You can see the dregs at the bottom of the carboy on the right.
I started drinking before 10:30 this morning and there was an explosion in my basement.
The 1-liter bottle exploded when the cork was pulled out.
It was really more of a minor eruption and involved one of my 1-liter wine bottles. And the drinking was more of a tasting as part of my wine-making duties.
It was a little more than a month ago that the wine stopped fermenting in the large oak barrel and I siphoned it into two 5-gallon glass carboys, two 1-gallon bottles, and three 1-liter bottles. Over that time dregs settled to the bottom of the carboys and as part of the wine-making process I had to change it from carboy to clean carboy so that the wine didn’t sit too long on top of it.
Usually, when I make wine in the fall I crush the grapes in early October and I change the carboys on St. Martin’s Day, Nov. 11, an old superstition of my father’s that I’ve followed for years to great success. But this year I made wine in the spring using grapes from the fall harvest in Chile (our spring is their fall) and I wasn’t sure which Saint should guide me.
A Saint To Guide Me
Today I started a new tradition and declared St. Veronica Guiliani’s Day the day to change the wine from glass to glass. Catholic Online told me St. Veronica was a Capuchin mystic who was born near Milan and “who had many spiritual gifts.” She was a “recipient of a stigmata in 1697 and “she impressed her fellow nuns by remaining remarkably practical despite her numerous ecstatic experiences.”
All was going well until I tried to open a 1-liter bottle of the wine to help fill one of the carboys to the top. The dregs take up some room so when I fill up a clean carboy I’m usually short a third of a liter or more and I need to fill it up all of the way to keep the air out. Air will turn wine made without preservatives to vinegar. I use no sulphites, only grapes which mysteriously change from grape juice to wine when I follow this process.
So I pulled out the cork on the 1-liter bottle and it came out with a pop, followed by what looked to be smoke, and a raging rush of rose-colored bubbles that erupted out of the bottle along with three-quarters of the bottle of homemade wine. In the end I used up that bottle, as well as nearly two more liters, to fill both carboys to the brim. What I’m left with is 12 gallons of homemade malbec in clean bottles in my basement.
I had to taste each carboy and bottle after I opened it to make sure nothing had turned to vinegar. All tasted good– nearly ready to drink even now.
I Have A Vision
St. Veronica entered “a new phase of her spiritual life in 1693 when she claimed to have a vision of a chalise, symbolizing the Divine Passion which was to be re-enacted in her own soul,” according to Catholic Online.
I too have a vision of a chalise, filled with this wine, which I’ll be able to start drinking in the fall. This morning’s tastings led me to envision a bold vintage with bright spicy notes and a good kick. It’s a little raw now but I’m hoping it develops a silky texture within the next couple of months, a character of malbec that I like and desire.
Until then, I’ll wait out the rest of the summer knowing there is a God. How else can I explain this miracle?