Have any of you made or are going to make wine this fall? [General]

2010 Oct 10
Just wondering if there are any wine guru's on here. Made my third batch of wine this past week with my dad. Went with a Merlot/Cab mix. We'll see how it turns out in a few weeks!

Would love to discuss mixes, techniques etc with other locals!

take care, rob

2010 Oct 10
Once upon a time I made (many years) wine (before getting into woodworking) and bought grapes from Niagara and Wash. state. The classic Bordeaux grape blend is 75% cab and 25% merlot, mascerated 2 weeks on skins. The secret is reaching 75F for 2 days, then pressing off skins after 2 weeks. Must age 2+ years after bottling, then exquisite.
I got out of it, however, to do woodworking. These days I enjoy Shopsmith etc. with exotic woods/black walnut/cherry. For example, I have 2-inch-thick chopping board of Purpleheart and red padauk -- same red wood they used to finish Pullman railroad dining cars in early 1900s. Must be the most expensive chopping block in the city of Ottawa!
Have also turned my own shaker candlestick table w. cherry, and done my own stained glass cranberry window ... and so on.
Made the world's largest Thomas the Tank Engine set from cherry for my boy when he was three (many years ago now). He's now 16, and we still have it ... Thomas set goes all over basement
Life is fun, cooking good food and making stuff for your children is even better!
Enjoy your weekend.

2010 Oct 10
I don't make my own but I know a lot of guys who do. They almost unanimously say that if you really want to make superb wine at home, you have to forget the kits and work directly with the grapes. Fortunately, the grapes are in right now at Musca in Little Italy - but they won't be for long so you'd better get moving!

2010 Oct 10
Ron - you're a master of many trades! Did you try the wine before the 2+ years? I've followed my dad's tradition of trying wine for the first time on on San Martino, November 11 - a day of celebration in Italy. It generally require 2 or so more months to become drinkable. I've never let it age for very longer - a year at most.

I used a 50/50 split this year of Merlot/Cab. Mascernation lasted 10 days and then pressed. My dad uses a Thompson/Alicante/Muscato mix - he makes his wine in a fashion that I've never read anywhere but he likes it and has made it for many, many years.

As for the woodwork, that is fantastic. I have 3 different chopping blocks - none I'm particularly pleased with. I also use a large piece of counter top I bought from Rona's left-overs area - great for making dough, prepping bbqing, butchering etc. Easy to bring outside and clean down. I'm looking to buy a nice John Boos unit for general purpose cutting, but I'm not 100% sure yet. I would love, love, love to have a built in rock maple wood counter.

Speaking of wood - where do you generally source? Adams & Kennedy? I have to finish a fireplace mantle to match another in the house which uses old farm-house roofing. Not sure if there are other sources for this in town.

happy thanksgiving all!

2010 Oct 10
Bought our grapes from Preston Hardware - they have a pretty unique selection.

Funny - Walmart is actually selling juice now. Wonder how it is? :)

2010 Oct 10
Hey kitchen guy,
First, by all means try your wines as frequently as you like! I just found I pulled so much tannin from the skins that it needed 2+ years to soften the edges.
Also attached here is pix of my homemade chopping block.
Cheers ...

2010 Oct 10
Bought our grapes from Preston Hardware - they have a pretty unique selection.

Funny - Walmart is actually selling juice now. Wonder how it is? :)