That's right boys and girls, IgNight is a bona fide fire festival for us fire freaks here in the Southern California part of the world, it's completely sold out, and my head is about to explode into bits of excitement smithereens from the anticipation of it all.
Just me, and 499 of my closest, fire-twirling, spintastic, friends, are set to gather in the desert for the three day spectacular event.
Fire spinning instructors stretching from across the pond as far as Sweden and Ireland, will be present to demonstrate their flow and technique throughout the days, while we take to the cool evenings with newly learned skills to light up the desert.
This little tucked away gem of a shop is equipped with all the tools necessary to put your vintner skills to the test.
Owner Gi Claassen is consistently on deck to assist with all of your winemaking queries.
With the vast array of wine supplies and hands on assistance available here, you can relinquish any reservation you may be clenching towards giving winemaking a go. I mean who hasn't romanced the notion of creating their own vintage?
At Curds and Wine, they make it a real cinch here.
After a lengthy time considering whether indecision was, or was not my problem, I selected a Chilean Malbec. I do enjoy the spices and lush fruity characters that this thick skinned varietal can lend to the palette.
It began with the grape juice.
Then I added some of the yeasty little microorganism starter bits.
Checking the sugar levels using a hydrometer was a piece of cake! Mine came in at a 1.1 here.
that's about 13% alcohol content
Sulfites are added to prevent oxidation and the juice is tucked away to work its fermenting magic.
Over the course of a few months measures are taken such as adding fining agents and transfering the contents into a secondary and tertiary container to remove sediment. This process is known as racking.
A bit of patience is indeed necessary when making wine as this delicate process is timely. It required several straightforward visits to this delightful little shop.
Meanwhile in Adobe Photoshopland,
I took to label making and came up with this lovely:
I figured since it's a seductive Chilean red, I decided to name my wine "Inciendar", which translates from Spanish to "to set aflame".
How perfectly fitting.
Only I soon learned that the font was a trifle bit too scanty to show up on a bottle, so I made the appropriate changes and came up with this:
I have to admit that on my final day back in the shop I got a wee bit misty eyed.
Who would ever want this fantastical fun to come to an end?
bottling the contents
corking the finished product
Ah yes, all good things must come to an end, but I've taken great delight knowing this is only the beginning as freshly corked wine is always in need of age.
So in the end, making a good wine requires practicing patience. I've found that learning and doing so can help you to feel satisfaction, understood, accomplished, calm, peaceful, relaxed and remarkably happy.
It can also put you on the path to winemaking.
Just a little love and a little time
Now time for these bottles to sit and age for a bit.
I'll give another one a go say 3-4 months from now.
Come August it's a wine date.
I'm just giddy with anticipation, and I think a good surprise is well worth the wait.
Picture if you will, navigating your path through the main concourse of Grand Central Station when a sudden assemblage of what seems to be common pedestrian traffic, randomly breaks into synchronized behavior.
Part anarchists, part peacemakers,
gathering for no other purpose than to provide spectators with an unexpected moment of spontaneous joy.
The coordination of over 200 people freezing in place on cue in the highly congested New York terminal to create this spectacle.
Oh, those modern day flash mobs, seizing urban playgrounds with their hand-picked niceness.
Refreshing our day after day mundane routines, and breathing new and invigorating life into our spirits,
even if just for a fleeting moment.
A few of the better known friendly mobbers.
In lieu of demands with angry clamors,
The Hug Mob protests include carrying signs that read "Free Hugs" as they march through metropolitan regions delivering snuggles and bear hugs to unsuspecting bystanders, while propagating love in the wake of their path.
The pillow fight mob is a hoot and a half, as out of the blue, cushioned-wielding, assailants break into a feathery battle within the city limits.
The scream team organized a zombie mob where an unexpected outbreak of the living dead spilled onto the city streets to delight and entertain us,
or perhaps they were after our delicious, meaty brains?
Getting caught up in the middle of a pie fight mobstorm is a guarantee for silly, good fun.
Nobody needs to know that the ammo actually consists of shaving cream piled onto paper plates.
Then of course, there's the No Pants Subway Ride, a delightful gathering of bold citizens going about their daily route, only instead they do so while pantless for your amusement.
If these public displays of mutual affection and sneak attacks of joy don't put a smile on your face,
then just go ahead and resign from the human race.
You should be beaming from ear to ear with so many happies from the very sight of such organized displays of love and kindness.