Wine production and consumption has been around for centuries, and it is constantly mentioned in the Bible. In ancient times, wine was considered to have a Divine origin and religious significance, due to the altered state it provoked on people, and because people did not have the scientific knowledge to understand the process of grape fermentation; but as humanity has evolved and science advanced, we now know exactly how the chemical process of fermentation works to turn sugar into alcohol, and what we can do to modify it.
In spite of fermentation being a natural process, wine making is considered not only an art, but also a science, that requires knowledge and work from the wine maker, as well as different techniques used in the process of wine production. Normally the winemaking process involves six steps: Fruit harvesting, pressing, fermentation, clarification, aging, and bottling. All along the road, twine makers add their own variations, to make their wine different and unique, or to suit their own tastes, and they do that through varying the recipes, or changing their winemaking techniques. The science of wine and winemaking is known as oenology. A person who makes wine is traditionally called a winemaker or vintner.
I have making wine for about 10 years, and people are always curious about the winemaking process or the reasons why people make wine, since the easiest thing is to go to the store and pick up a bottle. Most of the people after learning all the chemical knowledge, time, care, love, and patience involved in the process, they always ask me: Why bother? It looks like a lot of hustle for nothing. Well, you will be surprised…
Making wine is my passion (well, one of them), and I love every single step of winemaking, and everything involved in all six steps. I started making wine because I always thought it would be fun to make variations to store-bought wine, and make it unique in a personal way. There are many reasons why people make their own wine and probably they have the same reasons as me. These would be the top 10 reasons for a regular person to make their own wine.
- It is very easy. It is easier than what most people think, you don’t need to be an expert to ferment grapes, you can even a buy a wine kit that included step-by-step instructions and all ingredients needed to make your own wine.
- It is inexpensive. Once you have all your equipment in place, you never need to buy another bottle of wine, the only expenses will be supplies and ingredients, and you can make a bottle of wine at an average cost of $2. Wine can be made out of any fruit, vegetable, herb, or anything that can be fermented.
- There is a permanent wine supply. From one batch of wine (six gallons) you fill 30 bottles, which means that your cave will always be full of wine to share with friends and family, they make great gifts for parties and special occasions. So far, nobody said NO to one of my unique wine presents.
- It is relaxing. Winemaking is a very enjoyable and relaxing activity. It reduces stress and lowers your blood pressure, by immersing yourself into the winemaking process. It makes you forget all your problems and hectic life, because it requires you to focus all your attention and thoughts in every step of this hobbie, and at the same time, you will be very happy with the results.
- It makes you healthier. Studies have shown that drinking wine with moderation has many health benefits: Protects against free radicals, lowers cholesterol, benefits the heart, lowers sugar levels, etc., and you can also make it healthier by decreasing the sugar or alcohol levels.
- It can be customized. You can choose your own types of grapes, fruits, vegetables or herbs to make wine. You can also experiment with different blends, flavors, and recipes and make modifications, until you have your own, perfect, and unique creations.
- It’s a great conversation starter. What is cooler than making wine? Everyone would be eager to know more about your new hobbie, and you will be happy to share your new experience. You friends will be impressed on a first date.
- It is eco-friendly. You can make your wine your own way, from growing organic grapes and consuming local ingredients, to eliminating chemicals and additives that should be consumed. Also winemaking is a recycling activity, by using the same bottles over and over again, or reusing the bottles from local wineries.
- It is fun! What better satisfaction than uncorking your own bottle of wine? That has a unique feeling of accomplishment. It makes you feel that all you hard work and nights spent on wine forums finally have a pay-off.
- Win awards. There are plenty of amateur home winemaking contests around the country, you can always enter your creations and win awards, there are several categories in contests, and you always find one that fits your needs. By competing in contests, you can make new friends; win medals, certificates, cash prizes, and recognition. But the best prize, even if you don’t win, are the judges notes on your wines, because they help you perfect your wines and improve your techniques.