Other title options for this post included: Finn McSpool: Monster in a Bottle, Finn McSpool’s All Bottled Up, or Finn McSpool Blows His Cork. Either way, as you may have guessed, Finn is back in the wine business for this today’s post.

Once Upon A Time…

Some of you may remember WAY back in August, Finn assisted me in starting a couple batches of wine. After doing a careful study of a certain I Love Lucy episode, he thought he knew all there was about the process of winemaking.

At least he kept his book dry.

Despite Finn’s help, I did manage to get the fermentation going, and over the fall I tended to all the other chores of turning mashed fruit and yeast into something enjoyably potable. Thankfully, Finn was too busy napping to lend a paw with these chores and they went quite smoothly.

The End is Nigh!

And I mean that in a good way. After months and months of waiting for my jewel-toned jugs of juicy joy to clarify and do whatever else it is wine does when you’re not looking, it was finally time to get that wine into bottles. And wouldn’t you know it, Finn woke from his hibernation just in time to join in…for better or worse.

Although bottling is an exciting time in any novice vintner’s life, it’s preceded by a little bit of drudgery: cleaning the bottles. And this means getting cleaning solution into each and every bottle one by one…a chore that doesn’t go any faster when you can’t find your funnel!

With the hope that all the worst of the bacteria, fungi, and other wine-destroying micro-organisms had been vanquished from my bottles, it was time to fill them.

Since I only have a siphoning tube for this step I have to use my limited knowledge of physics to make this step as efficient as possible which means placing the jug as high up from the bottles as I can manage. And let me tell you, that wine comes flying out of the jugs. Unfortunately, this makes a huge mess, so we’ll just skip any pics of this stage to keep you wine junkies out there from screaming in horror at the spilled wine that ends up all over my kitchen floor (believe me, I feel your pain).

Finn Proves He Still Hasn’t Mastered the Caber

Even though most of the bottling process is a pain in the Beastie bottom, it does have its rewarding moment. See, unlike most of life’s other frustrating tasks, you get to finish up wine bottling by bashing things with a mallet!

As you might expect, Finn was eager to hammer in that first cork. Those of you who have been with me a while may recall Finn’s less-than-stellar performance with the caber at the Scottish Highland Games.

After this embarrassing show, he resolved to get in shape so he could show those brawny Scots what an Irish monster can do at next year’s games. Thinking he had been keeping up with his workouts, I handed the mallet over to Finn. The results? Let’s just say the mallet won this round and that Finn may need to spend a little less time napping and a little more time working out if he’s ever going to take first prize at the games.

Still, Finn’s lack of might meant I got to hammer away plenty of tension by banging some fat corks into the narrow necks of ten wine bottles. So therapeutic!! The bottled wine is now resting in its rack and Finn is very impatient for the first taste test. Let’s just be glad he’s not even strong enough to wield a corkscrew!

How about you? Any wine-y tales to tell? Any thoughts on monster-assisted winemaking? Be sure to drop a line in the comments before you leave!

I’ll be back next Wednesday with some more news from my writing world. And Finn will be back in a couple weeks. In the meantime, don’t miss out on snagging two FREE books by entering your email here, or by clicking the image below.


What I’m Reading…

The Plantagenets

Hidden Figures

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

The Dragonblood Collection

23 thoughts on “Finn McSpool Proves He’s a Real Corker

  1. What a lovely wine rack… and I’m sure the content is going to be delicious.
    I made lots of mess in the kitchen the other day, but mine was not so appetising… it is also ok to cry over spilt moisturiser. Fortunately I didn’t splash much, but it did make an exciting slippery mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, but I bet your hands felt lovely after cleaning it all up! Mine just smelled like wine for a couple days.

      What did you make your moisturizer from? I know I can make hand salve with my beeswax but I’ve never had any luck making anything but a sticky mess. Thanks for popping by!


