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An Unusual Valentine’s Gift

During the past two years we met many winery owners that were husband and wife teams. Often it is a small operation and they take part in every aspect including the winemaking. I remember surprise when one owner told me she gets her husband winery equipment for presents. If the equipment is expensive then it becomes a Valentine’s Day, birthday and Christmas present. I heard the same gift-giving story from other husband and wife teams. Two years ago my wife gave me a winemaking kit for a present. It was a lot of fun making the wine. Bottling was another matter. The hand corker needed two hands to hold the corker pushing the levers to make the cork smaller, two hands to hold the bottle and one hand to push the lever that plunged the cork into the bottle. The results were not always spectacular. So for last Christmas, my wife gave me a floor corker. What a pleasure to use. One person can use it with one hand. This was a perfect gift.

Perhaps for Valentine’s Day, you should get your loved one a winemaking kit. Where’s the romance in this? Unlike flowers, that last a week or chocolates that may last for days, a winemaking kit offers opportunities to make the wine together and enjoy it for years. Follow the directions for primary fermentation and do everything together. Do the same for secondary fermentation. Age gracefully together while your wine ages. How’s that for romance? Bottle the wine together. Now is the tough part. The wine may need to bottle age for several months to a year. However, have a romantic dinner once a month opening one of the bottles to have with your dinner. Notice how the wine is aging at this point. It will change throughout the year. Many wine kits make more than two cases, so you can have many romantic moments while sharing a bottle.

Then one day, you’ll notice the empty primary fermenter and empty carboy or two and think that they should be filled. Two cases then become five or ten. The romance of making and enjoying wine together has great potential. More hours will be spent making and drinking the wine than enjoying flowers, a box of candy and one evening dinner. 

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