How do I make wine? What do I do? I want to be an Amateur Winemaker.
These are real questions asked by potential Amateur Winemakers every day. Where do you go for information and how will you find out what you need to do? Even more questions. You may have discovered this Blog on your Google Search on the Subject or you may have found some of the Wine Forums for Amateurs that exist on the internet. Ostensibly these forums exist to provide you with a wealth of information from Amateurs with many years of experience. Not necessarily so.
Yes what you find in these forums can be a lot of bad information and worse this bad information which can lead to horrible wine is defended by even Moderators of these forums, www.WineMakingTalk.com is a leader in this category. The bottom line is you can’t trust the internet with the investment of not only your efforts but the expenditures you will be making as an Amateur Winemaker. It is up to you to read many sources hopefully trusted ones and draw your own conclusions. Starting with manufacturer’s literature is a prudent move instead of listening to some unknown forum winemaker who espouses myths and falsehoods.
It needs to be said and it is long overdue. There is not another Club like the Westchester Amateur Winemakers Club or a blog such as WestchesterWinemakers.com that support, defend and contribute to the advancement of the Amateur Winemaking Hobby. We don’t get paid for our efforts and we take no advertising dollars for our blog. We are just there to help and have fun. But as a budding Amateur a lot is up to you for your success in the hobby. All too often you depend on others to figure it out for you. Sometimes that is fine but when you rely on others to the extent you depend on them and not yourself then you are not practicing to be a winemaker you are just a follower.
As an experienced Winemaker and reading the Winemaking Forums for years if becomes pretty obvious some of you are lazy at best. This is demonstrated all the time with the most mundane questions which are posted which indicate either you can’t read or you are too lazy to do it. For example, How much Go Ferm do I use? Answer READ THE PACKAGE! And it goes on from there every day. Some of the most ridiculous questions you can imagine and worse answered by some of the most uninformed people who pretend to be Moderators of Amateur Winemaking.
I remember making wine and learning before there was the internet. Getting information was not easy. But today what excuse does an Amateur Winemaker have when you have Google at your fingertips. Can’t you research a topic on your own and read as much as you can and then maybe develop a few good questions to seek answers to if need be? Or does your need for instant gratification lead you to a forum laced with idiots where you will depend on their advice instead of the information you should have developed in the first place. Being intuitive will make you a much better winemaker than one who searches for a recipe.
A comment here from a very accomplished Amateur Winemaker should give you a tip. Steve Gower Aka Crazy Run Ranch stated he doesn’t answer questions that he has already answered already on a forum he attends. He considers it a waste of time and he is right, when his answers can be searched out easily. Why should he bother if you are too lazy to look?
No one is forcing you to be in this hobby. This is your choice. So to you I say Caveat Emptor when taking others’ advice. But more importantly you also need to get off your ass and be responsible for your own learning and development as an Amateur Winemaker. Get busy.