      1. I make the moisturiser using various oils – sweet almond, olive etc, but to make it into what we think of as moisturiser, you need to combine them with water by incorporating an emulsifier. I buy mine from a specialist supplier and I’m sure you could do the same. I think a bees wax face cream would be wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, even with Finn’s “help” that’s an impressive day’s work! I’m glad he left you some cork-hammering to do, that looks FUN! And, let’s be honest, probably necessary after a morning of monster-wrangling.
    Can I also put in a vote for giving beeswax beauty products a go? Assuming you have any free time AT ALL these days… 😂


    1. It is fun! And you know, corks aren’t too expensive, so maybe whenever I’m feeling frustrated, I should just grab a handful and hammer away. “Tammie, why are there so many empty-yet-corked wine bottle around the house?” “You don’t want to know.” Yes, looks like I’m going to have to study up on my cosmetic chemistry and make use of all this wax I’ve got stored in the fridge…as soon as my crazy writer persona has some time to switch over to the mad scientist persona, that is.


      1. Hahaha! Never a dull moment in your house! I’m still waiting for the right moment to crack open my Christmas gin-making kit… Perhaps I’m secretly concerned that MY inner mad scientist will take over, and I will become obsessed with finding the perfect blend of botanicals. As for the corks, I reckon you should TOTALLY cork bottles for recreational purposes… Screw-cap bottles are threatening the future of the ancient craft of cork production, so you could be its saviour!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Alas, I’m not opening my own illegal distillery! All I need to do is add the flavoursome herby spicy blend to vodka and let it sit. Should take about 5 minutes – but the (hopefully) delicious gin will last a lifetime! Well, at least half an hour. 😉


      3. I know! 😫 But due to space constraints (or “I have too much craft stuff”) I have nowhere to set up my mini brewery, so this will have to do! At least until I can work up the courage to go through that sack of “useful” fabric scraps and part with some of them… Yeah, that’s DEFINITELY going to happen. 😂


      4. Hmmm…you know that new “work” space you’re renting? I think a mini-distillery would fit in quite nicely there. Priorities, Helen. You’ve got to consider your priorities!


      5. Aha! YES! I knew the situation would resolve itself to my advantage eventually. And how fitting that said workspace is right in the middle of Dublin’s burgeoning whiskey district! It’s destiny!


  3. Ohhhhh every day is a wine-y tale, Tammie! Once again, you (and Finn) have thoroughly impressed me with your making-cool-stuff-in-the-kitchen skills. And once again, all I can really think about is how annoying my cats would be during this process. Jane is OBSESSED with wine corks, and all I have to do is pull out the corkscrew for her to go crazy. Our floors are littered 30% with cat toys and 70% with Jane-corks. And obviously I MUST continue to drink wine to keep her happy. How are your cats so well-behaved???


    1. My cats are too lazy to bother. The only time they bug me in the kitchen is when they know it’s their breakfast time (and then it’s like navigating through a school of starving sharks) or my dinner time when my old-lady cat Loki takes up most of my chair as she aggressively begs for as much food as we’ll give her. And yes, you better keep drinking wine, I mean providing Jane corks, or animal control will come after you for animal cruelty!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awwww Loki hahaha you go girl! I can’t help but think it’s something I’ve done to them to make their personalities so annoying/given them the need to constantly be harassing me. Mollycoddled? Probably a good thing I don’t have any human kids!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know, the authorities tend to get all “protective” when you start giving the kids alcohol-related toys to play with. Plus, you can’t leave kids alone for a few days while you nip off for a long weekend. Cats, no matter how spoiled and neurotic are way better!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ugh pesky authorities–live a little! Let us have some fun! And so true… way way better. Plus, they’re much cuter than children and when they talk back, you can pretend like you don’t understand what they are meowing. ‘What’s that? You’re saying you’re not hungry and that you want a hug instead? Come here and snuggle me, my little floofy face!!!!!!’


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