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My feet are purple. Just kidding, I have a turn-crank grape crusher.

I decided I want to make wine this year. When we lived near my Nana, we would press a little here or bottle a little there, but we had never carried out the entire process start-to-finish. Now, we live a few hours away from her, so if we want to make wine, we have to do it ourselves. Unsupervised. I had pieced together the process in my head, and I was ready to give it a try.

I was actually ready to give it a try last year, but I had a very tiny, high-need baby and I was lucky to get my teeth brushed. I somehow just couldn’t make wine a priority.

But this year, my kids were a little older. And sleeping, kind of. Sleeping enough to make wine.

So, I call Nana.

Me: Nana, we’re making wine this year. How many gallons will I get out of 8 crates of grapes?

Nana: Just-a tell me whadda you want. Too much-a work. I do for you.

(Says the woman whose kids have no clue how to make wine.) I ignore her dismissal and persist. Persistence is a requirement of carrying southern Italian genes. Well, some call it persistence. Others call it capa tosta.

Tomayto, tomahto. Anyway…

Me: How many gallons I will get out of 8 crates?

Nana: Don’t make wine. Too much-a work. You go crazy. You don’t know what you’re doing. You break-a you back. You tell me how much you want, I do for you. [20 more minutes of pleading…]

Me: Okay, I’ll get 8 crates. Thanks for your help.

After about 12 more phone calls just like this one, she gets the idea that I’m not backing down and we go through the process while I take notes.

It took me nearly two decades to learn how to jackhammer Nana’s firm ground. Not many people can do it.

Coming soon…how to make wine, the old-school Southern Italian way. Yep, we’re revealing secrets up in here.


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