Thursday 12 May 2022

Undocumented moments in wine | Note(s) to self next time someone comes to taste

Seem like you know what you did even though you don’t.

People will try to take photos of you. Work with them or it will not work. Multiple chins are not a good look.

Know thy prices!

Know the quantity you have left to sell!

I repeat: Don’t talk down your wine,

let the taster give their thoughts first.

Expect them to be late, you know you would be if it was you.

Open question: Is showing photos of you harvesting on crutches cool?

Provide guest with a clean glass. 

It should not smell. 

It should not be schmered with finger grease, lip prints or ex-cassoulet fat.

Provide something to spit in that's not so shallow it spits back. 

Read the room: some people like the x day maceration blabla, others less so.

Snacks are nice! 

This is France!

Call it casse-croƻte.

Watch your dose. Don't serve to drink nor stingy-drip low.

You've had millions of problems this year, yes. They don't need to know (about them all).



Rinse your vanne! Check your chapeaux!

Don’t stir the lies with your pipette. It's awkward to have an audience watch you sucking up barrel-overflow yelling suck-suck-go-go

(three men deep in a cave plus me, trust me I know.)

Leave the wines with sugar til last? They're not a pro? Maybe don't bother with them (the not-finished wines I mean) at all?

Don’t seem insecure even though you are because you've forgotten what got mixed into where or when or why or what's actually in this damejean or how.

Do try to breathe, slow it down. PEOPLE ARE VISITING YOU TO TASTE YOUR WINES! You are an imposter only as long as you feel you are.


Thursday 5 May 2022

undocumented moments in wine: a video guide to bottling tiny quantities of wine


— wine
— bottles
— boxes
— buckets
— siphon
— gravity
— corks or caps
— a corker or capsuleuse
— 3 people and more time than you think

Let's begin.


You've made a tiny amount of wine!
It's dry!
You think! 
You live very far away from your wine!
Anyway on Wednesday you have some time!
Time to bottle it, no matter if the moon is badly aligned.


You are full of hope and expectation!
Imagine if it turns out to be good!
Even great!
You smell!
It's just OK. 


The siphon!
It is an art!
Don't also make wine hitting the deeper most part of your lungs a surprise! 
Suck from high!
Keep it art.


When you bottle wine, you must re and re and re-try your wine.
You'll get drunk.
It's fine.


You've successfully siphoned your wine from the big bottle you fermented it in into the small bottle you'll drink it from.
It's time to cork!
The corker of course won't work!


Force (generally) works.

!! Now let's bottle a tiny cuve !!


Deflate and remove the chapeau.
This will be the first time in months you've checked what's going on inside the tank.
This is a good time to pray.


You have learned how not to choke on the first suck of the siphon.
 And you probably already knew that for a siphon to work, the level at which you bottle will need to be lower than the liquid line.
But you probably forgot at the crucial moment to remember: when the tank is empty.


Stop to eat snacks.
Always have snacks.


I wouldn't recommend doing this.
I recommended they didn't do this.
Doing this means you shake up all the muddy stuff at the bottom and mix it in your clear wine = muddy wine.
Why are they doing this? 
The tank wasn't high enough to siphon from.
(If you DO do this, I would recommend you leave the tank to rest a bit so everything settles.)


Now the tank is high but the siphon is too short! 
So you bottle directly from the tap.
This is making wine!


Here's something nifty I learned!
You saw Gaspard filling the jerobaum, right?
Well the jerobaum didn't fit in the corker thing.
What to do?
What Gaspard did was use the corker to compress the cork then jammed it down the neck of the bottle a la main.
as they say.

You have successfully bottled your tiny quantity of wine!
You are drunk!
You will bring your wine everywhere you go, give a big proportion away.
You will realise you now have only but the tiniest quantity of wine left.
But that's what wine's for!
so it's OK. 


With thanks to Aaron Ayscough and Gaspard Valette for a great day.

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