Saturday, October 22, 2011

Red, Red Wine

It's funny how a story can begin, springing up from something totally unrelated to what you want to say....  Grand #1 recently told Grand#2 to "showandtell" me about his latest artistic creation from preschool.  In Kindergarten, her participation in this exercise holds all the allure of being STAR FOR A DAY.  I think my blog may have evolved into an exercise in "Show-and-Tell".  I get to show photos and tell a story.  You get to stop, look and listen.  We all get to play.

So this story begins as I prepared to decant 18 litres of Organic Olive Oil, direct from the orchards of Greece.  I knew the perfect place to resource my need for bottles and corks.  Wine Kitz.  I got the bottles, I got the corks AND I got sold a do-it-yourself red wine kit.  Not really what I had in mind when I started out there, but maybe on some subliminal level....

On that first day, all I had to do was pour a little packet of yeast into a bucket of concentrated grape juice and walk away.  That is all that is required by provincial and federal regulations to say that I am making my very own wine.  The lovely people in the shop did all the rest.  I watched as oak chips and pre-measured water were stirred in and my little demi-john of wine got put on a rack to rest for about five weeks.

Today was the day the wine was ready for the next steps of the process.  Gail met me at the door when I arrived for our appointment and she put me right to work.  

Meet Gail:

First, we washed the new bottles in a super-quick, high temp bottle washing machine.

Then we built a Christmas Tree of drying bottles...drip dry...

Gail got to do the fun, bottle-filling part of the job...

...while I worked the "corker".  One bottle at a time was secured in a little glass house and the corks were rammed into place under heavy-duty pressure.

Next came shrink wrapping the necks of the bottles.  I got to choose from a wide selection of coloured and patterned wraps.  

Put the bottle into the heat zone, count to three, and remove.  Presto.  Chango.

The very last step was applying labels to the bottles.  Again, I had a choice of a ready-made or ones I designed myself.  I think the dark bottles, together with a fully black wrap and a black and white label are aesthetically pleasing, don't you?

In under 30 minutes, I was in and out of the shop.  My 30 bottles of Australian Shiraz, at a cost of $3.90 a bottle, are now resting in the wine cellar for a month.  

All my lucky readers are invited to the taste testing in late November.  Stay tuned.
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