Bernard Klem's new book, 'How to talk about wine' - an exclusive online extract

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In this extract from 'How to talk about wine' - the handy pocket guide (written by Bernard Klem, published by Sterling publishing) tells you everything there is to know about wine in easy 10 minute sections.

In the first in an exclusive online series, here is a segment on making your own wine at home. 

Making wine isn't easy, or cheap, or totally soul- satisfying. Yet, thousands of grape growers and winemakers persist, sometimes against all odds, to produce that singular wine they're proud to call their own. If you're still intent on growing grapes and/or making wine at home, go for it.

You won't be alone.image from

If you simply feel compelled to become a vintner but don't have the big bucks to do it commercially, you can always join the untold thousands of people who make wine at home in their sheds, garages, basements, teepees, yurts, whatever.

They buy the grapes, or the concentrated grape must (the mixture of grape juice, stems, skins, seeds, and pulps resulting from the crushing stage), or even the raw grape juice to turn into wine.

They sometimes make a decent drink and offer it to friends, relatives, or anyone who'll try a glass. They're usually very proud of their results, even if it's not up to competition-class standards. Still, they do go on year after year because they love the chal­lenge and sometimes the fine results they get.

If making wine at home interests you, just make sure you get permission from both your state and the federal government if you plan to sell any of the wine, or even transport it to contests or exhibitions; it's a ferociously controlled business. Also ask your spouse or partner to agree to your new passion; home winemaking isn't just an expensive hobby, it's quite a messy one as well.

But don't give up. There are few pleasures in life that'll mean so much as a friend or relative telling you honestly that the stuff you made is good—really, really good. Fabulous even. As in: "How about we pull the cork on a bottle of last year's fabulous Chateau Me?" (Here's my glass.)

'How to talk about wine' by Bernard Klem is available to buy from