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Sommelier Select: The Next Step

Poetry, captured in sunlightSerendipity: (noun) The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: ‘a fortunate stroke of serendipity’Winemaking is a journey of serendipity. The earth, sun, wind and rain give the winemaker fruit, and it's their responsibility to curate that fruit into delicious wine. The winemakers themselves can only reveal the [...]

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You Never Forget Your First Time

Maybe it's nostalgia. Maybe it's the passage of time polishing all of the edges off of memory. Whatever the case, I'm well into my fourth decade of making my own wine, but I haven't forgotten my very first wine. I'd already been making beer for years. Beer was fine, but it really didn't hold my interest. I'd started [...]

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Weekday Wine

Still life with bottle, two glasses, cheese and bread, Van GoghI Love My JobI know, I know, it's hard to think of what I do as a 'job': but it really is honest work, spreading the word about how easy and fun it is to make your own wine. Even though I've only been teaching [...]

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Pairing Up: Master Vinter, Creamery in a Box, Cheese, and You

Good things come in cheesy boxesCheeseAmong my many Attention Surplus Disorder activities (along with making wine [of course], curing my own meats, making pickles, brewing beer, making bread, gardening, making cider, roasting my own coffee, making soap, and whatever catches my eye this week) I like to make my own cheese. I can't claim to be [...]

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Thankful for Wine--and Pie

Important note: this blog entry deals with pie. Pie is better than cake. If you feel cake has the upper hand . . . well, no pie for you. Sorry. Thank-you, selective breeding, for turning a dinosaur into a walking ball of meat with a tiny head. Photo by tuchodi Predominantly celebrated in the USA and Canada (Canadians [...]

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The Emperor of Ice Cream

Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers. Let be be finale of seem. The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream --Wallace Stevens, The Emperor of Ice Cream Stevens [...]

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Long Tail Part Four: Bottling and Tasting

Note: This blog is one in a series of 'long tail' articles. There are a lot of winemaking techniques that can be demonstrated in a couple of paragraphs, but great wine doesn't happen in one day or even in one month: a lot of techniques don't show off their results for months or even years. [...]

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Fining, Racking and Sediment

Tight, compact sediment bed--a sign that the finings workedThere are a few things about wine kits that go against accepted grape winemaking practices, because of the way the kits are made and the processing that the grapes go through, but there are some kit instructions that seem downright against common sense. You can always tell a [...]

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A Long Tale, Part Three: Fining the Grapeskin Experiment

Note: This blog is one in a series of 'long tail' articles. There are a lot of winemaking techniques that can be demonstrated in a couple of paragraphs, but great wine doesn't happen in one day or even in one month: a lot of techniques don't show off their results for months or even years. [...]

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Master Vintner Limited Edition 2016

Master Vintner 2016--wonderful wines, just for youLimited Edition is HereExciting news! For the very first time, Master Vintner has its own Limited Edition wine kit. What's so special about that? Well, for starters: It's the only Limited Edition Collection available that's personally curated by me, Tim Vandergrift. If that sounds a little self-important, I only [...]

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