For me, a dinner is not complete unless it is accompanied by a glass (or two 😉 ) of wine.
The fermented juice of the humble grape has been enjoyed for centuries. Wine residue has been found in excavated ceramic jugs dating back to 6000BC!
Wines are very, very complex. They have a host of flavours and nuances, far too many to list here, to write about wines is a completely new journey, but let´s just say, I like my wine. 🙂 .
And in “Good ole Laocook fashion”, I decided to make my own. 😉 .
Ever since I started brewing my own Beer (see the last part of this post) I knew that the next step would be wines.
Wines mature, they grow old gracefully. Making wine is something that cannot be rushed. Only Mother Nature (and really good sanitation) will have the final say, and she definitely won´t be rushed.
For “Quality Testing” and “Progress Tracking” purposes I decided to open up a few bottles. 😉 .
This is Boop. My Spanish style red wine, one of many different styles of wines that I am working on.
Vin Vienne (pronounced “Vang Vieng”, geddit!) on the label is a play on words. There are only 26 bottles, featuring four different labels, each featuring a different dress.
The name Boop is of course for Betty Boop, and the wine is named after her because it was bottled on the 9th of August, Betty first appeared on the same date in 1930.
You may notice that the bottle sizes are different. This is because I am fortunate enough to work in a hotel, and have an unlimited supply of empty bottles to use.
You don´t really need fancy labels or bottles for homemade wines, but as a cook, I think that presentation is very important, no matter what it is. I even use Shrink Capsules (the foil like-thing on top of the bottle).
These wines are not sold, I like to give them to friends and colleagues, and save a few bottles for storage.
One spare bedroom in the house has actually been turned in to a makeshift “Bodega”. That is were I mature my beers and wines, yes, beers need maturing too! A lot of visitors say that my house smells like a Bar, that´s because there are 3 to 4 Fermenting Vessels doing their job throughout the house!
I like to use a variety of ingredients for wines, making wines that I hope that will gracefully mature in to something wonderful.
It is not only the Reds that take my fancy. I currently have 60 litres of two different types of Whites, which are fermenting in the Study.
Earlier this year I started on some Rosé, or Blush Wines, to make sure that they would be drinkable during the BBQ season.
For these I used 500ml bottles. You will notice that the ABV is 17.55%, higher than the wines found in shops, like most homemade wines, the ABV is higher. (hiccup). 😉 .
The Rosé is very acceptable to drink now, it is refreshing, and great with grilled meats on those long summer nights.
I have a host of wine and beer making equipment, including Hydrometers, various Siphons, Funnels, Filters and even a Corking device. I first started using cheap corks (for quick drinking) but have now started using quality 45mm ones, which are better for storage.
The Corker looks like something out of a Science Fiction programme, but its job is simple, it squeezes the cork before it is inserted in to the bottle, it doesn´t leave any unsightly marks either.
My new 45mm Corks with Shrink Capsules. The capsules are placed over the corked bottle, then a little boiling water is over them, and like their name suggests, they shrink and tightly enclose the bottle top.
Like I said before, presentation is very important. 🙂 .
All this talking about wines is making me thirsty!…. 😆