stomping grapes in skivvies & turning wine into vinegar.

saturday evening antics

Apologies for no photographic evidence above my knees, but believe me: my bright pink undies were a colour match made in heaven with the glorious grapey hues of purple! The boys opted for rolled-up jeans and swim trunks. We made quite the team.

These last few months have been a journey of gastronomic realization and growth (and fun), so I’m pretty excited to be sharing some of my thoughts and tales again.

Specifically, my desire to emerge from my blog-neglect was sparked yesterday when the boy asked “well, are you going to write about this?” I may have taken a pause from crushing duties to sneak a photo or two while he and a friend were knee deep in cab franc. Perhaps not knee deep, but I suppose both of them are a tad taller than me.

All of this started when I received an excited phone call from the boy about a month ago, sharing that he had just placed an order for 46 litres of grape juice. And that we’d get to stomp grapes together at some point in the near future. That day came yesterday when the barrels were brought back from the family owned and run Watson’s in Niagara on the Lake.

Despite having been stored at room temperature all day, we hopped in and discovered that the grapes were icy cold. However, the awesome factor of the experience certainly made up for its (initially) unpleasant nature. Plus it’s actually quite fun to feel grapes smoooosh and squish beneath your toes! I’m not sure if things gradually improved due to the transference of my body heat into the liquid, or because my feet and legs had turned numb. We pitched in the yeast, cleaned up the mess, and now get to play the waiting game.

On the note of wine and waiting games, the boy had noticed a blob of something in our apple cider vinegar about 6 months ago. After exchanging quizzical looks, we realised that we had mother. Excitement brewed! We’d never encountered this before with store bought vinegar, but I guess there were some non-fermented sugars and/or alcohol that had gone to work in the container. The boy quickly decided to take one of our bottles of white wine (that we had made a year prior to that time primarily for cooking uses. Turned out to be a pretty palatable drink, too) to turn into vinegar. The mother and wine went into a one gallon carboy, along with some water to dilute the eventual product. A dark towel covered the glass, and we forgot about it in a corner. Until yesterday.

We took a peek. We poured a tablespoon. And it was the most glorious wine vinegar I’d ever tasted.

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