Just in case you think you want to make wine. Step by Step Instructions from a real person……

Wine I tell ya.  Wine is what the people want, ok, maybe they don’t want it per se, but it’s what they’re getting.

Those Russians.  Ya Can’t trust ’em.  I swear.

Anyway….. If you want to make wine, you have to follow these steps.  Because we are almost done making wine, and this is how we did it.


Get a grape vine/tree/plant.  Put it somewhere where it can grow all willy nilly and propagate and do it’s thing.  Don’t put it somewhere it’s going to strangle your roses or gladiolas……

STEP 2 (7 years later)

Congratulations, you have a lot of grapes on your big vine.  Birds are wanting to eat them……   Don’t let the  birds eat them.


So many grapes, the guy at the wine store said that everybody is buying “make your own wine kits” because it was a banner year for yard grapes.  Who woulda’ thought?  $150.


Pick the grapes.  Great fun, the two of us picking bunches of grapes and there were so many this year!  OOOOOOooooops, dropped some.   Those would be for the small birds who come down to eat them, and for our cats lying in wait to eat the birds, only to leave them dead in a pile of feathers in the dining room.

Leave the picked bunches of grapes in the big cooler, and as soon as that’s full, leave them in two strainers/giant bowls in the house.

Step 5

Rip the grapes off of the stems/branches/leaves/yucky weird stuff that came along with the grapes during picking.  Put the grapes back into cooler, rinse carefully at the beginning, after roughly 2 hours just start throwing them in the cooler and screw running cold water over them or rinsing.

P.S.  After this step, all of the grapes fit into the giant cooler.

Step 6

Approach cooler, position giant strainer going into 5 gallon bucket to catch all juices, because cooler draining plug is open.

Squish grapes by hand, seems fun at first, then pretend it’s fun, then be irritated that it’s not fun. AND it doesn’t roll out of the cooler spout like planned.

Be excited because that was planned for, and you poke a skewer in there multiple times, knowing that the skins and seeds were gonna be in the way…….. But that doesn’t help.


Put a big colander, I mean super big in the way of the spout and the end stage juice bin.  Start squishing grapes by hand into it.  Realize that the holes on the sides are passed the top of the juice bin and you are spilling hard won grape juice all over the concrete.


Put the squishy grapes into a jelly colander and then into the giant colander and squish by hand.  Feel accomplished because grape juice is making it to the promised homeland.

Keep doing this and rotating until all of the grapes have been squished and prodded at least three times.  This takes 2/3 of one day and sacrifices one knuckle worth of skin.



Take the garbage bucket of gross juice and crazy remnants into the house and add sugar, water, pectin, acid, and chemically tablets meant to kill dangerous bacteria (purchased from the wine store) and close the lid for 24 hours.


Add two packets of wine yeast to the grossest mix ever, and stir baby stir.


Stir everyday for 14 days.  The “must” is bubbling like crazy, but for now I am personally thankful that the fermentation process is working.  All of the gross sediment settles to the bottom, only to be stirred up daily.


OMG It’s been so nasty, the bubbling and the yuck shuffling around in the barely transparent weird garbage can that is your home.

The thing now though, is that it needs to be “siphoned” into a glass carboy, and I have never “siphoned”.  The good news is that my Rooster knows siphoning and wants to be granted credit for helping.  My Rooster Helped!  He does that.

But when asked later, you know that I know that he knows that you know that he helped.

Lots of gross yellowish brown yuck will be left in the bottom of the first vessel.  It looks like cat puke.  I dumped it into the garden.


WAIT.  3 weeks after that siphon.

During this three weeks in our lives we had my honey’s surgery and my dad’s surgery and now nobody can lift and now I’m just trying to get that favorite plaid shirt washed, the house cleaned up and deal with some late onset cabin fever.


Siphon again, wait three weeks.


The Blog.  The wine should be done on December 18th.  Ready for bottling.

The wine is made of Thompson Grapes in an organic setting.  If you are a recipient of a bottle of our backyard wine this year…….. Know that you are on the receiving end of one bottle of 15, or maybe 25.  I don’t understand the discrepancy in numbers…… but you are loved.


OH Hooray!


One Reply to “Just in case you think you want to make wine. Step by Step Instructions from a real person……”

  1. Good wine making task! Brings back memories of stained clothes, purple hands n face, especially lips in the Blackberry wine mashing! I can not (but will) wait to try it! Cheers!

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