The vineyard in my closet



Let me start by saying that my husband is one of those “All In” kind of guys. Like he has 2 speeds: 1. Off and 2. 436 mph. He’s also one of those “good at everything he tries” people. I know. It’s TOTALLY annoying to me too.

Over the years I’ve gotten used to his (let’s call them) eccentricities. I can take him in stride now.  He doesn’t even phase me.

For example, I returned home from working late one night and when I opened the garage doors I saw him sitting there (in my parking spot) with 3 huge tables, a gigantic commercial grade sewing machine, and enough sunbrella material to cover the state of South Carolina. Did I flinch? Did I freak out? No. No I didn’t. I just closed the garage door, parked in the driveway, and went in the front door without asking any questions. 

As it turns out he had watched some YouTube video on how to make sails for a sailboat and another on how to make boat covers and thought he’d give it a whirl. His first boat cover was flawless. Again, I know that’s annoying. Especially since I’m the girl who once put an iron on patch on the OUTSIDE of the shorts because I didn’t understand the instructions. (Shoulda watched a YouTube video I guess.) He has since launched a side business making boat covers for paying customers. Now it’s not a huge stretch as he’s a boat dealer but still….who does this?

So you see I’ve learned to mostly just ignore him. And then…. He saw some wild muscadines growing down the street from our house.

It started as a fun father/daughter bonding experience on Sunday afternoon while I stayed home with the napping boys. But before I knew it my garage was filled with baskets and cases and boxes and buckets of freshly picked muscadines.

“What the heck do you make with muscadines?” he asked me.

So I did the natural thing and got on Pinterest searching “muscadine recipes”. Well, it turns out there are exactly 2 things you can do with muscadines. 1. Make jam and 2. Make wine. (If you have any other ideas PLEASE let me know.)

We started with the jam. After hand skinning 84 lbs of muscadines I vowed never to do this again. So, we were left with wine. Apparently making your own wine is easier than you might think. He began googling and researching and plotting and….shopping.

The wine making isn’t so difficult but you have to get the wine setup. First you have to mash the grapes in a huge bucket. Then you add sugar and let them ferment for a week or so (in the huge buckets). Then you drain the liquid off and package it in 5 gallon glass containers called “carboys”. This is when you let the wine sit. For months. And then you begin the process of letting the sediment settle out and transferring to another carboy. You do this over and over and over again. For months I tell you. MONTHS.

Now we don’t have a huge house. And let’s be honest most every spare nook and cranny is filled with kid-crap. So when we start talking about having to house several 5 gallon glass containers things get a little “cramped”. They sat in my kitchen for longer than was appropriate before I had a meltdown and demanded that they be moved. The problem is that the wine must be kept in a climate-controlled area. So the garage and the attic were out. Our laundry room is exactly the size of 2 laundry baskets and so our choices were limited. I finally settled on the hall closet. I mean we rarely use this this thing.

The hall closet is the catch-all for all the crap that doesn’t have a place. It also houses all of our winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and the like. What more perfect place in August than the unused winter storage closet?

Well, fortunately/unfortunately by the time the wine was done and he presented me with 35 bottles of home brew I was 5 months pregnant and couldn’t even enjoy it. (I mean don’t get me wrong we LOVE Miny. But frustrating nonetheless amiright?) The unforeseen consequence was on that first chilly day after a long hot indian summer in South Carolina we pulled out (and dusted off) our snuggly winter jackets only to find that they smelled like a freaking brewery. Yes. The wine had been fermenting and marinating all of our winter clothes ALL season long. I have to admit it was comforting to bury my face in the collar of my coat and smell the fermented yeast. The problem was that my children were doing the same exact thing. 

We opted to just pretend like we didn’t smell like a family of alcoholics and act like it never happened. But there was still that nagging part of me who wanted (nay- NEEDED) to send a note to school explaining why my children smelt of a bar. I never sent the note. And the wine (after the baby was born) was delicious. In fact, I still have a few bottles floating around the house if you’d like to sit a spell on my porch and sip my finest coat closet blend.

4 thoughts on “The vineyard in my closet

  1. LOVE THIS!! Our hubs are two peas in a pod. I like you when ever he has some new genius idea I just carry on, His latest adventure is screen printing shirts. He made his own screen and last night made 30 shirts for his band to sell this weekend. I wish I had just half of his abilities to watch something and then do it perfectly. Oh well. Enjoy the wine!

  2. Muscadine reminds me of A Chefs Life. Vivian did an entire episode on them. And there is never too much wine!!! 🙂

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