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Fine Wine Takes a Little Time

On the Road to Introspection

When I was a kid I recognized one thing about myself–I am impatient. Now, I don’t know how I recognized the need for self-reflection at an early age, but, I decided that my impatience wasn’t a virtue I wanted to maintain. So, I sought out hobbies to improve my impatience. I took up the hobbies of reading, sewing, crocheting, and applique. I was an avid reader and discovered that none of these improved my impatience. I’d stay up all night sewing and the next morning I’d wear the outfit. With reading, I’d withdraw to my room reading at least 6 lengthy books within a week. In sixth grade the librarian refused to allow me to check out 6 classic novels. I’d read the previous set of 6 and returned them before the due date. So, she challenged me about whether I’d actually read all the books I’d previously returned. My favorite teacher, Mr. Beekman, asked her what was the problem. She said, “I don’t believe she read the last 6 books she checked out so, I’m not going to allow her to check out 6 more.” He smiled. Then he looked right at her and said firmly,”If Cheryl said she’s read those books–she’s read them. This is one of my best students.” And with that her verbal quiz of me began. Each book she picked up from the return book deposit from Treasure Island to Little Women,  I answered all her questions. Finally, in resignation, she allowed me to go beyond her 2 book rule and get 6 books, instead.


The Connecting to the Art of Winemaking

I guess, that’s the way it is for me also, with winemaking because with this skill have to learn patience. You must learn how to relax and just let the wine do its thing. Keep it in a dark, cool place. I keep my air conditioning on, at all times, in the home and store my wines in the coolest part of my house. Blackberry, cherry, blueberry, Merlot, all take at minimum 15-18 months to mature after final fermentation. The best thing is to simply forget about them until you’re ready to sweeten them. There’s an old saying: “there can be no wine before its time.” You can’t rush winemaking. Furthermore, it’s always changing. Eventually, it mellows out and its strong tannins become less sharp in flavor. They just drop out of the wine. Becoming a more patient person has taken a lifetime–and in winemaking I’ve met, (to date) my most difficult challenge.

My sweet blackberry wine and delicious sweet potato fries with a sour cream dipping sauce.

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