After sampling wine made by friends at Brew Time on Upper James Street in Hamilton (www.brewtime.ca), The Fella & I decided to experiment with making our own wine. We decided that our first batch would be red wine.
I have a love/hate relationship with red wine -- I love it but unfortunately it is not very kind to me. It's not that it makes me sick... let's just say it doesn't make me very...um... attractive.
About 10 years ago my friend Liz & I were both single on Valentine's Day. We decided to thumb our noses at the society of coupledom & off we went to paint the town red. With red wine that is.
We had ourselves a pretty damn fine time. Towards the end of the evening I spotted a fella who I kept seeing around town who I quite fancied. I had never spoken to him -- I would just keep bumping into him & we would smile & nod to each other. Fuelled by cheap red plonk & pent up pheromones, I walked over to him and proceeded to chat him up. I went home feeling quite proud of myself that night. Not only did my singledom keep me from being hidden away from Valentines society, but I had the courage to initiate flirting. Girl power!
Smiling to myself, I walked into my bathroom to get ready for bed. It was then, in the mirror, that I discovered that the red wine had turned my teeth black...and given me a Jack Nicholson joker mouth. I would continue to see this cute guy around town...but he never, ever, looked my way again....
Now I only drink red wine in the privacy of my own home.
Brewing your own wine was a lot different from what I had built up in my own mind. We had the pleasure of dealing with Vic at Brewtime who gave us a crash course on the different types of grape juice, we chose the Italian Classico Amarone and he walked us through the fermentation process which literally took no more than three minutes. And there I was all nicely pedicured in anticipation of doing a Lucy & Ethel routine!
Eight weeks later, through the magic of fermentation, our grape juice and yeast had magically turned into wine. Sounds kinda biblical, no? The bottling process was way more fun. First, they cracked open the vat and extracted some Amarone for me to taste. Not to be conceited or anything, but it was damn delicious!
My new Christmas Tree!!!!
I had the very lovely Hannah teach me how to work the machine that transfers the wine from the vat to the bottles (which stops automatically when it reaches the top of the neck so no worry about spillage of the fine nectar) and how to work the corking machine. Very fun!! I felt so Falcon Crest!
Hannah also created the groovy labels for me based on a design that I had emailed them. Lo & behold the birth of the Bitch n' Wine.
We now have a batch of Pinot Grigio patiently going through the biblical process as I post this.