What Up? My world lately…


You’ve probably thought that I’ve turned this into a Dog-Mom Blog.

But really, there has been very much going on this summer!  Work has been busier than ever. When I get home, workout and cook dinner, there’s not much left of me wanting to get online. This little blog suffers.

But when I’m not doing that, I’ve been doing lots of fun stuff!

Here’s just a tidbit.

More painting!

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And now… wine-making!

I never, ever thought I’d be one to make my own wine. Back when I taught at in-home wine tastings, there was always a guest who would say, “My {insert relative here} makes wine!”

And just thought of it exhausted me. I don’t have that kind of patience. I’d rather just drink the stuff than put in such a huge amount of time, money and effort on something that may not even turn out. Yes, I’m a turn-key kind of girl. The house Rob and I chose to move into together had no renovations required.

But that is not the case with my friend Sally. She’s always been interested in home improvements. And her latest hobby is wine-making. After hanging out with her and her husband one night, they invited us to make wine at their place and let us know when their next fermenter would be available. They had all of the equipment. The only things we would need were:

  1. a wine kit
  2. about 30 wine bottles
  3. purified water


Here is what we chose for our first kit, based on the recommendations at Midwest Supply:



Sally and Ryan made it sooooo incredibly easy for us. The package instructions all sounded like jibberish to me. They had everything set up and ready to go for us, sanitizer and all. Then they led us every step of the way.

It was so much easier than I thought; but I know that I never could have done it without their help. Plus, we didn’t have to buy any equipment.

But that’s just the thing. We liked it so much – depending on how this batch turns out – we might end up becoming kit wine-makers ourselves. After the initial investment in the equipment, the result comes out to just a few dollars per bottle of wine.

We also had the opportunity to help them bottle a batch of Cab-Shiraz (I believe) using a Portuguese Floor Corker:

Portuguese Floor Corker

And after we left, they let us know when things started a bubblin’ or… I guess fermenting is the technical term:


They invited us back this past weekend for Step #2, which involved moving the wine from a primary fermenter into a carboy. But wait, there’s more! Because the primary fermenters were now available, they invited us to make another batch with them!

We chose this one on this go-round because of the online reviews:

Wine Expert Vintners Reserve Shiraz

There are a few other steps involved, but Sally and Ryan have graciously offered to take care of those for us because they take little time. See? No wonder it feels so easy {and fun!} to us.  They sure do spoil us. Thanks, Sally and Ryan!

We get to bottle both batches of wine at the end of August. Then, the waiting begins. This can be six months to one year until they will become drinkable! {See, I knew that would be the hardest part.}

Our friend Jeff makes incredible wine. For our wedding, he and his wife Penny gave us a case of twelve different bottles of his wine. It was one of the best gifts we received. When I used to think about home-made wine, I thought “nothing-special”; but that all changed the first time we tried Jeff’s wine! That guy can’t make a bad bottle. {Or at least he doesn’t share those!} That, combined with the fact that Sally and Ryan were going to help us, made me a lot less reluctant to give it a try.

Have you made your own wine before?

What were your thoughts? Results?

Any tips for us newbies?




6 responses »

  1. I have never attempted that, but my husband at one time had an interest in making his own beer, but that never happened. I guess I didn’t know there were wine kits out there? Pretty cool!

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