Epicurious Videos

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What It's Like to Make a Wine

We show you how Epicurious learned how to make a wine.

Released on 11/14/2016

Transcript

00:00
[Man's Voice] Ah, wine.
00:02
[Woman's Voice] Red, white, rosé.
00:03
We love it all.
00:05
I'm Rhoda. That's me.
00:06
And I'm Matt.
00:07
And we work at Epicurious.
00:08
Where real home cooks go to be inspired.
00:11
So we made a wine to inspire you.
00:13
No, no no no no. This isn't a cooking wine.
00:15
Those are totally gross.
00:16
This is a wine for people who cook,
00:18
love great ingredients, and want to make sure their wine
00:20
works just as well in their pan sauce as it does
00:23
in their wine glass.
00:24
There's only one problem.
00:25
We have no idea how to make a wine.
00:27
So we flew to California and met up with winemaker,
00:29
Linda Trotta, to learn how a wine makes it from grape
00:32
to glass.
00:33
So join us as...
00:35
[Both] Epicurious learns how to make a wine good.
00:40
[Matt] For the first step in our journey, we hopped in our
00:42
wine buggy, yep, right there, rolled up our sleeves,
00:45
and headed deep into the vineyard.
00:47
What part of the process are we in right now?
00:49
The vine is switching its energy from growing
00:51
leaves to ripening fruit.
00:53
Can I taste one?
00:54
Sure.
00:55
(Laughs) It's going to taste like wine.
00:56
It depends on what wine you drink.
00:59
Pretty tart. Not quite wine yet.
01:02
Not yet. You have work to do before it becomes wine.
01:04
(Laughing)
01:05
How do you know when it's ready to be harvested?
01:06
Chemically, we measure the sugar and the acid.
01:09
But we're also looking at flavors. And when it tastes
01:10
and feels right, that's when we pick it.
01:12
[Matt] So that pretty much wraps up the whole wine-growing
01:14
process and we can move on...
01:16
[Rhoda] But Matt, what about the red?
01:17
Oh, it's the same, right?
01:19
It's totally different. Just listen to Linda.
01:22
[Linda] The thing about most wine grapes is that the pulp,
01:24
all it is is sugar and water. So you could make a white
01:26
wine out of a red grape, if you just separate the skins from
01:30
the juice right away. But with red wine, we want everything
01:32
that's in the skin.
01:34
[Matt] Grape growing: check.
01:35
[Rhoda] Next up, we jump back on the wine buggy and follow
01:38
Linda back to the fermentation room
01:39
where juice becomes wine.
01:41
[Matt] That's also known as the good part.
01:44
[Linda] These are refrigerated tanks. Very soon now,
01:47
we'll be picking that fruit and bringing it in here for
01:50
the fermentation process.
01:51
That's what takes it from grape juice to wine?
01:53
Right. Exactly.
01:55
The first day is really exciting. You know, as a wine maker
01:57
you get one shot a year. And we can't mess up.
02:00
The crazy thing to me is there's such a foresight
02:03
with wine where, if you screw up something now or whatever,
02:06
you don't have a chance until next year.
02:08
What's that feel like?
02:09
Yeah, well, I actually haven't thought about it that way
02:10
until just now so thanks a lot.
02:12
(Laughs)
02:14
[Rhoda] Next, our wine gets put into barrels.
02:16
[Matt] That's sort of like a long-term storage facility,
02:19
but a lot more fun.
02:20
[Rhoda] So, where are we now? We're in the barrel room?
02:23
We're in the barrel room.
02:24
Yeah, and what kind of barrel is this?
02:25
We've got some Zinfandel in there,
02:27
which should be pretty tasty.
02:28
In order to taste the wine out of a barrel, we use what's
02:30
called a wine thief.
02:31
A thief?
02:33
A thief.
02:34
To steal the wine.
02:34
We're going to steal some wine.
02:38
We'll taste it regularly
02:39
throughout its life in the barrel. At least once a month.
02:43
[Matt] What are you looking for? What's happening?
02:44
The first thing I'm looking for is to make sure nothing
02:46
has gone wrong. So..
02:47
Some off flavors.
02:49
There's no off flavors, no off aromas, nothing spoiling.
02:52
So we're going to head back and
02:54
do a little bit of wine blending to kind of figure out
02:57
what we want our wine to taste like.
02:58
Is that's what's going to happen?
02:59
Yep, exactly it.
03:00
The wine's gone through the aging process.
03:02
We've got it ready for you to put together
03:03
and put it in the bottle for you.
03:05
[Matt] I don't know about you, but I'm just glad
03:06
we finally get to drink some wine.
03:08
[Rhoda] Matt, there's still more work to do.
03:10
[Matt] Oh, right.
03:11
[Linda] So what we're going to do now is take these wines,
03:13
we're going to make a chardonnay and a cabernet, and play
03:16
with some other varieties just to give the wine the
03:18
nuances or the character that we're looking for.
03:21
[Rhoda] So, it's kind of like a recipe.
03:22
Exactly like a recipe.
03:24
A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
03:26
Exactly. The first thing we're going to do is taste
03:29
the base chardonnay on its own,
03:31
give it a little bit of a swirl.
03:32
Why are we swirling it?
03:33
We are releasing the aroma compounds.
03:35
Releasing the aroma? We're going to make it smell more?
03:38
We're going to make it smell better.
03:39
Smell more, smell better.
03:40
Just trying to translate.
03:42
[Matt] And.. that's where things get a little hazy for me.
03:44
[Rhoda] Right. Well, Linda and I did a lot of work
03:45
while you were busy mastering your swirl.
03:50
(happy music)
03:54
This one's tasting really good to me.
03:56
Yeah?
03:57
Yeah. This is the Chardonnay Chenin Blanc blend.
03:59
Yep, that's the winner.
04:00
Love it.
04:01
[Matt] Love it.
04:02
Bottle it.
04:03
[Linda] Great.
04:04
[Rhoda] And then we got to do the same thing
04:05
all over again with red wine.
04:07
And then we did it again.
04:08
[Matt] And again.
04:09
[Rhoda] And...
04:10
[Matt and Rhoda] Well...
04:12
Did we do it?
04:13
Have we made a red wine?
04:14
[Linda] We did.
04:16
Gosh, I made two wines today.
04:17
Rhoda.
04:18
Great work.
04:19
Linda.
04:20
Cheers.
04:22
[Matt] We totally made that wine.
04:24
[Rhoda] And it's really good.
04:26
[Matt] Nice job, Rhoda.
04:27
[Rhoda] Nice job, Matt.
04:28
This whole wine business thing is really hard work.
04:30
But, I think I can get used to it.
04:33
So, our flight tomorrow morning, you wanna...
04:36
Oh, I'm never going back.
04:37
Okay. Cheers.
04:39
[Rhoda] Cheers.