Have you heard? Have you seen? Well, you would have if you were one of the 35 SHW members who attended the May 20, 2020 Zoom Sacramento Home Winemakers Meeting.
Did you know that Beth and Larry Carducci have made a delightful Rose of Grenache? Jim and Kate Garrett has also made a Rose of Tempranillo; we can’t taste it, but we could see how lovely it looked. Donna Bettencourt said she bought a case of commercial wine for drinking as she didn’t want to tap into her lovely Rose of Grenache. What!? Home wine better than commercial wines? And, Noni’s wine does not smell, or taste, like poop anymore! Yeah!
Have you seen? Wreatha Duverney and Amos Olson’s new wine cellar? Well, attendees at the May 20th meeting did. Catch a glimpse of Michael MacWilliams and Kathleen Swanson’s barrel room in San Francisco? Well, you would have seen that too at Wednesday’s Zoom Monthly Meeting. You would also have seen a lot of shaggy haircuts and T-shirts, babies crying, and children sipping milk. We also weighed in on the wines we were visibly drinking: the wines ranged from a 15-year old Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made by Gin Yang and Bill Staehlin to a Costco Merlot, made by, well, who knows? We also shared the great bargains that are out there: commercial wineries have wine they can’t sell and are offering it at deep discounts. Similarly, wine grape vineyards have had their contracts cancelled or greatly reduced, and have grapes to offer at, hopefully, a discount price, to us home winemakers.
Gin Yang took us on a tour of the SHW website and what a tour it was: who knew we had recipes for exotic wines, and Excel formulas for watering down, and records of past recipients of SHW awards, all on the website? Well, we do. Check it out someday.
We do not yet know what format we will be presenting for the June SHW Monthly Program. The Turn Verein intends to open its facilities on June 1st, but we do not yet know what that means for SHW. If we can not meet in person, we plan to offer a Zoom meeting again on June 17th on a first come first served basis. Stay tuned.
In the first week of June, however, we will be offering a new or nearly new home winemakers Zoom meeting hosted by Chief Judge Donna Bettencourt, for home winemakers who participated in either the 2018 or 2019 Winemaking 101 class. SHW mentors will be in attendance to answer your questions. This Zoom session will respond to the needs of fairly new home winemakers who are struggling with such issues as: finishing 2019 wines, winemaking in carboys, oak additives, sourcing grapes for the 2020 harvest, etc. Watch your email inboxes for a blog update regarding how to sign up for this session.
While we all missed the handshakes and the hugging, we can say that the Zoom meeting on May 20th reconnected us with those who share the same passion: making wine at home! Many thanks to Gin Yang for facilitating the meeting, and to Darcy and Robert Wharton for hosting and providing technical assistance.
Finally, contact a board member if you have ideas for future SHW Monthly meetings, whether virtual, or in person.