Author Topic: Where does wine flavor come from?  (Read 1228 times)

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3163
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Where does wine flavor come from?
« on: November 21, 2009, 10:24:31 AM »
This is a cross-post from the NB forums. My apologies for the inherent tackiness.

I have a fair amount of experience with brewing, but I've never made wine. Not that I dislike it; I just don't drink enough wine for it to be worthwhile. Over the past few days, though, I've been experimenting with blending some wines and beers and it's gotten me thinking about trying something like that on my own. I'm thinking about using some grape juice for a secondary fermentation in a beer, followed by some oak aging. And it would make my life a lot easier if I could get a reasonable approximation of the wine character without having to do a separate wine yeast fermentation.

From what I've read, it sounds like wine yeasts have a pretty small flavor impact, and most of the flavor comes from the grapes and/or oak aging. Is that a fair generalization?

Oh, and are there any other combinations people have tried? My favorites so far have been merlot in an RIS and reisling in a hefeweizen.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline mmclean

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Where does wine flavor come from?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 04:36:28 PM »
You may want to try a Braggot.

When I try to brew a beer it will be a Braggot.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Where does wine flavor come from?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 08:27:29 PM »
Yeah, but a braggot is like mead and beer, not wine and beer.  If you intend to brew a whole batch of wine/beer all together you can buy a wine kit and use some of the juice and freeze the rest for another batch or two.  Or you can make the wine separately and blend it to taste.  Depending on where you live, you can order a smaller quantity of grapes and do a batch, that works as well.

The wine yeasts I've used (in cider) give some character to the end product, but I don't have a lot of experience with them so YMMV.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4535
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Where does wine flavor come from?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 05:10:13 AM »
In  wines, most flavor comes from the grapes, that is why they have different wine regions, terroir, and vintages.  Some good wines never touch oak. 






Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline stlaleman

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
    • Penrose Picobrewery
Re: Where does wine flavor come from?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 05:31:34 AM »
While not a wine maker, I do make wine, cider and perry (all sort of wines?). Do not discount the flavor additions from the yeast. These can and do alter the flavors as much as beer yeasts do. It wasn't just the region's grapes, but the yeast that lived on the grapes that made areas famous. If you want a blend of wine and beer, blend wine and beer, if you want fruit beer, make fruit beer, but it won't be the same.
That being said, good luck!

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Where does wine flavor come from?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 09:40:57 AM »
No expert and no experience with wines other than cider and mead.

I get wines' "vinous" character off of some Belgian strains, which to me is somewhat phenolic.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenolic_compounds_in_wine
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Where does wine flavor come from?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 09:58:32 AM »
You could also try fermenting your concoction with a wine strain, or a mixture of strains to get some of the character you want.  It would be tough because you might want different fermentation temps, but it would be an interesting experiment.  Or make a gallon of kit wine, four gallons of beer, and blend them in the keg.  Or just dump a bottle of wine in at kegging time. :)
Tom Schmidlin