By guest blogger, Pasquale Amantea
Why make your own wine?
Here in Trail, B.C., we’ve been making our own wine since a wave of Italian immigration in the mid-1900s introduced Old World traditions of winemaking to our community. At that time, Trail would import truckloads of grapes from California and vintners would create their own special blends. To continue the legacy, I took over importing grapes in 1972 and have since heard thousands of explanations why people choose to make their own wine.
In this blog I’ve compiled some of my favourite reasons as a way to encourage wine aficionados to test their hands as vintners:
1. A great hobby that I can also drink | Winemaking is a fantastic hobby for those who love to drink wine and who also like unique vintages unavailable in stores. The great thing about homemade wine is that you can create your own blends and adjust them to your taste. Some of our favourite blends include combinations of these grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Because of the popularity of homemade wine, there are myriad recipes online that you can use to create your own special blend.
2. It’s cost effective | As many of you may know, one bottle of wine from your local liquor store can cost anything from $9.99 to $1,000 and more, depending on the quality and brand. However, one batch of homemade wine can produce several bottles at an average cost of $11 per bottle.
3. Bonding with friends and family | Making wine is a great way to spend time with friends and family. Here in Trail, groups will get together over dinner and ironically, wine, to prepare new vintages for the coming year. Also, we’ve seen up to three generations in one family gather to make wine, passing knowledge from generation to generation.
4. Health benefits | Many experts say that red wine in moderation can be beneficial to your health. Scientists credit antioxidants found in red wine—polyphenols, resveratrol, catechins—for helping to cut the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and inflammation in the body.
5. A great personalized gift | The best kind of gift is one that comes from the heart, and what is more heartfelt than a few bottles of wine you’ve poured your heart (and strength!) into? In Trail, many vintners use traditional handmade Italian crushers and presses to prepare grapes for fermentation. This work requires a lot of physical strength and endurance, not to mention patience. With homemade wine you are also able to personalize not only the blend of wine but also the label, which could include a photo of your family for bottles being gifted to relatives on Christmas or a special vintage label for an individualized occasion, such as a 50th birthday.
Pasquale Amantea is an Italian-Canadian who lives in Trail, B.C. A home vintner for decades, he has a keen interest in all things wine and is responsible for importing grapes annually to Trail, where a large community of Italians and Portuguese make wine in their homes each year.
Post author Pasquale Amantea, descended from a long line of winemakers, has a series of wine-related articles he'd like to share with an audience outside his backyard. I am happy to have him do that here. Opinions are his alone and facts are received as already researched. You can reach Amantea by phone at Star Grocery (250) 364-1824 or by email at [email protected].
À Votre Santé!
Copyright © 2013 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.