I finally bottled the last gallon of the 2011 batch of homemade wine a week or so ago. When I’m siphoning the wine from the gallon jug into the 750mm bottles, there is always a bit left in the bottom of the gallon jug at the end. My habit in the past has been to swirl that bit around and dump it down the drain. But towards the end of this year’s project, I poured the leftovers in small Ball jars and stuck them in the fridge.

I noticed that when the jars sat in the fridge for a week or so, that it cleared nicely on top, with a distinct layer of wine sludge on the bottom. The wheels in my brain started turning…

For the last 3 batches or so, I kept all the tail-ends. I then asked Alice if I could borrow some of the wine from the bottle she opens for her enjoyment on the weekend. She said sure with some puzzlement, since I don’t drink wine. I cleaned and sanitized a smaller 375mm bottle, poured the bottoms of the last several batches into it, and filled it up the rest of the way with weekend chardonnay, and corked it. You never do know how these things will turn out. It could be terrible or it could be the best thing we’ve ever done.

I was particularly impressed with the ease with which I pulled this project off. Bottling wine is not uncomplicated. I could tell that I’ve practiced that particular skill when I was putting the label on that bottle after about 5 minutes’ work. I gathered the supplies I needed from the basement, proceeded with the task, and finished it all up while engaging in a conversation. I guess that makes me a corker.

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