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Page history last edited by milnewstbay@yahoo.ca 14 years ago


Wine in Tumblers

14 Feb 06


This is the kind of glass I use to drink my red wine at home.



I drink some every evening.


Sometimes I have it with supper, sometimes afterwards, sometimes even while I'm cooking.


No more than 1-2 glasses a day.


Not the expensive stuff (don't know wines well enough) - just Sola-Nero boxed wine, with grapes from all over Canada and no clear indication of the name of a company making it, available at my local supermarket wine shop.


In spite of worrywarts like the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (even some conspiracy theorizing?), even the Mayo Clinic says there's potential benefits to drinking some alcohol. Other studies point to wine potentially helping out the heart, lungs, even points south.


I don't use the "official" stemware, though, when drinking my wine at home.




At first, I couldn't even figure it out. Then, one day, I was exploring a second hand store, when I came across a set of tumblers like the one I use now. I couldn't put my finger on why, but I had to buy them. It was only much later that my sweetie summed it up best.


Special wine glasses are for special occasions, but wine is for all occasions.


Like my other food memories, there's a strong connection with family and gatherings. Although I drank very, very little wine when I was young, I clearly remember bringing out tumblers for wine for guests.


I also remember my dad and uncle making wine. We'd borrow someone's pick up truck, and drive to one of the few (usually Italian) businesses that would bring in 36 lb cases of grapes by the tractor trailer load, and line up to get the number of cases ordered. It was normally a mix of red and white grapes.


We'd go home, and unload the boxes. The grapes would go into a grinder set up over the barrel, becoming the mash that would spread aromas around the house while fermenting (no, we never stomped on the grapes in our bare feet). The mash would be pressed through a wine press that would crank up and down while pressing the fermented grape mash against the outside bars of the press until the juice would flow out the bottom of the press, usually into a plastic tub.


From the tub, the fermented juice would be poured into wooden barrels to age a bit more, then into gallon jugs or demijohns. From there, for everyday use, it would be siphoned into old pop bottles, or old Chiani bottles. From there, it would end up being served in tumblers (often, the type you'd collect from gas stations in the 1960's and 70s) to our guests.


In keeping with the frugality of starting over a long way away from your first home, NOTHING was wasted. The wine bottles of everyday use were recycled to house more wine when empty. The wooden crates from the grapes were used for kindling for the cooking fires in the back yard or in the barbecue. The mash, once pressed dry, was loosened up, and tilled into the backyard vegetable garden.


It has a nice feel of informality, of the company being the focus of attention, rather than the wine or the special glasses.


In fact, some wine glass makers are cashing in on the "wine isn't just for special occasions" motif, creating tumblers that sound classier as "stemless red wine glasses".


Still, it's nice to think of the generation before me in Canada as trend setters.


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