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I'm looking for some general advice/recommended reading, etc.

I've made a few wine kits and they've all come out OK. I feel I have the general process down and I'm ready to start with perhaps fresh grape juice.

I've always thought that one advantage I have over commercial wineries is that I can add anything I want to my wine. If it's not sweet enough, I can add sugar. Not enough acid, I can add more, etc.

But my problem is, I don't know how to tell from raw juice what might be needed. I know I can measure the sugar, etc., but since juice tastes so much different, I don't see how to tell what it will be like in six months. I don't even know if I can recall how a batch of juice tasted six months ago to say, "yep that needed more oak, or more malic acid."

How do commercial winemakers do it, other than making dozens of batches? Or is there no shortcut?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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I don't believe most wine makers make these decisions up front, at least not for juice that they have not worked with before. Instead, you taste the wine at packaging time and then adjust accordingly with glycerin for sweetness or acids for tartness.

Commercial producers may blend finished wines, but ultimately it involves tasting throughout the whole process, and not up-front measurement.

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