Saturday, March 7, 2015

Favorite Vice #sol15

My wife and I make wine. All red so far: a Malbec-Shiraz blend (which is gone), a Petit Verdot, a Tempranillo, and a Montepulciano (bottled but still not ready).

Yesterday, we popped the first cork on the Tempranillo for dinner. That is a bit of a nerve-wracking and satisfying moment for me. I love the first aromatic trace of the first bottle. Visually, the first pour--the deep red color--of the Tempranillo reminded me of the juice of black cherries.

But what sealed it was when my wife tasted it first and made the noise. A crosshatch of surprise, relief, and pleasure. She nodded and said it was good--maybe even better than the Petit Verdot...which is an awesome grape and makes an easy-drinking wine.

So far, everything we made has tasted great--at least we haven't completely ruined a batch yet. 

We don't share it too much! We've brought bottles to family functions and parties--and it goes fast. We entered a bottle in a local community fair and won a third-place ribbon, but received no criticisms from the judges remarks. All in all, we make some good drinking wine.

And that's why we make it--we make it to drink it. Not stare at it on a wall. Wine is our favorite vice.

Each time we make a batch, it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months for the process to play out. A six gallon carboy will produce 28-30 bottles each time. We would love to build up our supply, so we often have a batch of something fermenting. However, the build-up of the supply is coming along like a herd of turtles--that's what happens when you drink it.

Neither of us has taken a class. We don't know the vocabulary. We just purchase the supplies, follow the directions, and let chemistry and time work its magic.

And we drink it.

You don't need a degree to drink it and enjoy it.

from A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909)

favorite vice (Jovial, 1880). General habitual strong drink.


  1. Thanks for sharing your hobby with us. Such patience! So glad it reaps its benefits and you get to enjoy them.

  2. I am thrilled to have found your blog! You've inspired me. I am thinking perhaps it might be a lovely thing to do with my husband. I know there is a wine making supply place in the city nearby. The image of cherry juice was lovely.

  3. The art of fine wine, especially when you have made it yourself. You don't need the vocabulary. Enjoy making and enjoy even more the drinking.

  4. I love that this is so satisfying and something you do together. xo nanc

  5. This sounds like a hobby I would enjoy! I love how you describe the moment when your wife first tasted it - the noise! Thanks for sharing.

  6. This sounds like a hobby I would enjoy! I love how you describe the moment when your wife first tasted it - the noise! Thanks for sharing.

  7. This sounds like a great hobby. So interesting to learn how long, although this makes sense. It sounds like a wonderful thing to share with your circle of friends and family. I make guacamole. It doesn't take nearly as long, but it's my thing :) Thanks for sharing about winemaking. Cheers!

  8. I had no idea you could make wine at home, although, truthfully, I never thought about it. Thanks for sharing!