Wine. This Time? A Sweet Red.

2016-02-02 19.15.09Okay, I know I promised you a blog about my pistol purchase permit, but something a bit more pressing has come up.

Wine.

Belle is still acting like her normal, pre-tumor self and I couldn’t be happier about this. I got lots of kisses when I got home from a hellacious day at the office, so that was super nice.

We bottled just over 3 cases of wine last weekend; 16 bottles of Hell Hath No Fury red, 18 bottles of Sweet Carlos & Tara Bianco (white) and 6 bottles of no-name blackberry, which is good, but I don’t like it more than I like a fresh blackberry, so I’ll be eating them, not pressing them, next summer. 😉

We went a little hog-wild in September/October during grape harvest season and pulled in enough to do two batches of Hell Hath No Fury, a batch of Sweet Carlos & Tara, saved the hulls from the whites to do a blush second, and a batch of sweet red.

The sweet red is what we started tonight. I am in the process of adjusting the acid levels so that I can hit close to .65% tartaric.

This sweet red is a blend of Nesbit and Supreme Muscadines and I need help coming up with a name.

Rob, over at The V Pub, gets the credit for naming Hell Hath No Fury, so I thought I would throw it out there to you guys. What can you come up with for this Nesbit/Supreme sweet red blend?

That said, our little winery goes by “The Grapes of Wrath Vineyards” in case that helps you.

Here are the labels we ordered for the red and white. (There were only six bottles of blackberry for our own consumption, so we got cheap and didn’t bother…)

Screenshot 2016-01-27 22.24.29Screenshot 2016-01-27 22.25.45

And yes, this label DOES say 16% alcohol by volume. It’s actually 17 and some change, but the yeast we used maxes at 16, so apparently there is some wiggle room, as our hydrometer doesn’t lie…especially after running the test THREE times.

I hope y’all will jump on board and reply with some killer name ideas! I was able to come up with Sweet Carlos & Tara all by myself, because a) it’s a sweet wine; b) one grape type was Carlos; and c) the other was Tara. 😉 Bianco is Italian for White. I think. Whatever. Bianco didn’t fit on the label. Just sayin…

Thanks in advance, everyone!

Until next time (which really SHOULD be about my purchase permit, because that’s actually a timely, opinionated piece which should start a riot regarding gun control, ha ha…)

Ohhh, I’m Making Melomel! (Fruity Mead, Yo!)

So I was sitting here, last weekend, minding my own business, when my friend, Machelle, tagged me in a post on Facebook for a one jug-recipe for mead. Of course, I was interested, and after having read Colleen’s blog, I knew that I was going to be all in! Granted it took six days for me to get my honey and oranges, but I started this today.

Colleen’s recipe can be found at growforagecookferment.com and if you are at all interested in anything grown, foraged, cooked, or fermented, this is definitely a blog worthy of your attention. She has posted recipes not only for mead, but kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and sourdough starter, as well. I am also loving her no-knead sourdough pizza recipe as well as her bolted arugula pesto. (What can I say…the Sicilian in me says she had me at “pesto.”) I think she has homesteading down pat. I couldn’t find a “re-blog” button on her site, otherwise I totally would have. I’m going to do her sourdough starter recipe soon, before it gets too hot to bake.

That said, I took off of work early, only to discover a leak in our master bath, so we ended up at our local home improvement store to get the equipment we needed to fix that, and while we were out I picked up oranges and honey, as I already had raisins and blueberries on hand.

The Grapes of Wrath Mead, V2.0 has been giving me fits, in that I just cannot get the specific gravity down to where it needs to be prior to racking, but I went ahead and racked it, anyway, after activating a little more yeast and adding some more honey to the starter. (These are the gallon and half gallon jugs in the background of the following pictures.) These jugs will be making the journey to the wine closet with the melomel.

At any rate, the leak isn’t leaking anymore and Mead V3.0 is in the jug. I love one-pot meals, so why would I not love a one-jug mead recipe? It was quick and dirty and not as many steps as Meads V1.0 and 2.0. Given the geek that I am, I did take a starting SG reading with the hydrometer prior to adding the yeast, and it was sitting at a nice 1.190. My pictures of the endeavor are below:

I love making things from scratch. What kinds of foods and beverages do you make from scratch? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…

Wine Win!!!!!

Hell Hath No Fury Red - 1st Edition, vintage 2014.

Hell Hath No Fury Red – 1st Edition, vintage 2014.

So we gave some “Hell Hath No Fury” red to some friends and family. These are some of the comments we’ve recieved since handing out a few bottles:

Our grape provider: “I’m not a wine drinker, but my wife will love this.”

Dennis (who is my friend and my better half’s former boss): I love this…zipped through two bottles. Don’t change a thing! When can I get another bottle?”

Mom: “It was good, but really dry…but I found a fix. I diluted it with a little white..”

And my be-all-end-all favorite comment to date from my dear sister-in-law (aka Sissy): “The flavors…there were three…one was a ‘merlot-type” dryness, but then there was that grape flavor; you know. The kind that brings you back to your childhood. Bare feet in the warm soil, sun on your face, picking grapes and popping them in your mouth? Then the dry merlot-type of dry. This was good. Don’t change a damned thing…”j

So yeah….Apparently “Hell Hath No Fury” red is a hit. 🙂

The fact that this first batch hit an emotional chord with Sissy made me really proud, but at the same time? It mad me sorry I added the two additional cups of sugar to the second batch. Next time, apparently, about a cup less sugar.

So because I wanted to see where batch #2 was, I stole some via the wine thief. It’s dry, but not too dry. The last two cups of sugar gave it a little sweetness that off-set the uber-dry that is our first batch’s signature. Note to self: ease off on the sugar when trying to replicate the first batch.

It’s not a bad “semi-dry” wine, but then, I am partial.

Wait until they try our mead.

Muwahahahahahaha…. > : )j

So…wine for the win…

Until next time