Monday, November 17, 2008

My least favorite part of making wine.

Making wine has it's fun, and it's not so fun, parts. That is pretty much true of most things. Cooking is fun, doing the dishes isn't. Going for a long drive is fun, filling the tank when you are done isn't. Having a bunch of friends over is fun, sweeping up after they left isn't.

Wine making is like that. Some people really enjoy the crush, others the fermentation, others the bottling and many probably just enjoy the end product.

I have to admit, that the end product is one of my favorite parts. Not the most enjoyable part, but it is way up there. And I don't even mean drinking it, I mean, just having it there for me to look at. Enjoying something that I made myself is very rewarding. My day time job involves working with software. It is very interesting and intellectually challenging. But at the end of the day, I can not hold it up in my hand and say, I made this. I tried to explain writing software to my mom one time. She uses a computer and understands that software makes it do the thing she likes it to do. But how it gets from people sitting at desks and writing words down on keyboards, to running on her computer is just one of those mysteries. Like "The Mystery Spot", we are not sure why people think that water is running up hill of people are different sizes there, they just do.

That is what I enjoy about wine. After a year of waiting, after crushing, pressing, fermenting, racking, adjusting, bottling, aging, and mostly... waiting, But in the end, I have something I can hold up and say: "I made this." It is something tactile, solid, mine.

But, some parts are more enjoyable than others. I have always been a math and chem guy. The lab work and formulas always were a very enjoyable part. The crush and the pressing are high points too. And even bottling is enjoyable, especially when it is done with friends over.

But the thing that I get no enjoyment from, what so ever, is labeling the wine. I have always bottled the wine and put it back into the cases without a label. Then when I need it, I print a couple labels, cut them out and afix them to the bottle. But as my volume of wine has increased, I have been left with a very large number of unlabeled bottles. From now one, labeling happens at bottling time.

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