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GUEST BLOGGER: Wine Making in London, Ontario

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Posted by : Anonymous, Sat, Sep 15 2007

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Danny and Maria Cardoso celebrated 25 years of business along with their family, friends and customers this past weekend. Perhaps the first of what may become an annual event, visitors were treated to good company, music, a grape stomping demonstration and plenty of food, including grilled sardines, sausage, and some delicious Portuguese fresh cheese (queijo fresco) made by Danny and Maria's daughter, Sandra Cardoso.

Danny's Wine and Beer Supplies has, for many years, provided me with a delightful array of affordable, fine quality wine. Maria has a superb understanding of my taste for red wines and is always happy to recommend new varieties for me to try. Each time I bottle a batch, I put a few bottles aside, meaning I always have a selection of aged wine on hand to enjoy.

It turned out to be a warm and sunny day for the event. As guests filled up on food, Sandra and another gentleman prepared to burn off a few calories in a small oak cask filled with grenache grapes. Crushing and de-steming the grapes is the first step in making wine. Though a machine is now used for this purpose, Sandra treated guests to the traditional method of crushing and used her bare feet. After seeing how little juice was produced after so much effort, it's no wonder modern technology has replaced human crushers!

The next step in the wine making process is to put the crushed grapes and skins through a wooden grape press in order to extract as much juice as possible. Then, the juice is fermented, with or without the skins. After a few months of aging, the wine is ready to be bottled and the eager customer goes to Danny's to bottle and cork their wine. If you have a helper to bring along to help wash the bottles, it usually takes 15-20 minutes to bottle a batch of wine that yields 23 litres, or approximately 30 bottles.

Danny's Wine and Beer Supplies
127 Hamilton Road
London, Ontario

Lisa shares her passion for food daily at Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen. The spicier, the better. 


Posted: Sat, Sep 15 2007 by Anonymous
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