Finn McSpool Proves He’s a Real Corker

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.

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Finn McSpool Wishes You a Nutty Christmas

Finn McSpool gathered some friends together to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, or maybe it’s more appropriate to offer up a Nutty Christmas given his friends’ primary occupations….

But wait, what’s that lurking just out of shot to the right? Another nutcrackery buddy? Continue reading

Welcome to My New Venue

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I’m still a couple days away from completing my next piece of colored pencil art (or one day if I get really motivated), but I still have something art-related I’ve been eager to share with you: my new art shop on Fine Art America.

Cue round of fanfare and fireworks….


About Fine Art America

Fine Art America is an online print-on-demand retailer for artists who want to sell prints of their work but who don’t want the hassle of stocking prints and processing orders. You simply upload your art and they do the rest, including offering loads of products featuring your art such as… Continue reading

Finn McSpool Enters The Land of Wine & Honey

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.

wine, homemade wine, wine bottle

Of course, I didn’t want to drink alone so I invited my new friend from Dublin, Finn McSpool (created by Crawcrafts Beasties), to join me.


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. Continue reading

Writing Wednesday Takes a Turn for the Boozier

According the latest and greatest of my blogging schedules, today is meant to be Writing Wednesday during which I share with you my writing world, offer up writing advice, or present some other writerly type of babble.

Unfortunately, this week, other than plodding my way through the second draft of The Maze (the third book in my Osteria Chronicles series), there’s just not much going on in my literary life. However, there has been an exciting event in another realm of my existence, so instead of Writing Wednesday, I’m taking a turn for the boozier and making this Wine Wednesday.

As you may remember, a few months ago I thought I’d make use of my garden’s overabundance of grapes by trying my hand at winemaking (if not, read all about it here). Since winemaking instructions tend to be either completely vague or overly technical and since I only had enough grapes for one batch of wine, I decided not to waste my juicy little orbs on my first attempt at being a vintner. Continue reading