I Am Hipp (a red wine blend) 2010-03-20

This batch is from a wine kit: Winexpert Selection Original Series: Luna Rossa. A 4 gallon kit that produces 6 gallons of wine. It was about $118.

Status Date Specific Gravity Fluid Temp. Air Temp.
Primary Fermentation 2010-01-30 AM 1.092 60°F 62°F
2010-02-06 AM 1.020 60°F
Secondary Fermentation 2010-02-07 1.008 62°F
Clearing 2010-02-14 1.000 60°F 63°F
Second Clearing 2010-02-21 65°F °F
Third Clearing 2010-03-06 65°F °F
Bottling 2009-03-20 °F

Primary Fermentation

Not much to report.

Secondary Fermentation

Not much to report. Smells great so far.


The wine, while stirring, produced a lot of foam. Very foamy. Topped-up with Leese Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon.

Secondary Clearing

Added some Campden tablets after racking into a clean carboy. Lots of foam was produced after the tablet powder was poured into the wine. Topped up with my own Shiraz from 2009.

Tertiary Clearing

Ryan’s not quite done with the label (some final tweaks) and I figured an extra week or two of clearing could only do it some good. I racked the wine again. It will probably make the bottling experience a bit more simple with very little or no lees on the bottom of the carboy. I guess that same characteristic might also mean that it will yield an additional bottle due to topping it up (with other wines) each time I pull it off of the lees.


No surprises, but the little I tasted was excellent.


Just got the final version of the label from my brother Ryan. Looks pretty awesome!


Unfortunately this wine was bottled with the last of my apparently-not-very-good natural/composite corks. They start leaking at three months like clock work! It’s affecting two or three of these so far, so it could be worse. Since this wine will most likely do well with age, I might actually re-cork some of them with the superior Nomacorc synthetic corks that I use now (foam and rubber corks).

The upshot of the leaking corks is that I was FORCED to drink one of these bottles. And it tastes REALLY good. I think the Luna Rossa could be my go-to red wine kit. It has enough structure and complexity to be comparable to a decent $8 – $12 commercial wine. I have some experimenting to do with simulated oak-barrel aging by way of soaking oak cubes in the finished wine. Theoretically it sounds like a good-enough solution. I just don’t want to compromise on flavor!


Three more corks had started leaking over the past week. This morning I inspected all of the bottles from this batch for leaking corks. I ended up re-corking six bottles. I’ll continue to monitor the rest of the corks and re-cork as needed. I hope to age this particular wine ’til at least Christmas. Even then I would like to set a few bottles aside for even longer aging.