Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wine News: French Winemakers Convicted for Duping Gallo

I guess even professional winemakers aren't immune to fraud:

In a decision that makes American vintners look strangely gullible, a court in southwest France convicted 12 French winemakers Wednesday in a scam that involved selling millions of bottles of fake pinot noir wine to the U.S. wine giant E&J Gallo.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why Make Wine at Home?

In Canada, where I grew up, it always made perfect sense to make your own wine. The excise taxes that the government imposed on wine and beer made them expensive commodities- especially imported beverages. So the savings was reason enough to do it. Here in the United States, alcohol is far less taxed, there is a wider selection, and the red everyday wine that I like to buy is quite affordable. So why do I make my own wine?

I guess it's the same reason I cook from scratch when I don't have to. Part of it is the control I have over the ingredients, turning classic ingredients like grape juice, yeast and sugar into something sublime. Another part of it is that I view making my own wine the same way I do putting up preserves- there's a sense of self-sufficiency in the practice.

I have made wine for the past twenty-some-odd years from kits, juice and from grapes themselves. I have picked ice wine grapes in freezing cold temperatures at 3 in the morning and have babysat a cranky batch of macerating Pinot Noir on more than one occasion. I like to think my wines reflect that earnest care.

It's a great hobby and one that not only gives you satisfaction but a glass of fantastic wine at the end!