The wine is good!
This fall, we made wine for the first time without Nana’s supervision, and not only is it drinkable, it’s good. As good as hers. In six months or so, who knows? It may be better than hers.
I’m over the moon about this.
She said I couldn’t do it. That it was too much work for me. That I’d screw something up. She tried to talk me out of it, but I begged and nagged and insisted she teach me, until she did. None of her kids know how to make wine this way, but I do. Even her friend who helps her only shows up for the heavy lifting. He’s missing the day-to-day care of the delicate process.
This is one of the biggest successes of my life. It may seem like small potatoes, but not to me. Not everyone has an old-country Nana who makes wine Noah-style, without all the junk they add today. I have memories of crushing day and pressing day and bottling day. She’d let me stir the must, and I would stick my nose down into the tub as it fizzed and bubbled. Sunday dinners, I’d be allowed to stick my finger in her glass and sneak a taste while my parents’ heads were turned. That wine is a part of growing up in an Italian family.
She would have taken the method to her grave, had it not been for my persistence. She wasn’t discouraging me because she wants to keep this all to herself. It’s because she remembers what it’s like to have small children in the house, and that the days are exhausting without the big projects. She thought she was protecting me. Just like she was protecting my fingers from getting pinched when she refused to teach me how to sew. But, a few bandages would be a small price to pay to have one tenth of the tailoring expertise she had.
She no longer tailors, and the art is lost. I hear again and again that there is no comparison to her work.
I wasn’t about to let that happen with the wine.
I can’t wait to tell Nana that I survived a few late nights, and that the wine is GOOD.