Monday, October 27, 2008

DIY... winemaking

We ordered a batch of Pinot Noir and a batch of Gamay at a local winery on the weekend. And I've got to tell you, there's something incredibly appealing about mixing those oak chips and yeast into a bucket of dark-red fragrant grape juice. I kept working the liquid with a long spoon, and they literally had to drag me away from the bucket.

Then again, there's something very exciting as well about tossing things into that grape juice that normally, in your everyday understanding of how edible and drinkable things work, you wouldn't think about tossing into grape juice. Like oak chips and tiny round pellets of fresh yeast and some special sort of clay. And dried elderberries (made world-renowned by a character from Monty Python's Holy Grail, whose mother apparently smelt of them). By the way, dried elderberries smell great, so maybe that segment of the Holy Grail movie is a hint about another Monty Python work, Defence Against The Fresh Fruit, a poignant account of a military training excercise, led by a victim of fructophobia, that had gone horribly wrong.

Anyway, ordering your wine like that is fun, makes good sense financially (comes to $4.60 a bottle at the most expensive not-from-concentrate option) and is a great entry point into the world of wine making. If you're in Ottawa, check out these guys (Corks Ottawa). Otherwise, go and support your local winemaking Ontario shop, as a gesture of protest against the insulting puritan alcohol policies of the Ontario government. You'll also obviously avoid the provincial alcohol tax, too! Take that, Alcohol and Gaming Control Board! Go control... somebody else!

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