I became a home winemaker in 2006. I ran out and bought all kinds of equipment at our local grape supplier, Corrados, and promptly did everything wrong. I pressed, racked and filtered the wine that year and used cultured yeast. I did not measure the sugars, I did not add sulphur, I put the wine in a very small brand new oak barrel. That year I coined the phrase Super-Teaneck after the famous Super-Tuscan wines because I blended Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine was not great. The following year, 2007, I tried again. I did a few things correctly and again, made numerous mistakes. That year I made a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. I haven’t tasted it in some years but it was if memory serves, highly alcoholic with harsh tannins. Maybe an 82 on a good day.
This past year, I made Moscato and Zinfandel. This year I did almost everything right, measured the sugars but did not again add sulfites so my wine will not have a long life but it was actually pretty good and of that, I am quite proud. I don’t think I’ll enter it into the competition at Corrados but I did open a second bottle today and I may be up to an 87. I’ll have to see what the Cabernet tastes like before patting myself on the back. The whole experience has been wonderful and my family really enjoyed it including my quasi quattro or almost four year old who loves to cork bottles.