Until this year, I've never tasted a fresh, vine-ripe Concord grape. I'm glad that changed. Delicious!
A friend of my mother-in-law's invited us to pick a few grapes. I decided to make juice.
After reading the Ball Blue Book canning directions, I thought the authors must be insane. That much work?!?
So... knowing there had to be an easier way, I turned to my faithful friend for advice. She grows grapes, makes juice as well as wine, and if there is a shortcut to be had she will know it.
Sure enough, she had some great shortcuts (just toss 'em all in a stockpot with a bit of water, cook, run through a colander and then sugar to taste!). Before long, the house smelled like a ripe vineyard. The smell made our mouths water and our cheeks pucker.
I canned some jars of juice and made popsicles for the boys. Delish.
A couple of weeks later, I received a call that there were more grapes (as well as pears) available at a nearby farm. Free for the picking.
I picked a binful. Now, I mentioned earlier that my friend makes her own wine. It's really delicious. As my husband and I have recently decided to attempt brewing our own beer, I thought we should attempt some wine as well. Why not?!?
So... we bought the wine kit and ingredients, washed & stemmed the grapes, and put it all into the primary fermenter. We'll need to add the yeast and then monitor it through the winter, sieving it when necessary. With a bit of luck, we'll have some great wine next spring!
Here is my friend's blog showing her wine-making instructions. Part 1 and Part 2. Why not try some yourself? You can make wine from so many things (including dandelions!). I'm shivering with excitement here! It's the little things, I tell ya...