If you are anything like me, then being romantic just comes naturally… (cue crickets).
Ok, seriously finding time to spend one on one with my wife is hard enough, let alone trying to be romantic at the same time. But this Valentines Day I really hit a home run.
Over the last year I have really gotten into home brewing. I find brewing my own beers relaxing, interesting and best of all many of them have turned out fantastic.
This year I had the idea that if I could get my wife into brewing, we could have a great relaxing hobby to do together. Since Kelly hates beer, I knew that wasn’t a possibility so I decided to line up a night of wine making with my wonderful bride to see if I could get her interested in that area of home brewing.
The first thing I did was to call up Northern Brewer of Minneapolis (located off Highway 62 and 35W). Northern Brewer is an incredible store if you haven’t been there before. They have fantastic employee’s that will help you with any/all of your questions as well as a classroom where you can take wine making, beer making and advanced classes rather than learning through trial and error in your own home.
Kevin (the manager of Northern Brewer) agreed to give Kelly and I a one on one intro to wine making class. When we got there, Kevin had everything set up and ready to go. He also had different batches of wine at different stages of the process so we could experience every stage of wine making from mixing, to de-gassing to bottling.
Both Kelly and I were really surprised at just how easy wine making really was. Compared to Kit Brewing or All Grain Brewing, wine only takes about 1 hour (to get a batch started) where beer takes 3-4. There is also nothing to boil or really mess with too much when making wine. The first step simply involved mixing juice concentrate, a couple of packets of other stuff and some yeast to start the fermentation.
What makes wine making really fun to do with your spouse is that you can taste (or guzzle if you are Kelly) the wine at every stage of the process. If you spend an hour with your spouse, a glass of wine and a couple of tastes from your batch, it can make for a very nice evening.
Other than a couple of simple steps during fermentation to help clarify the wine, the next big step is to bottle your wine. Again, both Kelly and I really found this enjoyable and satisfying. We simply siphoned the wine from the fermenting bucket into the bottles, corked the bottles and then decorated with labels and shrink wrap tops.
The evening was a smashing success and possibly one of our best Valentines Day dates ever. Kelly loved making the wine and even said she would love this to be a new hobby of ours.
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If you would like to learn more about beer or wine making check out Ryan’s blog The Home Brewing Blog for tips, tutorials and more.