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  • Bob Dolci

Bob's Blog #1 - Clueless



As many of you know, Wendy and I are in the process of making red wine from a NRGV&WS purchased wine kit. It’s an “Italian Amarone Classico”. After doing a little research on Amarone wines it became my most humble opinion that our dear friend Jack must have been thinking about a different Bob and Wendy when he selected the Amarone for us to make. I am sure that he must have realized that we were clueless when it came to making wine. We’ve been part of the group for over six years and I am quite confident that we have never voiced any knowledge of making wine beyond that in the most rudimentary terms. Our knowledge was as follows:


1. Get grapes, wash feet, crush grapes,

2. add yeast, let ferment,

3. let sit until fermenting process is complete,

4. bottle then wait, and

5. drink.


So, five additives later, pre filtering, post filtering and frequently checking the specific gravity, we now have a slightly better than rudimentary knowledge about making wine.


As I said, I did a little research on Amarone wines. What I learned is that it takes twice as many grapes as normal wine to make. The fermentation process is slow, it can take 45 or more days to fully ferment. The aging process also takes much longer than most red wines. Don’t even think about drinking it for six months or more after bottling. We can wait a year or more for better results, but we would need to add ¼ teaspoon of sulphite prior to bottling. The big shocker for me is that your typical bottle of Amarone wine sells between $50 and $80. I’ve seen some Amarone wines sold on line for well over $350 per bottle. Oh, did I mention, that most vintners agree that it is one of the more difficult wines to get right. That’s one of the reasons that a single bottle can cost so much. That is also why I am quite sure that our first attempt at making wine will be an abject failure.


Wendy decided to call the wine “Raven Red”. I wanted to go with Amarone Dolcimascolo. You know, sweet man’s red. After learning the etymology for Amarone is amaro and amaro is the Italian word for bitter or tart I decided that Dolci and Amarone is not a good fit. Don’t go there.


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