1st Annual Apple Smash yields 47 gallons of cider

The word for this weekend is most certainly “extraction” – that is, getting the juice from what mother nature has given us. Gently pressing, or violently smashing, it’s all good. On Saturday, I helped the Specters press their grapes in Dave’s refurbished grape press. On Sunday, we did our “1st Annual Apple Smash” using the […] Read More

Jim and Jay’s 2009 Elderberry Wine

This year, I was able to get not one, but two batch’s of Elderberry wine going. There’s a 3-gallon batch and a 5-gallon batch both made in dramatically different styles. I’ve always wanted to make Elderberry wine, mainly because my dad always told me that it was one of his favorite wines. As a typical apprentice […] Read More

10 Bottles Of Wine You Can’t Afford To Uncork

No liquid beyond water is more storied than wine. It’s the subject of literature and art, legend and myth.  Good batches are part science: climate, grape genetics, yeast growth, water impurities and otherwise. The best wines are an almost indefinable art, an essence, feeling or quality that many try to bottle, but few ever uncork.  […] Read More

My names not Cooper, but check me out!

I have a good friend named Jay Cooper… whose mother was my 2nd grade teacher in elementary school. And yes, they had coopers in their history. With a name like that, you’d better. But I’m not sure I had any coopers in my family. To the best of my knowledge, my father would be the one […] Read More

Wine Cellar Event Sat. Feb. 21

On Saturday, we ate, drink and were merry with good friends. Over the last 2 years, I have really been digging the red wines. To me, reds *are* more complex animals and hard to figure out both in the tasting and making. But I drink what I like and it spans from sweet to dry. […] Read More

2007 Spring Wine Grape Workshop

A well-rounded, all-day workshop. We toured the facility, the vineyard, and watched Bruce Bordelon (Purdue University, Ag Dept, Small Fruit Specialist) prune several variety of vines. There was LOTS of wine tasting and trying it various glasses. It happened at Ertle Cellars in Batesville, Indiana. This cellar and winery is a brand-new, state of the […] Read More

The WinePod

A friend sent me the most interesting link and I just had to blog about it. For the winemaking yuppy, try this on for size. A completely contained and integrated vessel for pressing, fermenting and making wine. For me, the biggest challenge in making a stellar wine lies between tasting, interpreting and making changes. That […] Read More

Ice Wine: CAN$30,000 for a half-bottle

Photo above by Ralph Orlowski Man, ice wine too damned good. And so, I’m actually making a batch of it. That is, I got a kit that has the juice of Riesling grapes that were allowed to freeze on the vine, then harvested pressed. 3-gallons for US$75. It is a lot of work (with risk […] Read More

10 basic things you need to make wine at home

Interested in making wine? Me too! There just aren’t enough home vintner’s anymore. It’s nice to share ideas and techniques with each other but experience makes all the difference. Here are the “Basic 10” things you will need to get started. All of these items are cheap and with basic care, will give you a […] Read More