Wine Before Its Time

The grapes have been teasing me for days. As I pass by the rows on my way to feed llamas in the morning, there they hang at hand height, and eye elevation, rich in hue if not yet ready in flavor. Finally it occurred to me that if I wait until they are ripe to make their portrait, they will have lost their moment of beauty. It’s a fair exchange, aspect for savor. These are pinot wine grapes, and the drop on the tongue is astonishing in its sweetness and power. Could I make a photo of the flavor, it would be… it would be a color not yet seen. Something combined of the deep purple of the berry itself, and the green of the vine, and the lashing, violent brightness of the sun. That sun on the grapes all summer, that would be the foremost color of the flavor of the juice, the sunlight dashing against the glands beneath your ears, sugar and tannin and the purple wine yet unmade. Ah.

Lacking the camera that will record that moment on the tongue, I nevertheless take the photo that will show the eyeful.

October wine grapes

Published in: Uncategorized on October 8, 2007 at 12:41 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ah, Susan, they look lovely! do you make wine out of them? I might find it difficult to keep my hands off them, but maybe they taste best as wine…

    I’ve thought about an arbor and grapes, but never gone beyond thought…maybe this spring I’ll builf that arbor and plant those vines!

  2. We HAVE made wine, and it’s such fun. But to tell the truth, we most often use them for juice. It is a transcendental grape juice. They are pretty good for eating, too, except for the abundance of seeds.


  3. The end of the season has come far too early for a good wine crop this year. The rains started and the temperature cooled. The rain dilutes the sugars needed for a good ferment, and the lack of warm weather has postponed to harvest. For the commercial growers, its not a good sign.

    I check, as I’m sure Susan does, every day. Some of the little critters are “way” tart! When wine grapes, in contrast to table grapes, are fully ripe, it’s like eating flavored sugar cubes.

    After we get the new sewer line in to the septic tank, I’ll put the, now, well established plants up on their own supports (double curtain, I think). If the house is finished, next year we’ll celebrate by making a few gallons. There are four varieties on the property: Chardonnay, Upright Oregon clone of the pinot noir (the French don’t let us call them by their proper name), Merlot, and some Cabernet (not doing too well).

    The Shambles secret to good wine – keep it clean, very, very clean.

  4. On Thursday, I sampled a bunch of grapes while walking back from the lower barn. Not quite ripe! Then I spent the evening with her, fraternizing with the locksmiths who run the Pacific Locksmiths training week. When I returned, I found that the mule had gotten into the cache of plants we want to save during the house construction and that he’d pretty much destroyed our lone olive tree – only 2 years but it had over a hundred olives on it. Ever tasted an unripe olive? :p

    Then, while feeding the resttive stock, I noticed that what had been full clusters of grapes were pretty well picked over. I assumed deer until I came back out into the yard and saw hordes of Robins eating their fill. I mean hundreds of them. They knew they were up to no good too, since they’d fly away and hide together in the fir trees some hundred yards distant until I’d disappeared again.

    I know it’s a “murder of crows.” If anyone knows what a group of marauding robins is called, I’ll change this, but for now it’s a no good gang.

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