Brooklyn Finally Gets a DIY Winery

When I got off the train yesterday I was handed a flyer. This in itself is not exceptional—in my neighborhood you are likely to get flyered for anything from the local craft collective to one of the 4,563,847,543 shows happening on any given night. But this flyer was different. It was a flyer for a winery.

I admit that I thought for a minute about which of my friends could have the wherewithal to execute an elaborate prank, gambling on when I might be getting home. However, upon further inspection, the leaflet for “Brooklyn Winery” is all too real.

Join the community at the Brooklyn Winery where you can make your own wine from grape to glass. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, our winemaker and winemaking staff will guide you through the process to craft a great wine. Stop by, taste some wine, get your hands dirty, and become part of a unique experience in Brooklyn.

It’s not just a winery, it’s  a DIY winery.  After several all-caps texts to various people, I looked at the price list, which ranges from $5,700 for a barrel that will yield 300 bottles that are all your own,  to the “Community Package,” where you buy part of a barrel for $300. You also get to design your own wine label. What a great creative outlet!

They have a lot of info about the land where their grapes are grown, etc., but nothing about the workers who will actually be picking the grapes and making the wine. That’s the problem I have with the artisanal obsession and the ingredientism–it ignores the people in the food chain, the ones who are preparing the wild salmon, or bagging the organic groceries, or picking the apples.

Also, hello, recession? Hello, NEW YORK CITY? If I wanted to live in Napa, I would. I just know the English Major Cheese Shop is in on this.

WSJ Writer Brags About Some Stuff

Jay McInerney in happier times

In the brief and tumultuous blog yesterday AM  entitled Drinking Alongside Paul McCartney, Mr. McInerney discusses the following FASCINATING EVENTS of last weekend.  I encourage you to read it, or, you could just read my synopsis:

This weekend Mr. McInerney had house guests from California. They needed to eat, why – I do not know, considering people like this don’t really eat.  So, they called a hoity-toity “insanely fashionable East Hampton restaurant”, and most likely threw a snobbish temper tantrum –  asked for the manager, got a table.  When they got there, they were pissed that nobody cared who they were as they’re escorted to their table without the usual 76 trombone parade.  Jay was all, *shrug* “Sorry, that girl is toooooooooootally getting fired who seated us because I am super duper important and wonderful, and you all deserve more than 15 minutes of socialite fameballing.”

Ten minutes after they are seated, Paul McCartney, accompanied by his girlfriend, sat down at the empty table next to their’s.   Since they were trumped in importance, although wildly important in their heads when thinking of the facebook statuses this would inspire, the collective bitching about the shit entrance stopped.  (Then Jay describes how great looking Paul & Co are in a sort of brown-nosing, flattery-is-the-best-policy sort of manner.  Sorry dude, he’s not gonna call you.)

Unfortunately, these losers were sober except some woman named Anne who was drinking champagne (this is where it gets a little too “Vile Bodies” for me).  They order some 3 year old bubbly that I guess we should know, name-drop name-drop look at my wine knowledge, etc.

Not long after Jay made his selection, he couldn’t help but notice that Paul McCartney had the same wine on his table (zoinks!  tiny bit of pee in the pants!), most likely because he was extremely close, trying to literally crawl up Sir Paul’s bum at this point.  Then he grabbed the sommelier and said, “Yo wine lady, Paul’s got great taste, har har honk honk guffaw” and she said, “Oh, he asked what you were drinking and ordered it” (LIES) and then the finish:  “Clearly a gentleman of taste and discrimination, and secure enough to be happy with a seat in the back room.”


Wine on Demand

Those wacky Pennsylvanians are up to it again! Now they have wine vending machines–complete with breathalyzers and id checks–in grocery stores, open 9 am to 9 pm, Mon-Sat. It’s great for areas lacking in wine and liquor stores. I wish it could go a step further and have it be bulk wine so ppl could reuse bottles but I’m a crazy  dreamer–Snacktime

The Grape and the Grain

Costa Mesa, historically a place where great things originate, now offers a beer and wine hybrid. It’s $9 for a 22-ounce bottle.

Now that we are 21, our palate has matured like a fine wine. So we created something unique with old vine Zinfandel grape juice added during fermentation to give this brew a subtle vinous quality. Belgian yeast imparts hints of dried fruit in the nose, while a big dose of Vienna and Caramel malts yields a dry warming finish. Aged a month on American oak to take the edge off, this is one to share with friends.

I’m sure that Joe “Napa” Six-Pack will love it.


Maybe I Need a Wine Accountant

You guys, my wine tasting journal, written in grape ink on the paper I made at that workshop in Vermont, may have been artisanal but it didn’t have a space for point values. Luckily, Lifehacker has this kickass wine tasting spread sheet! Now I can cross-reference by Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste, and Finish! I’m going to get that kid next door to hack it for me to include my thoughts on the label artwork.

That’s Why I Drink It

Interesting: Wine-drinking is on the rise in Asia, with women pushing the trend, according to this story, although they don’t cite any numbers to support it. I do love that the interviewer, despite talking with a wine critic who just passed the very difficult Master Sommelier’s test, theorizes:

I suppose you look prettier holding a flute of champagne, rather than a tumbler of whiskey?