Wine To Make Glad

I have made cheese. I have brined olives. I have baked bread. For a true first century experience, I have to make wine. To begin, I have to admit that I have made wine on three different occasions. Each batch makes approximately six gallons, or around thirty bottles. My first two efforts produced a mediocre Shiraz. I chose shiraz because it was one of the grapes that was used to make wine in the Holy Land back at the time of Christ. For my third recipe, I used Italian Amarone juice. It resulted in a real decent wine, not quite on par with the Amarones from Northern Italy that cost around $60 a bottle, but still quite drinkable.

Six gallons of Malbec

This time I am making wine with a friend, Kenny Rogers. We are making a malbec. Our initial tests and tastings show that it should be a nice hearty red wine with an alcoholic level close to 14%. The experience is not quite like that of the fist century. Wagonloads of grapes were taken from the vineyards to a winepress – literally a hollowed rock. Family members would stomp the grapes (remember I love Lucy) until all the skins were broken. The yeast producing the fermentation was naturally present on the outside of the grape skins. Within three days, the grape juice was already fermenting and had a alcohol content of 3-4%. After fermentation, the wine was stored in amphorae, ceramic heartshaped containers with handles that held around six gallons. The tops were sealed with wood stoppers and pitch, to keep the wine from being exposed to air and spoiling. We used juice concentrate and prepackaged wine yeast.

This is a lamb stew recipe I developed recently. The bulgar provides starch and will thicken the stew. Try it with a nice glass of red wine, maybe a nice shiraz or a malbec.

Lamb Stew #1
1 pound of lamb cut into stew chunks
kosher salt to taste
2 tsp. regional spice mix
pepper to taste
olive oil, divided use
1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
1 cup bulgar
beef stock
1 tsp thyme

In a bowl, combine the lamb with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, regional spice mix, and pepper. Heat a dutch oven and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the lamb and brown. Remove the lamb, add a bit more olive oil and lightly brown the onion. Add the garlic and continue to cook until opaque. Deglaze the dutch oven with half of the wine. Add the meat and accumulated juices back to the dutch oven. Then add the bulgar, the rest of the wine, and the beef stock to cover. Sprinkle with the thyme and cover.
Simmer for 35 minutes
You may serve this stew from the dutch over. Garnish with chopped parsley, sliced green onions or almond slices.



One Response to “Wine To Make Glad”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    I’d love to get your updates, thanks.

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