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First Winemaking, Next Cheesemaking

For me, the most I learned about wine was from making it. Kathy and I made wine at home from kits, juice and grapes. We made a barrel of a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot co-fermented and aged 9 months in American oak at Tin Lizzie Wineworks. We made a barrel of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 plus months in new French oak at Vint Hill Craft Winery in Virginia. The process of making wine is an excellent learning tool.

Our next venture is to learn about cheese and wine vinegar. After learning much about wine from making it, it stands to reason that we can learn about cheese and wine vinegar from making it. We were told at Chaples Creamery in Easton, Maryland to start by making Mozzarella cheese. Numerous directions can be found on the Internet. Most of the lists of ingredients includes rennet. Finding rennet is easier said than done though.

Columbia, Maryland has several different grocery stores. The likes of Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway and Food Lion carry a good supply of common everyday items. Rennet is not an everyday common item. When in Columbia and you can’t find what you’re looking for go to the only Trader Joe’s in town. The staff is very helpful at our Trader Joe’s. They didn’t have rennet, however, they did suggest that we try an organic food store on Rt 175 called Mom’s Organic Market. Since the electricity was off at our house due to Hurricane Irene, we extended our planned outing. Mom’s is not a small grocery store. They are medium sized and have a large assortment of things organic. The customer service desk is past the fresh fruits and vegetables. We asked about rennet, and they had it. Finally on a winning streak, I thought to ask about red wine mother to make wine vinegar. Certainly a store called Mom’s should have mother. No luck there though, the store had vinegar with mother in it but not red wine mother. Off to the Internet for that item. With rennet in hand, we  will soon try making Mozzarella.


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