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how to make red wine? (Ingredients + Recipe)

would you like to know how red wine is made? Red wine is very well known, its taste, aroma and color make it a flagship drink for thousands of people who are seduced by its general qualities. Red wine has a wide range of followers who prefer it over other alcoholic beverages thanks to its style, but do we really know how red wine is made?

And the fact is that we are talking about a very particular broth, so its elaboration method contains several interesting factors that result in an exquisite companion. Making red wine is a millenary process that over time has become more sophisticated, leading to the implementation of highly complex methods. However, its main root is the same, the use of grapes, so understanding how red wine is made allows us to open our intellectual wealth.

how is red wine made?

Making red wine is not just anything, and its elaboration method includes several factors that must be taken into account in order to obtain a quality and exquisite flavor broth. In addition, each grape variety used has its own way and its care, and the main base of our wine is the juice of interest.

In order to understand how to make red wine it is important to know what steps we must follow to obtain an optimal broth, that is why we will indicate below what steps are used. Making red wine includes a main element, the grape, which is the protagonist of resulting in a quality wine.

There is a wide variety of grape varieties that, thanks to their qualities, give way to unique wines in the world. If the winemaker wants to make very fruity young red wine, he usually uses the carbonic maceration method, which is nothing more and nothing less than the whole bunch method, while if he wants to make a higher quality wine, which is usually the most used, he goes for the destemming and crushing process.

what are the steps to make red wine?

Each winery has its own winemaking methods, but in general they usually go hand in hand with a method that allows to obtain all the benefits of the vine.

1.- Destemming

Destemming is a process through which the grapes or vines are separated from the cluster, this process is also known by many connoisseurs as “raspón”. In ancient times, this process was done by hand; however, nowadays the process has advanced and special machines known as destemmers are usually used.

The branches and leaves of the vine tend to generate bitter aromas and flavors to the must during its subsequent maceration, so it is necessary to remove them and for this purpose the grapes that have been selected in the harvest are separated from the rest of the bunch.

2.- Crushing

Once all the grapes are removed from the bunch, they are taken to a machine called a crusher, also known as a treader. Here the skin of the grapes, known as the skins, is broken and the maximum amount of must is extracted from the vine. The crushing must be very thorough, and it must be avoided at all costs that the seeds of the grapes are broken, because if this happens then it can give bitterness to the must. Once the grapes are crushed, a liquid paste is obtained to which the sulfur dioxide is added, then it is transferred to a tank, where the fermentation process begins.

3.- Maceration and alcoholic fermentation

Once the grapes are crushed and the desired liquid paste is obtained, they are kept at a controlled temperature for a few days. This process is known as maceration, a point of vital importance in our red wine production.

Maceration allows fermentation, giving rise to the must to acquire its color and characteristics thanks to the direct contact with the pigments of the skins. It is precisely the grape skins that provide the indispensable elements that distinguish the wine, such as tannin, among other factors.

The maceration is carried out in tanks and it is through the yeasts naturally present in the grape skins that the fermentation process begins, also known as alcoholic fermentation, since the sugar in the grapes is transformed into ethyl alcohol. It is fermentation that allows carbon dioxide to rise to the surface, producing a bubbling that carries away the solid parts of the mixture. This effect creates a solid layer on the surface composed of skins, pulp and pips that float on top of the must, a process also known as capping.

During the process and to facilitate the solid parts remaining in contact with the must, pumping-over is carried out, which is simply the extraction of the must from the lower part of the tank to reintroduce it from above, watering the cap.

Then comes the bazuqueo, a phase in which the cap is broken manually with the help of a stick so that it mixes with the must, and in which the skins end up transferring some properties to the wine that make it characteristic. The whole process can take between 10 and 14 days, and its temperature should not be higher than 29°C, so after this time the liquid is transferred to another tank to begin another phase.

4.- Pressing

Once the devatting is done, the solid result is subjected to pressing to extract all the wine. The remains, known as pomace, are sent to the distilleries for subsequent distillation. According to the type of pressing, different qualities of wine are obtained, which are defined by the expert.

5.- Malolactic Fermentation

Once the wine has gone through the previous steps and to better understand how red wine is made, the wine obtained is again subjected to a new fermentation process which takes between 15 and 21 days, allowing the malic acid together with citric and tartaric acid to be converted into lactic acid, resulting in a much more pleasant wine for the final consumption.

6.- Racking

At the end of its second fermentation, the wine is transferred from one tank to another in a process known as racking, which allows the wine to be clean by accumulating at the bottom the solid matter remaining after the initial process.

The racking process is repeated periodically, which avoids possible contamination caused by solid remains present in the wine at the time of its elaboration and allows aerating the wine, an important step that will allow obtaining a much more optimal and better quality wine.

7.- Clarification

To continue understanding how red wine is made, it is important to know the fining process, in which organic substances are usually used to drag the wine’s impurities to the bottom. This is carried out in barrels and, if necessary and considered necessary, can even lead to filtering.

8.- Aging or Crianza

After going through the previous phases and obtaining a completely clean wine, the aging process takes place in oak barrels. These barrels are special, that is to say, the wood with which they are made is generally French or American oak and they go through a heat process that gives them shape.

And when they come into contact with fire, the inside of the barrels will present different degrees of toasting that will modify the character of our wine. It is important to know that the barrels in which the wine is aged or aged are chosen according to their hardness, permeability and porosity, which allow the wine to obtain aromatic notes that give our wine its own identity, such as: woody, toasted, smoky, citric, among others.

In general, the wines that undergo this process are the Reserva, Gran Reserva and Crianza, while the young wines are released immediately to the market.

9.- Bottling

Once the previous process has been completed, the wine is bottled, which allows the wine to evolve efficiently, as the cork is placed in the bottle, it assimilates the oxygen, achieving the perfect point necessary for the final product. Bottle aging allows the wine to stabilize and its organoleptic properties to achieve the perfect balance resulting from its time in oak barrels. how is red wine made?

is a question that many curious and information-hungry people ask themselves, because the world of wine is full of secrets. These secrets are due to the expertise and personal touches of each winery, which also allow each wine to be different and unique. Red wine is one of the world’s favorite beverages, thousands of people prefer it thanks to its quality and flavor, which also allows to accompany different foods, achieving a point of explosion of flavors that make our taste buds enjoy much more.

Knowing how red wine is made allows us to enter a world unknown to many followers of this fascinating and elegant alcoholic beverage that travels the world and that today remains among the great preferences.

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