11.22.2012 Racking, Bottling and Corking

On Thanksgiving, I am responsible for the bread and the potatoes.  Consequently, I don’t cook much on Thanksgiving.  Rather, I do most of my cooking the day before and yesterday was a 12 hour marathon.  3 batches of bread, a huge twice-baked potato casserole, two pumpkins and two pies.  Then, just to clear away some of the clutter, I decided to bottle the wine I made this summer.

The apple cyser mead (Fall’s Bounty Cyser) is not the stuff of legend like the first batch I made using this recipe.  The first batch lost its alcoholic punch, but left behind a sparkling cider that was wonderfully sweet, but sweet in a really, really good way.  The 2012 vintage currently tastes like Brut Champagne.  It is very, very dry and this time the alcohol is so there. We bottled it up and added a teaspoon of sugar to each bottle.  Now we leave it alone for at least six months and cross our fingers.

The marigold wine is a rich yellow color, but it is still cloudy.  Taste wise it is very complex (to our taste buds but we’re no connoisseurs) and we are undecided if it has the makings of greatness or it will forever be mediocre.  We racked it off (technical hooch making term meaning siphoned) into another gallon jug where hopefully it will clear up a little more.  And yeah, more waiting.

Racking the Marigold Wine. You’ll notice I recruited my son’s and my husband’s help. There were times during the racking and bottling procedures where we just needed three pairs of hands.

The blackberry wine, well, it has all the makings of greatness.  It is clear and is wonderfully dry.  It is not tooth-achingly sweet like the blackberry wine a friend gave me this fall.  Like my other two wines though, it is still immature.  We put it into bottles and then my husband and son got to play with our new bottle corker and let me tell you, you gotta be a manly man, to cork a bottle of wine, even when you’ve got the right tools for the job!

It’s not an exceptionally high tech contraption, just a clamp sort of device to compress the cork and a plunger to push it into the bottle. My husband could make it work. My 14 year old son could not. Having no delusions of grandeur, I didn’t even try.

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