Making Wine at Home: Getting Started

Making your own wine at home might seem daunting at first, but once you have purchased all the equipment and have gained a firm understanding of the wine-making process you will quickly begin to embrace something that began almost 8000 years ago.

I will separate the process into 8 stages, today being the first.

The first critical step is to find a reputable supplier for all your wine-making needs. In Westchester County, New York, there’s a family run institution where everyone goes to for all their wine-making supplies…Prospero Winery!

Here’s a list of all the equipment you will need:

1. Table Top De-Stemmer
2. Fermentation Vat with Lid
I opted to NOT use the de-stemmer and chose to de-stem the grapes by hand. I will give a detailed explanation about that when we get there.
4. Stainless Steel Puncher
5. Press
Here are the nutrients, chemicals & additives you will need:

Citric Acid and Sodium Carbonate are used for sanitizing EVERYTHING!

You MUST use yeast…never rely on natural yeast!
Metabisulfate is used to:
1. Create sulfur dioxide gas
2. Inhibit bacteria and wild yeasts
3. Increase the aging
4. Protect color and flavor
5. Sterilize equipment
DAP (Dimaonium Phosphate) and Fermaid are foods which the yeast will feed on…It helps the wine to ferment.
MicrosEssentials Oenos and Viniflora are nutrients which contain a mixture of organic proteins that help induce Malolactic Fermentation.
This is a hydrometer. It’s used to measure the amount of sugar in the wine and it will tell you when you should press the grapes into juice.
You will need Demijohns (carboys) to store the wine while it ferments.
They come in different shapes and sizes but I recommend the standard 5 gallon water-cooler type…just make sure you use glass and not plastic.


You will also need additional bottle sizes for later in the wine-making process when you will have odd amounts of wine.


You will need rubber corks (bungs) and airlocks for each bottle.


Get yourself a syphon kit for transferring wine from jar to jar.



Other items:

     Pails / Buckets

Measuring Cups and Spoons


Clear Packing Tape


And of course…


Check back soon for the next stage in Wine-Making when we’ll discuss the grapes and how to choose the right one for you!

Thanks for stopping by!



© Giovanni Cucullo 2010

Setting Up a Basic Home Bar


Setting up a home bar requires an initial investment in the proper home bar supplies. This includes bar tools, glasses, liquor, wine and the proper drink mix guide. Once you’re set up, you will reap the rewards for years to come.           





Bar Spoon
Doubles as a measuring spoon and a stir stick.   

Bartender’s Handbook
A handy reference of cocktail recipes.   

Bar Towels
Maintain a clean work area.   

Bottle Pourers
This is a must for mixing spirits.   

Bottle Stoppers
For when screw-top bottles annoy you.   

Cocktail Picks   

Cocktail Shakers & Strainers   

Corkscrew/Wine Opener
You don’t need a fancy one.   

Cutting Board
Large enough to be useful but small enough to store easily.   

Electric Blender
Handy for many cocktail recipes.   

Fresh Fruit
Always use fresh fruit.   

Be sure to have a good assortment.   

To grate spices like nutmeg and ginger.   

Ice Bucket, Ice, Tongs and Scoop    

    This is a must if you can’t measure accurately.   

Look for one that is easy to use.   

Margarita Rimmer   

Martini Pitcher
For the stirred-and-not-shaken drinks.   

Mixing Glasses
For building your drinks.   

Make sure it’s long enough.   

Napkins and Coasters   

Paring Knife
For cutting fruit garnishes.   

Rubber Spill Mat
Makes cleaning up a bit easier.   

Swizzle Sticks
Go for a variety (in size, color and shape).   

Sword Picks
For garnishes.   






Martini glasses     

Highball glasses       

Old-Fashioned glasses     


Margarita glasses     

Heavy-based Collins glasses     

Heavy-based rocks glasses      

Hurricane glasses     

Tulip-shaped champagne flutes      

Shot glasses     

Brandy/cognac glasses     

Beer mugs