# of divers

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ringo Firefly, Winemaker

Thanks to our lovely little local one stop cheese and winemaking shop here in San Diego, 

I've taken to winemaking!

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.


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