acid which is poisonous. Most of this acid is in the leaves, not the stem. Ensure to use the stem and NOT the leaves. Extraction using heat or pulp fermentation should be avoided to reduce the oxalic acid content. Some use calcium carbonate (chalk) to remove the oxalic acid from the must (it reacts with the oxalic before the malic), but the consensus is that a drastic treatment in acid removal is destructive to the quality and individuality of the final product (and certainly that reacidification with citric acid alone is detrimental to quality). The acid profile of rhubarb is one of the things which gives it it's characteristics and individuality and to remove this therefore loses some of the great features rhubarb wine has to offer. There is some doubt and debate as to whether the removal of the oxalic acid is necessary at all given the small quantities usually found in the wine.
    Chalking amounts - http://rhubarbinfo.com/rhubarb-poison.html quotes that the maximum water soluble oxalic acid content in the petiole is 0.32%. Given the chemical equation,
    CaCO3 (calcium carbonate/chalk) + HOOCCOOH (oxalic acid) ---> H2CO3 + CaO4C2
    a rough estimate might be made for the amount of CaCO3 required to precipitate out the oxalic acid. Disclaimer: this is for the interest of the calculation only and is not intended as advice; people using this information use it at their own risk.
    Based on this information, for every kilogram of fruit, there are 3.2 grams of oxalic acid present. Using basic stoichiometry, for total precipitation this requires (3.2 / 90) * 100.1 = 3.56 g of CaCO3 (about 1/17 ounce CaCO3 per pound of fruit). In the case of maximum oxalic acid in the leaf blade, 0.72% is quoted (which includes soluble and insoluble oxalic acid). Thus, for every kilo of fruit, 8.01 g of CaCO3 is required (about 1 and 1/3 ounces CaCO3 per 10 pounds of fruit). Amounts commonly quoted are in excess of these at 6-10 g/kg.
    Sweetness - Excellent dry to sweet (made in a range of styles from bone-dry to dessert-style).
    Acidity - rhubarb is quite high in acid so watch out for high acidity (if encountering problems with dry styles, try different extraction techniques; perhaps keep the `fruit' content low, sweeter styles may balance this out).
    Tannin - 0.09 g/l for ageing potential
    Extraction techniques:
    1. Simply pressed or crushed, chopped in an electric blender using cold water only (see "Toxicity" above). Often water is run over the pulp numerous times to extract the maximum possible flavour from the stems.
    2. Crush fruit and cold soak for 3-10 days before straining off liquid.
    3. Dry sugar extraction method: slice the `fruit' and cover with sugar until the sugar dissolves. (Usually 1-3 days.)

    Fermentation
    Generally juice fermented (also see "Toxicity" above).
    For sweet dessert wines, feeding the yeast is recommended.

    Maturing
    Rhubarb wine is often harsh in its youth and some maturity is a great benefit. It ages well, with the sharp acids and the finish mellowing. Sweet styles may survive 30 years (first hand experience here)!

    Drinking
    Food - grilled salmon, fruit (dessert pie) crumbles, cheese fondue


    Strawberry

    Strawberries produce a light rosé or `light-red' wine. Generally made in a fresh and delicate style. It is a fragile wine and many winemakers believe that even light fining and filtration can be detrimental to it. Some winemakers tend to produce slightly oxidised, heavier styles and these are often criticised.

    Fruit
    Quality - it is important to use fully ripe fruit
    Sugar - sugar content often varies by 1.030 (SG) degrees (8 Brix) in strawberries, light brown sugar is preferred by some winemakers for chaptalising
    Quantity - 350 to 440 g/l by the diluted (added water) convention but many people make strawberry wine with 100% strawberry juice (and sugar) and no added water (figures around 1000 g/l are often quoted as the lower end of this spectrum)
    Blend - quite commonly with raspberry or malic-acid-dominated fruits

    Must
    Cold infusion - crush and leave 24-36 hours, strain, inoculate
    Body enhancers - 60 g/l raisins
    Sugar - potential alcohol for 11-12% abv is the most common, above 12% is generally considered too 'hot' for strawberry wine's delicacy
    Acidity - usually around 6.5 g/l, acidification is usually done with citric based on the belief that it complements strawberries best
    Tannin - 0.2 to 0.4 g/l is common; usually added to fuller and longer-lasting styles, look out for tannin extraction from seeds if conducting a pulp fermentation

    Fermentation
    Pulp fermentation - many choose a relatively short period of 2-3 days to avoid picking up excessive phenolics (particularly bitter tannins) from the strawberry seeds, however, some winemakers macerate longer for good colour extraction (7 days)
    Temperature - cool fermentations (below 16 C) tend to preserve aromatics and freshness well

    Maturing
    Fining - both white and red wine fining regimes are used
    Clearing - usually 1-3 months
    Bulk maturing - usually minimal (e.g. 1-3 months), largely because the aim is to maintain youthful freshness
    Ageing - Strawberry wine generally peaks at a young age. Simple strawberry wine peaks at around 1 year. Those with higher acid/tannin/body are generally drunk after a minimum of 1 year's ageing. Generally, strawberry wine is not considered to have great ageing potential.

    Drinking
    Food - chocolate, cheesecake, ice cream, trifle


    Unlisted Food Matches

    Apricot - roast pork and crackling
    Blueberry - blue/smoked cheese, chocolate, game, red meats, fowl, salmon
    Cherry - chocolate, cheesecake, pork, poultry
    Clementine - chicken/turkey
    Nectarine - pork, poultry, cheese, fruit
    Pear - seafood, shellfish, poultry, pork, cheese
    Raspberry - spicy/chilli, sweet raspberry - ice cream


    References

    Data is sourced from a wide range of references including:
    rec.crafts.winemaking UseNet Newsgroup, worldwide
    First Steps in Winemaking, C.J.J.Berry, 1991 reprint used, Hampshire, England
    Progressive Winemaking, Peter Duncan & Brian Action, 1967. 1991 reprint used, England
    Winemaking Home Page, Jack Keller, Texas, USA
    rec.crafts.winemaking Collected recipes, Don Buchan

    Indirect references (sited in sources) include:
    The Joy of Home Winemaking, Terry A. Garey, 1996
    Winemaker's Recipe Book, Raymond Massaccesi, 1976
    Winemaking: Recipes, Equipment and Techniques for Making Wine at Home, Stanley F. & Dorothy Anderson, 1989, ?California, USA
    Home Wines of North America, Dorothy Alatorre
    Winemaking Month by Month, Brian Leverett
    Wines from the Wild, Steven A. Krause