Random Bits – Zinfandel Degassing, Leonard Cohen, and Primary Fermentation
It’s April Fool’s Day. Did you have any pranks pulled on you? I didn’t! I’m sure if my older sons were around, I’d have been the subject of some foolish prank or three. I can remember the first time I ever heard about April Fool’s Day. I was about four or five years old, and my mother told me something or other – I can’t remember what, but it was outlandish. She then smiled and shouted, “April Fool’s Day!” Then she explained the best she could to a four year old what it meant. I’ve been known to have pulled a few pranks myself on this day in history. And admittedly, I’ve been the victim of quite a few too. When you’ve spent a lot of your life working shiftwork, it can be easy to not remember what day exactly it is.
Anyhow, I’ve been degassing my Zinfandel. It continues to release lots of carbon dioxide when I vigorously stir it for five minutes, a few times a day. This evening, there was not quite as much foaming so I know I’m getting there. I would use the Fizz-X tool, but the carboy is filled to within an inch and a half of the mouth, and I’d have to siphon out some of the wine each time and then pour it back in. It’s been my experience that the Fizz-X tool does not help to release CO2 as fast as some claim. I should try it more often, perhaps.
I’ve got a RJ Spagnols Cru Select Australian Bush Vine Grenache that I started on March 23. Seven days later, the SG is at 0.096. The wine is still in the primary fermenter. The instructions say to rack from the primary to the secondary on Day 14. That’s the longest I’ve seen a kit say to leave wine in a primary. I am thinking the extra time is to get as much extraction from the grape skins. I read somewhere that this also greatly aids with degassing the wine by leaving it in the primary for 14 days. I’m not sure about that. Part of me does not like the idea of leaving the wine in a primary for so long especially when I’ve been taking the lid off and stirring to get the grape skins below the surface every day. We’ll see how it goes, I guess!
What’s Leonard Cohen got to do with winemaking? Not much exactly – but I have always enjoyed Mr. Cohen, and many a bottle of wine has been enjoyed while his songs have played in the background. This evening, CBC Television broadcast a one hour portion of Leonard Cohen Live In London. If we could have, Colleen and I would have watched it together but circumstances did not permit that (I’m in jail as I write this. Kidding). So, I sent Colleen a bottle of the Zinfandel I had made three years ago, we both opened one, and watched Mr. Cohen together at the same time. I guess you could call it almost a “virtual date.” Sometimes, you just do what you have to do, although I would have preferred to sing to her in person along with Mr. Cohen, “I’m Your Man.” I couldn’t really sing it over the telephone because our televisions sets seemed to have a gap of about 2 seconds. I’m quite uncomfortable as it is with my singing voice – I think in my entire adult and teenage life, the only people who have ever heard me sing before are my sons – and that’s mostly to fun Irish Rovers music. Thankfully, Colleen graciously does not laugh at me when I sing “I’m Your Man” to her.
If I get out of jail in time, we’re hoping we can take in Leonard Cohen live, together. In London. Ontario. I don’t think I’ll be able to sneak in a bottle of Zinfandel though.