Just Do It Yourself

Photo by Claudia Lucero

by Hilary Berg, OWP Editor

"I could make that." Simply uttering this phrase makes me sound like my Grandma, which alarms me and warms my heart at the same time; but, I admit it, I say it all the time.

Usually, my need to make it myself is inspired by the price tag; I figure I can make it cheaper, but, ironically, it’s often more expensive — and time consuming, oh my — to make it at home.

Needless to say, most projects never get started, but for a special few, I abandon my better judgment — and budget — and attempt their construction, including wine.

My husband at I made our first batch in 1999 at our old house in Portland. It was blackberry, and we called it Big Nose — I made the label, too.

While Chris went on to the commercial side, I can see how many hobbyists very happily stay put in their garages and basements, making wine for friends and family. It’s more than just bottling and corking; it’s a close-knit community.

In this issue, two articles — “It Takes a Village” (page 14) by Janet Eastman and “Garage Tales” (page 18) by Janis Miglavs — offer you a glimpse into a few Oregon garages and the carboys that fill them.

I am very grateful to those who opened up their homes so that OWP could pry into their Pinots and query about their Cabs.

A personal thanks to Francois Serrou and his wife, Rain; their Domaine Coccinelle Merlot was très magnifique!

Since the do-it-yourself craze crosses many different genres, I thought it would be appropriate to chew the fat on homemade cheese, too.  

Christine Hyatt, OWP’s beloved Cheese Chick, talks with experts who know how to make it and what you need. “Get Fresh” (page 26) has all the details and a recipe to try yourself — if you have regular pasteurized milk, vinegar and salt, you’re already on your whey. (O.K., that was cheesy.)

Whatever your fancy, I encourage you to craft something you enjoy, and, perhaps, you’ll enjoy the process even more.

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