Sunday, August 30, 2009


The fine art

This is the "Stairway".....

...And this is the closet under the stairway.....

My husband is half Italian (His father was a 1st generation Italian American...and his grandfather was one of the last of the immigrants to enter America through Ellis Island). My husband has fond memories of visiting his Italian grandmother for a whole summer when he was 14 years old. They drank wine with every meal (not breakfast) which my husband, of course, thought was "cool" at first, but then it became just a mundane part life. Because he had access to it, it failed to have the allure it might have had, I guess. He learned to drink responsibly? He also learned to literally clean his plate before asking for seconds....He has vivid memories of reaching for more chicken and getting swatted in the back of the that , in his words, it "laid his face down on his plate"...Ouch! Anyway, he looked at his grandmother in shocked surprise and she said, "Moncha, moncha", and pointed to his plate. Apparently he wasn't finished until he had cleaned every inkling of meat off of the chicken bone! To this day, he cleans the bones of pork chops, ribs, steak, chicken.......and then looks over at my plate to see if I left any meat on the bones on my plate (His grandmother would have been disappointed in me:)!
Anyway, we always have red wine in the house due to his Italian heritage, and, lately dear old Hubby has taken up the fine art of! The first step, of course, was to find a spot for this delicate undertaking (I never realized how much care has to be taken for jostling of the bottle, no light and coolness are important........So.....he decided to do it in the closet under our stairway.
Now, keep in mind this closet is used for storage also, so you will see odd things in some of these phots that have nothing to do with making wine:)

Inside "the closet under the stairway"...

We had to set the vat on top of paint cans to make it high enough for the siphon to work;

This weekend, I had to help him siphon the wine....being careful not to stir up the sediment created by the grapes and oak chips in the bottom....from the plastic container into a six gallon glass jar.....

This will have to sit "still" for about ten (I'm not positive about may be 28 days, now that I think about it, but HE knows, believe you me!) days to ferment and ....... hmmm...get better? It has to absorb and mature so that there is a fullness to the flavor. I do think you have to stir it up every few days and then let it become "still" again.

After that you siphon it into a five gallon glass jar (All of it won't fit, so you will get a couple of bottles of "newer" wine from this) where it, again, becomes "still" for several more days (maybe ten or so?).

This is the 6-gallon glass jar, but the 5-gallon will look the same only a tad smaller.
I have never seen my husband truly read and follow instructions as he has with this wine-making!

The "Mad Scientist" in action:)...I'm not sure why I love him:)

Anyway, as I was helping him yesterday and he was telling me all of this, I couldn't help but compare this to our life in Christ......the "maturing".....the sitting "still" periods to allow Christ to work within us after the "strring up" of life all around us....the "sediment", the "dross" we try to allow to settle to the "bottom".....but yet if we don't follow the instructions God laid out for us in the Bible and through our quiet times with Him, we end up "mixing" some of this dross or sediment back into our lives.

Be still and know that I am God.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God.....

There is a light trying to click on in my head about wine, old Christ. I just know there is a life-lesson here somewhere......

Have a Lovely Day!


  1. It's been said that wine is poetry in a bottle. Perhaps this is your husband's way of attempting to do what you do so well - in his own way. I'm anxious to hear how it tastes when the time comes! What an interesting process! Thanks for sharing... & perhaps you will share some of those life applications lessons you learn as you go...

  2. Perhaps I will, Mystory:)....share those life lessons, that is. And, yes, I will certainly keep all my blog world friends "up-to-date" as we enjoy this "creation" together!

  3. This reminds me of my flatmate's mom who makes her own wine and brought over a bottle, before she left she casually said, "oh, Helen, you might want to put that in the shower or somewhere, I've had quite a few bottles explode."

    Sure enough, it did. But I had some of the stuff that didn't last time I was in Devon and it was lovely elderberry wine.

    You should get a few wine labels printed up and give your wine a fun name.

  4. Oh, my goodness, Duchess! I'm certainly going to pass this tidbit of info on to the "winemaker"....I certainly don't want red wine splattered all over our house!

    As for the wine labels, Fug (as son and friends have christened him) is already working on that....he likes "UNDER THE STAIRS...A WINERY" with maybe a photo of the staircase with the name superimposed on top of the photo.....but we shall see.

  5. We got a great laugh last night out of Fug's portrait...

    This is so neat! I guess by October when I come visit there will be wine flowing like rivers through the Ug household???

  6. Ha! Let's hope it's not splattered everywhere....After the Duchess's comment, I must confess I am a tad worried now:0.....We may need to move our wine-makings to the shower in case of (gulp) an explosion? We could call it SHOWERING WINES?

    bUT, YES, to answer your question, I think it will be ready by then:)....

  7. I didn't mean to worry you. It was only a certain batch that did that. The other batches that Helen's mom makes are fine. She does a variety of wines every year. Apple was my favorite this year. MMMM blueberry. I want to go find some now.

  8. Apple wine? Now that's different! I'll bet that IS quite tasty:)

    We're making cabernet sauvignon right now, but we have access to muscadines, pears, and figs....Mmmm...fig wine?

  9. fig and pear wine sounds delicious! And, I'm in England: anything can be made into an alcohol here.

  10. Homemade wine - you lucky gal! It's been a few years since anyone in my family has done that.
    My oldest son made hard apple cider from his apple trees, and I have made wine from wild grapes that grow around his barn. Very tasty!
    No bottles exploded, so don't worry too much.

  11. Next time I'm home I'm coming over to the "ug" household to try some! Sounds wonderful! Good job Mr J!