Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Let the wine make itself

“Let’s get cracking. It’s time for racking!”

Kim checks for clarity.
Kim checks for clarity.

The moment is almost here. It’s a month since my friend Kim and I plucked his garage roof of grapes, pressed, cleared the must and leaves from his “King’s ruby” grapes, and then stirred, and waited, and stirred again, almost daily. (See Golden Dreams, August 19th).

But today, I get the excited call. “You ready to rack and roll?”

“You mean it’s ready?”

“Hey bro, it’s almost clear! It looks like wine. Deep rosé. I got empty bottles and corks from Ballast Point! Wanna come over? Let’s get cracking. It’s time for racking!”

Kim siphons off a sample From the carboy to see if the wine is ready.

Hey hey! Been waiting for this day. Half an hour later, I’m in his kitchen with my stepdaughter Maggie and Kim’s wife Pam. Turns out “racking” means transferring the wine into bottles.

We haul out the carboy from the fridge, and Kim starts siphoning the wine into a big open bucket. “Why siphon?” I ask. “Because it’s less disruptive to the wine,” he says. We stick the bucket in the kitchen sink, grab a glass, and start pouring the pink stuff through a funnel into fresh bottles.

Twelve bottles later, we have enough left for one more. Kim brings out a really classy bouteille. “This will be for us,” he says, “to celebrate. Vintage of 2020!”

Mag and Pam use a blow-drier to heat-shrink bottle wrap.

He pours the ruby liquid into four glasses. We stand around like doctors who’ve just delivered a baby. “To the grapes,” intones Kim.

Wow. To my mouth, it tastes fruity, but it’s not sweety-sweet as you might expect from a completely fresh batch of rosé. It’s got a surprisingly mature finish.

Kim agrees. “It shows character that you might taste in full-bodied wines like a cabernet or a merlot. And it’s mellowing out as we speak. The last time I tasted it, it had an almost hoppy bitterness to it. Now that’s all gone. And there were some transitory not-so- pleasant fragrances, but now they’re all gone too. So the wine is continuing its maturation process. I have made wine from these grapes before. Three batches. And I’ll tell you, this is the best I have made. By far.”

We have a vintage!

“How come?” I ask.

“How to explain? Those grapes just want the wine to taste like this. My theory about winemaking is don’t get in the way of the natural process. Eighty percent of the time, you let the wine make itself.”

Is this his own philosophy?

“It’s my grandfather’s. He was a winemaker all his life. He came from Spain, and he was hired to be a viticulturalist for a French winery called Barré, because he spoke French. But not English. The only English I heard him say was ‘You let the wine make itself, Goddammit.’”

Kim’s calling this wine “Perica Niña,” because a baby green parrot came and landed next to Pam the other day while we were harvesting.

He holds his glass up again and recites:

God gave us the gift of grapes

To cheer both great and small

Little fools will drink too much

And great fools not at all.

“Who said that?” I ask.

“Uh, Dave the Wine Merchant,” he says.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The floss silk tree and tarantula spiders

Natural San Diego, October 19-25
Kim checks for clarity.
Kim checks for clarity.

The moment is almost here. It’s a month since my friend Kim and I plucked his garage roof of grapes, pressed, cleared the must and leaves from his “King’s ruby” grapes, and then stirred, and waited, and stirred again, almost daily. (See Golden Dreams, August 19th).

But today, I get the excited call. “You ready to rack and roll?”

“You mean it’s ready?”

“Hey bro, it’s almost clear! It looks like wine. Deep rosé. I got empty bottles and corks from Ballast Point! Wanna come over? Let’s get cracking. It’s time for racking!”

Kim siphons off a sample From the carboy to see if the wine is ready.

Hey hey! Been waiting for this day. Half an hour later, I’m in his kitchen with my stepdaughter Maggie and Kim’s wife Pam. Turns out “racking” means transferring the wine into bottles.

We haul out the carboy from the fridge, and Kim starts siphoning the wine into a big open bucket. “Why siphon?” I ask. “Because it’s less disruptive to the wine,” he says. We stick the bucket in the kitchen sink, grab a glass, and start pouring the pink stuff through a funnel into fresh bottles.

Twelve bottles later, we have enough left for one more. Kim brings out a really classy bouteille. “This will be for us,” he says, “to celebrate. Vintage of 2020!”

Mag and Pam use a blow-drier to heat-shrink bottle wrap.

He pours the ruby liquid into four glasses. We stand around like doctors who’ve just delivered a baby. “To the grapes,” intones Kim.

Wow. To my mouth, it tastes fruity, but it’s not sweety-sweet as you might expect from a completely fresh batch of rosé. It’s got a surprisingly mature finish.

Kim agrees. “It shows character that you might taste in full-bodied wines like a cabernet or a merlot. And it’s mellowing out as we speak. The last time I tasted it, it had an almost hoppy bitterness to it. Now that’s all gone. And there were some transitory not-so- pleasant fragrances, but now they’re all gone too. So the wine is continuing its maturation process. I have made wine from these grapes before. Three batches. And I’ll tell you, this is the best I have made. By far.”

We have a vintage!

“How come?” I ask.

“How to explain? Those grapes just want the wine to taste like this. My theory about winemaking is don’t get in the way of the natural process. Eighty percent of the time, you let the wine make itself.”

Is this his own philosophy?

“It’s my grandfather’s. He was a winemaker all his life. He came from Spain, and he was hired to be a viticulturalist for a French winery called Barré, because he spoke French. But not English. The only English I heard him say was ‘You let the wine make itself, Goddammit.’”

Kim’s calling this wine “Perica Niña,” because a baby green parrot came and landed next to Pam the other day while we were harvesting.

He holds his glass up again and recites:

God gave us the gift of grapes

To cheer both great and small

Little fools will drink too much

And great fools not at all.

“Who said that?” I ask.

“Uh, Dave the Wine Merchant,” he says.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Cavalier Mobile Home owners vs. the rest of the neighborhood

Barbara Villasenor convinced to re-erect fire lane gate
Next Article

Navy issues redesign for Seal Team 7 patch following yet another incident

Seal-ed with a Kiss
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close