Week 20: Let There Be Wine!

I went wine making! Because Groupon is great.

My original plan was to actually brew my own wine – but that involved a lot of planning, a lot of work, and a whole bunch of supplies (like giant carboys and a significant amount of space dedicated to wine making). I was down for the idea of getting cheap wine, but I was not quite willing to put in a significant amount of work or money.

For years my dad has made his own wine from a wine making kit (it pretty much supplies all of the ingredients, so that you don’t have to pick and wash and crush all of your own grapes). He has experimented with altering the flavour, the fullness, the whatever-else you can change about wine, and has found one that he loves. Because of this, I have a decent idea of how much time and effort goes into at-home wine making.

Liz (the same one who came fencing with me) and I made appointments at The Wine Butler and trekked all the way up to Yorkdale to drop some yeast into a larger container. For real, that was it. I knew the appointment would be short and sweet, but this was a bit ridiculous. It took us an hour to get up there (stupid buses and their transfer times), and we were only inside for about 5 minutes. The actual act of dropping the yeast was roughly nine seconds. It’s surprisingly little yeast.

It’s a weird workaround, but if they witness me “dropping the yeast” into the soon-to-be wine, I don’t get charged a bunch of government taxes. Because of that, I’m getting 14 bottles of wine for $40. Of course, I have to either supply or buy my own bottles (for $1 each), but still, that’s a pretty good price.

In a few weeks I will be going back to bottle and label my wine. As far as I can tell it’s a pretty idiot proof system. The only complicated part is that for my wine to mature fully, I have to wait at least 8 weeks after bottling it before drinking it. That’s a huge time commitment for someone who’s not into waiting for alcohol.

I would like to eventually make my own wine from scratch (as thrilling as dropping the yeast in was), but maybe when I have some more space. I can’t imagine having a huge carboy in the corner of the condo for several months, when we have enough trouble making room for a new recycling bin. Of course, now I’ll have to store 14 bottles of wine for two months, in a place where we won’t be tempted to open the under-developed, probably gross tasting wine before it’s ready. Win some, lose some.

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