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Wine Wisdom

Lubricated thoughts from the source...

Wine Stories

Funny stories about wine and stories that get better with wine.
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Recipes

Making wine? Cooking with wine? How about just recipes that work better when you're drinking wine? All here.
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Wining for a Cause

Wine fixes stuff- Isinglass has that...
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New Posts
  • Good wine. Good People. Mix well, serve often.
  • Just every day around here, for me. It's OK. I'm learning. Every damn day. I'll admit that there have been times that I thought I was pretty clever. Like when someone at a wine tasting tried to hit on me after a few too many tasty beverages. It went something like this... "Hey, I'm a doctor" "Well that's awesome. I left medical school to chase a boy to Kansas." ( My hint is not taken.. ) "So... your wine. It says 'I singl', and yes I am..." He holds up a bottle. ( Me, pretending to be shocked... ) "Maybe you should read the whole label- "I singl ass". At least his friends enjoyed this. OK, so perhaps the fight wasn't fair since I was perfectly sober, but I felt pretty clever. Most of the time though, as I navigate an entirely new industry with no formal training, I prove to myself that I am kind of an idiot. A few examples for you to enjoy... The time I was sure that I could fit all of the 2016 Frontenac into a 4000L VCT (variable capacity tank, about 1050 gallons) at once to ferment on the skins. I patted myself on the back after a long day harvesting with the Isinglass Team. Put the lid on and inflated the gasket- and they said I couldn't do it- ha, I showed them. Next morning- came in to find the lid (about 60 pounds) on the floor, and grapes everywhere- walls, ceiling, the tanks, everywhere. It looked like a horror movie set. Ooops. Turns out fermenting red wine on the skins puts out some pretty good expansion pressure. Then there was the time I bottled, corked and sealed 2700 bottles of my first white blend. I was pretty awesome that day. I just made my first wine. Because I am a vintner. And I am awesome. Evidently, there's a thing called 'cold stabilization" that I missed along the way. So when I put my white blend on ice and poured a tasting, I got crusty sludge out of the bottom half of the bottle. Two hours of humble pie googling later- I had to explain to my team that I was in fact an awesome moron. We spent the next week unsealing, uncorking, and pouring back out every. single. bottle. That's three pallets of wine, one at time. Well, except one bottle. I keep one bottle of this mess on my desk. It says on the label in sharpie "Humility Check. Hey Smartie- you really messed this one up!" So mistakes happen. Cleverness happens. The bottom line is that neither one defines you. What does define you, is what you do about it. At dinner sometimes, I ask everyone to say what they got wrong today (not my idea- I read about it somewhere). The idea is to take the panic, worry or embarrassment out of getting something wrong- because let's face it, none of us are done screwing up so we might as well get over ourselves. Then we can celebrate what we learned, share the lesson, and even maybe laugh about it. By having these conversations as a family, we endorse risk taking, acknowledge that life can have mixed results, and always consider what can be done better next time. And as for this exercise itself- I have learned that my seven year old is a sadist and routinely starts this conversation when she already knows that one of us screwed up especially big that day.
  • I am the first person to advocate for self reliance. I don't believe much in luck, but rather prefer preparation, hard work, straight-up stubbornness, and creative thinking. I believe that we should first own our problems, and then solve them ourselves. So why give back? Because it's who I am. Or perhaps rather who I want to be; who I might someday become; who I want my children to think I am. I give back because I want kindness and generosity to be my nature. And practice makes perfect, right? Because along the way, others have helped me. No one did the work for me, mind you- but people were kind, people shared their wisdom, people encouraged me, and people cheered me on. Because I can. And therefore I should. Also- it doesn't suck to be the good guy. And because life is what you make it. I want my life to be happy, grateful and zen. If I can put those things into the world by helping someone else, then that is the world I will get to live in. As the founders and operators of Canterbury Schools for the last 15 years, Brandon and I gave back over a half million dollars to children in need and programs to support families. Now as the owners of Isinglass Estate, we have a whole new set of opportunities to support our community. And it turns out- wine seems to help a lot of projects. Please don't misunderstand, we know that alcohol can be it's own worst enemy, but it also brings people together, helps us to celebrate each other and makes life richer for many. Already Isinglass has donated cases of wine, dozens of free tastings, overnight stays in our cottages, and horseback rides to lots of causes- big and small. And we are just getting started. We have the facilities, the products, and the heart to do so much more. So let's start the conversation right here and right now. What does our new community need? How can Isinglass Estate bring people together to make life better? What can we do to make someone else's day a little better? Big or small- it doesn't matter. Let's make the world better...