For those of you who read Go Blondie on a fairly regular basis or at least when I post; know that I mentioned a new hobby that I found. Now that we are done with gift giving, we can reveal our hobby.
Drum roll please………….
Our new hobby is WINE MAKING!!!
Yes, you heard it, Carl and I are making wine. How did this start you ask?!
Back in September 2013, I told Carl it would be fun to make wine and what a great gift to give. When we get invited to someone’s house or need to give a gift, most of the time we bring wine. We thought how cool would it be to bring homemade wine and how special. So for part of my Birthday present, Carl gifted me with the equipment to start the wine process.
Here are the pictures of how our process has been going.
Here is our “Wine” Closet. This is where the magic happens or the stinky fermentation stage. haha Our equipment is from Midwest Supplies. They are all great there and so helpful. We were told a main reason why a batch of wine is ruined is because the equipment was not sanitized. We have to sanitize every piece of equipment before and after use.
We attended a 4 hour wine class with them back in September and that was helpful to see the process and we tasted a few different wine kits. It’s sad because when we walk in there now on the weekend they know who we are. Well you can’t miss me. haha
Here are the first two kits that we have started. We are starting slow with kits to make sure we get this down. The kits make 6 gallons of wine and produce approximately 5 bottles of wine per gallon- Yes, that is 30 bottles of wine! I wanted to make a short term wine first to make sure we get the process and then try to make a Merlot and Riesling.
Wine #1 Pomegranate Zinfandel
We decided to start the Island Mist Pomegranate Zinfandel (PZ), that was a 3-4 week wine and you can drink it right away. It is a little sweeter and needs to be served chilled.
Once the fermentation stage is complete we have to “rack” (meaning move or transfer to another container) the wine into a 6 gallon carboy. It is placed in the carboy to clear out so there is no sediment in the wine.
We ended up racking the wine2-3 times. We need to check the the gravity every time we look at the wine and then we need to make sure we de-gas it.
While the wine is clearing out, we soak the wine bottles, take the labels off and then clean them out for bottling. We asked family and friends to save bottles for us so that we didn’t have to spend extra money on bottles. We had a great amount bottles and we greatly THANK everyone for saving bottles. Everyone has continued to save bottles so we can continue to bottle. 🙂
I love our bottle cleaner tree. We tried cleaning them another way and leave them in the drying rack in the sink. That took forever and was really unproductive, the tree is awesome and works so well.
Now lets start bottling our first wine!!!!
Wine # 2 Merlot
We bottled our Merlot already, I did not take pictures. The Merlot will have to sit for 9-12 months. Each time we did something with the wine, we tasted it and I can’t wait, it is going to be good.
The next few pictures are of me opening our PZ wine.
It was so good. When I put my post up about the scallop supper I made, that is when we tried the wine.
I tasted this wine when it was warm, that was a bad idea. I was scared because if that is what it tasted like, yikes we messed something up. But once it was done and chilled, it was awesome.
This has really been an exciting hobby for both Carl and I to share and keep it a secret this long. We have had a lot of fun watching it all come together.
We had to keep this a secret since September because Carl’s mom and sisters were getting bottles in the Christmas presents. I kept it a secret from my family until October, we surprised everyone with it at my brother’s housewarming party. We have gotten great reviews on the PZ wine, which makes us feel really good and lets us know we did it right. All family and friends who saved us bottle got a bottle of our wine and then we gave some for gifts.
Now we have to get our Riesling started because that one needs to sit for 6-12 months. I would like to do another short term wine, so we will see.
Stay tuned to what is next. I am crossing my fingers for a new italian corker. 🙂
Happy Wine Making from Blondie and Carl!