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Dec 11, 2010 08:36 PM

Any Winemakers Around Here?


OK, I've been lurking here for awhile, reading the posts, and this board seems a little... er... moribund. The pairing Q & A is OK, and it's obvious that there are some folks who sell and collect wines, know this from that.

But is there anyone here who makes wine? If so, what excites you? What have you learned recently that surprises? Are you moving more to techno-oriented styles and techniques, or following more traditional ways? Who (besides the folks Bobby P flacks for) knocks your socks off? What's the best wineMAKING book you've read in the last year?

C'mon, there has to be somebody here with stained hands...

  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. I don't think there are many winemakers here, kaleokahu.

      Discussing homemade wine on this type of board, would be like discussing the scarf you are knitting on a dolce and gabbana accessory discussion board. Both have merit- just different animals.
      I don't see many people even asking about winemaking here. I think they go to sites specifically for that......but maybe you will start something new here! I haven't made wine or beer for years (but it's great fun). My friend makes a wine with Oregon grape and it is stunning!

      1. Nope. The Parker reference suggests you're asking about professional winemakers, as opposed to home winemakers, but not for certain. This is essentially a foodie site with a board devoted to the enjoyment of wine. While some rather technical questions do come up, I'm not aware of any winemakers here (of either type actually), though a few seem to have enough knowledge to do it.

        You may already be aware of it, but there's a specific board for "cellar rats' at . These are serious wine pros, from some pretty well-known mostly California wineries. Some of them WRITE books on wine making. If it's really 'home' makers you're after, I'm sure I've come across such boards before.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Midlife


          Thanks for your observations. But, let me try to shift some paradigms here. First, I see nothing in the spirit, precepts or guidelines (of this board or in CH in general), that would limit this board to mere wine appreciation, food pairing and purchasing. That is to say, nothing that would preclude some discussions of why, from a vintner's or a wine-tourist's perspective, wines are what they are and taste the way they do--or shouldn't, or whatever.

          Second, I do not mean to foment any technical or wonky discussions of vinification per se. You are right that there are better places for that. I did not mean to inquire about carboys and Titrets, let alone Ox-boxes and centrigugation.

          Third, there are things that winemakers can learn from wine tasters, and vice versa, that might otherwise go unlearnt. Wine being what it is, even hobby tasters taste huge numbers of wines, whereas makers only make a few (those which sell or please) and husband them through the years-long process. The makers are more tied to the land and the winery; global consumers know no limits, save the filthy lucre.

          Fourth, missing from a lot of the discussions here are thinking treatments of the totality of the experience of wine. Frankly, this topical board has become more analogous to the local boards where restaurant reviews are all one sees. I enjoy a French-butterflied roast chicken (and the wine with it) more if I know how it's boned; at my age just going to eat it at the latest celebrity chef's restaurant leaves me somehow unsatisfied.

          Fifth, for those CHers who have learned and love to cook for themselves, to the extent that there is any crossover between boards, I would like it known how easy it is to make better wine than 98% of us can afford to buy on a regular basis. Cooking is not so different from winemaking as people think, except that cooking is IMO more difficult. May be not at the Grand Cru or Michelin Star level, but it is true.

          Sixth, in the burgeoning world of winemaking, the vast majority of professional makers started with making at home, before they paid their tuition and dues for a place in enology, viticulture, or sommeliererie. There may be some gifted talent who might jump in the pool who might otherwise have not.

          Finally, I think CH at its best is about learning, not showing off or pontificating about ultra-subjective tastes and perceptions. That way lies solipsism. And boredom for others. This board could use a little freshening up, IMHO.


          1. re: kaleokahu

            Um-m-m-m.................... and here I thought I was just trying to help.

            I wouldn't mind some more intensive discussions, and there are a number of them from time to time...... though I really don't recall any about winemaking specifically. It's those deeper discussions from which I learn the most. But the sense I've had here over the years is that the purpose of all these CH boards is to foster discussions that have a rather broad interest to CHers in general AND that the intent is discussions that are in some way food-related for the most part. From my view you're more than welcome to start discussions at a 'fresh' level and see what comes up.

            1. re: Midlife

              midlife: I am REALLY sorry if I seemed unappreciative. I apologize. Not my intent at all. You seemed to describe "the board as it is" (and aptly), and here I'm off channeling JFK trying to get past I like/hate this/that and what's on sale.

              More's the pity that making one's own wine is of smaller interest than is cooking one's own food. IMHO the similarities outnumber the differences, and one without the other makes beggars of us.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                While your comments, IMHO, tend toward the obscure ["here I'm off channeling JFK trying to get past I like/hate this/that and what's on sale." ; "one without the other makes beggars of us."] ???????????? ........ and I'm not sure I follow, I'd be interested in seeing what replies you get to this. Cheers!

                1. re: Midlife

                  Me thinks someone may have imbibed of the homemade wine before posting?

                  Just kidding, kaleokahu, but I didn't get the comments either :(

                  Do you make wine?

                  1. re: sedimental

                    sedimental: Yes, I had imbibed, but not mine, and I'm not sure I would have written less obscurely had I been stone sober. ;)

                    The first murky allusion was a borrow from JFK's famous speech, which I'll paraphrase as "Some see the world as it is and ask 'Why?' I prefer see the world as it could be and ask 'Why not?' (in response to Midlife warning me not to expect any real response on this board to my OP). The second was intended to convey my opinion that we cheat ourselves of some of the best pleasures of food and wine if we do not at least TRY to make some of it for ourselves.

                    Yes, I am a heavy recreational maker with hopes of becoming bonded in time for the 2011 harvest.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      I guess the bottom line is - if you don't like the restaurant reviews or the "I hate..." threads (my personal pet peeve) don't read them.

                      But if there aren't any winemakers on the board, it's not our fault -- Midlife was just giving you the lowdown that no, as of his/her writing, there don't seem to be any winemakers who post here. Short of duct-taping them to their chairs with a death threat unless they write a post, I'm not sure how it is you think we should get more winemakers to post!

                      (and yeah...your original post reads as a hearty backhand to the kisser with a WHY THE HELL NOT?!) thrown in. Thanks for lightening it up a few layers.)

        2. At the risk of prolonging the in-depth analysis of kaleokahu's style beyond where it is of any real use .............. I'm just glad I'm not the only one who's not sure exactly why this dialogue seems a bit hard to pin down. I didn't think I was 'warning' in any dramatic sense, but merely answering the original query. Maybe I should just back up and start again.

          No. I don't think there is anyone here who makes wine.

          1. Folks, this is a meta-discussion about the discussion here, so we're going to lock it now, but we'd point out that our rules for insiders: make it somewhat difficult for professionals to participate on our site. Not that a careful professional couldn't manage to strike the balance between informing and promoting, but in general, our goal is to be a diner-to-diner or drinker-to-drinker conversation, not a pro-am discussion.