Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy

Ben Franklin said that.

I haven’t been online because I’ve been in Napa, CA. taking a much needed break with Rich and our dear friends, Toni and Bob. I mentioned before that Toni and I were always up to no good back in Ann Arbor and she is one of my dear friends that I have been missing terribly since they moved to California and we moved to Chicago. You might think you are never moving but wait. Someday, your children will grow up and go away, your focus will shift along with your priorities and there will be an ah-ha! moment when you think, "it’s now or never" and you uproot. I can’t imagine FC doing this by more than 40 miles and maybe not Robin Andrea and Roger but the rest of you? We’ll see.

I’ll have more to say about all of this over the next few days, with more pictures, too. Today I wanted to get these up before Rich and I hop on the red-eye for Chicago.

I laughed when I saw these photos. Toni took me to COPIA for a wine making class today and I ask you, who is taking this more seriously- me or the two guys next to me? I am, by no means, a wine snob so imagine my surprise when a) I decided to really put myself into this project and b) I could actually tell the difference between a good blend of varietals and a not so good blend. I even figured out that the Cabernet Franc we were originally given was "corked", i.e. musty from a cork gone funky. Did you know that modest estimates indicate that at least one bottle per case of wine is "corked" and the trend is to screw tops? Soon, all of your finer wines will have screw on caps. I kid you not.

In the meantime, I designed my own special wine today: blended it, created a label, bottled and corked it. Note the labels. They are very high class. That’s right: this wine is the exclusive (very limited) production of Yellow Brick Road Vineyards in two variations. The first would be labeled a Cabernet Sauvignon- that’s Sophie’s Choice. The second, my favorite and a damn fine wine, if I do say so myself, is Fat Cloud Merlot. Tomorrow, when I’m not rushing, I’ll tell you more about COPIA and also this process of blending varietals from local vineyards, including the ratios of various grapes that I chose. For now- perhaps I’ve found a new calling.




24 responses to “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy

  1. A new hobby? I am sure you would be good at it; you seemed right at home there with the pipettes…..LOL. It’s nice to see the photos, Vicki, and you look wonderfully rested and pleased with your wine. Will be seeing that label in our local stores anytime soon?

  2. You look very intent in those photos. Suddenly, I’m thirsty for a nice red wine.

  3. My goodness, you look like a vintner, Vicki. I am impressed. I have always wanted to like wine, but alas, am a microbrew type through and through.

  4. Tell Tony and Bob hello for me. You look as if you are having a well deserved, wonderful time.

  5. Looks like you’re having fun, though the pipette reminds a little too much of undergrad chemistry, which was not.

  6. That looks like the real thing! You look like a pro. Roger and I tried to make some wine years ago. I think we should have started with something a little more refined than a bag of concentrated grapejuice wine starter. We gave up after one try, but when I look at these photos, I think maybe we should try again. We are serious devotees of the vintage grape.

    About moving, we’ve been here in the Washington northwest since June 2004. Every now and then we think we’ve moved too far from our families. Everyone we love is at least a two-day drive away. We look online at houses for sale on the southern Oregon coast, and wonder.

  7. And now another accomplishment to add to your long list – winemaker! Sounds so cool. A trip to Napa is still on the to-do list here. Sigh.

    Love the Ben Franklin quote. I totally agree. Why just last night…

  8. Very cool trip! I, like Miz S, am suddenly wanting a good red wine. Which is saying something since it’s 9:40am and I’m still drinking my first coffee of th eday! 🙂

  9. That really does look like serious business. I love the names for your wines.

  10. You’re so cute! You going to put the cats on the label next time?

  11. Yellow Brick Road Vineyards! Why that’s just the ticket with our Over the Rainbow Relay… (Keith is going to be the Scarecrow – if he only had a brain… *snort*) Looks like much fun!

  12. Ooh, Napa in June. Lovely, lovely. (as are you in these photos)

  13. That guy next to you looks like maybe he took the tasting part too seriously – look at all those empty wineglasses!

    Looks like fun – where can I buy a bottle?


  14. Well, pop my cork! I have some dark French chocolate. Where shall we meet?

  15. I’m not even laughing (oh, yes I am) What a fun time! This IS serious business. Who will be your distributor and how can I contact them? I love Merlot next to Chardonnay.

  16. Sophie will be so proud!
    We bought a house… or rather my brother did! Closing in less than three weeks…. moving will take a couple of months. I am frazzled… and it is only about a seven mile move.

  17. And, Franklin sounds more like a Lutheran than a Deist here.

  18. You are obviously way more into this than I would ever be; I like Trader Joes Three Buck Chuck as much as anything else. But when it comes to beer, that’s another story! Franklin was right.

  19. Oh, so THAT’S what you were doing! That’s terrific! What a grand thing to start doing!

  20. Trying to stir up some controversy with that Franklin quote? Many in the brewery business quote ole Ben as saying the “beer” is the reason that God wanted man to be happy. In fact, if you ever drive past the Sidetrack Bar in Ypsilanti, that liberally quote Franklin on signs and banners as saying so.

  21. Soon I’m going to hear that you’re a top sommelier in Chicago. I just KNOW it.

  22. Wow, it looks like a French chemistry lab …
    40 miles would put me about 15 miles out in the Gulf 🙂
    Actually, I did all my moving early, from ’76 to ’88, I moved 8 times. THAT is why I’m done, and truthfully, there’s nowhere else for me to go. I’m on the last Florida frontier.
    I don’t fit anywhere else.

  23. We tried home beer making for a while with mixed results. I liked the capping part – something about the lever action appealed to me.

    Sounds like a really great trip.

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