So as Bre alluded to in her last post, wine-making season has come and now gone. There were about two or three weeks where all anyone would talk about was their grapes and their plans with the picking and processing of said grapes. We got a sort of trial experience of being Moldovan as we spent a good 5 hours one day picking grapes from low-lying vines and carrying giant bags of red and white grapes (by the way, I learned in this country that there actually are grapes that taste like grape candy… I never knew). The next day after running I came back (the day with the dog) and saw some neighbors helping with the actual wine making. It consisted of one person filling a bucket with grapes and putting them into a bucket and another person cranking a sort of machine that squeezes the grapes ever so slightly, just enough to break the skins. The grapes then fell into a HUGE wooden barrel (the kind you’d see in the background of a cheesy western movie) and there they will sit until we can refer to them as wine. I figure by this point gravity has done its part and the juice has separated itself from the flesh of the grapes and is oxidizing as we speak. All I know is that the earlier incarnations of this activity were delicious so I don’t see why this would be any different.
Having finished this annual tradition we came upon the holiday known as Wine Festival. It was to celebrate the end of wine season. After the relatively small amount of work we had to do for making wine I can definitely understand why you would celebrate the completion. Anyway, depending on when you made your wine, it was also the time with the first batches were completed and were the freshest, cleanest wines you may have ever tasted. Moldovan wines contain no added anything if you could tell from my recipe above, take absolutely nothing, add crushed grapes and some time and you’re done. Because of that, the wines are excessively delicious and natural at first, but after a year’s wear and tear they lose some of their luster. That’s why they’ve got it down to a science on how much to make and sure enough, they always seem to run out just in time to make more. In about four weeks I’ll be able to give you an update on my wine that I helped with.