As my loyal followers might remember, last year I delved into the wonderful world of winemaking, and that a few months ago I bravely bottled my boozey concoctions. Well, I recently hit the earliest aging time for fruit wine. Sure, sure, longer aging would lead to a smoother wine, but after having those bottles taunting me for six months, I had to have a sample.
But prior to getting down to our wine tasting, we had to check on the bees…not a chore you want to do under the influence.
During the last hive inspection I noticed one of the combs had fallen off one of the bars. I left it at the time because I had other hive chores to do, but I knew I had to get it out soon otherwise the bees would work some funky architecture around it and make a modern art mess of it.
I opted for a cool day so the majority of the bees were all huddled together at the other end of the hive, then made deft use of my kitchen tongs to pull the fallen comb out. It was new comb which means it was free of bee products (honey, pollen, larvae). It also smelled wonderful so it’s now serving time as a natural air freshener in my front room.
While the bees weren’t paying attention to me, I also sifted through a few combs to see if any honey might be ready. Finn was quite excited to see one with a decent amount of liquid gold so we committed a bit of larceny and stole its sugary goodness from those hard-working girls.
Although he was mostly an observer and didn’t really contribute much to the project, Finn was quite proud of the sweet and booze-y products of my recent labors and insisted on a photo with “his” jar of honey and “his” wine.
But back to the wine tasting.
I’m no wine expert, but holy grape vine this stuff tastes great to my uneducated tastebuds!!
First to sample was the pear wine. I’d read that pear and apple wines have trouble with cloudiness due to the pectin, but apparently I did something right because mine was amazingly clear (sorry, forget to take pics of it). There isn’t much pear aroma to it, but it does have a very mild pear taste and is quite yummy. Not bad for my first batch, if I may say so.
On to the grape wine. This was the wine I made from the grape vines Mr. Husband helped me put in a couple years ago. They’re just table grapes (Canadice) and supposedly you’re not supposed to make wine with table grapes, but I wasn’t hindered by such silly notions. And I’m SO glad I wasn’t.
This wine also came out super clear as you can see in the photos and it’s also quite pretty with a lovely grapefruit-y color to it. And the taste? O.M.G! It is delicious. It’s very crisp and, as you can see it’s very gluggable (which should be a word in any sommelier’s vocabulary).
I’m now trying to be patient and leave the remaining eight bottles of wine (four of each flavor) for another month or two or more. Although with an Irish monster in the house, I’m not sure how long my wine will actually last.
Got any homemade wine stories to share? Questions or quandaries about bees? Go ahead and leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
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Tammie Painter is the author of The Trials of Hercules and an artist who dedicates herself to the tedium of creating Images with colored pencil. Looking for a Father’s Day gift? Be sure to check out the dad-related Showcase Items at her Etsy shop.