Wine Delivery

Yesterday I made a wine delivery.

I’ve said before that I sometimes feel like a bootlegger (see “Moonshine”) but never more so than when I’m making deliveries.

Instead of thinking illicit thoughts, I need to focus on the barter economy this represents, if in a small way. And the benefits!

wine bagged for delivery

Eight bottles of red currant wine, ready to get hauled out to town (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Years ago, a mutual friend introduced me to the couple for whom I make wine. They grow a lot of fruit in their yards, including white and red currants, more than they can use. We came to an agreement, and I began making wine from their surplus, splitting the product between our households.

This has worked beautifully, especially since we started making the wines from their frozen berries, which frees us from the harvest schedule, and ensures that the fruit goes to better uses before becoming wine. As much as I love wine, I feel like actual food should take priority over spirits.

Beyond the benefit of having good material for making wine, the friendship that has developed here is worth far more to me. These people are Good Folks in every sense of the term. They’re well loved by the community, and have lived in Haines long enough to offer a treasure trove of local information. I love sitting and talking with them, a sadly rare event given my tendency to stay close to the homestead. Thankfully, there’s the local brewery, a great place to meet with them and their large circle.

But there’s more. This is the couple that gave us our latest (and likely last) water heater, the one we call The Iron Giant (see “The Iron Giant” Comes!).

So, hauling a clanking pack full of wine bottles over the trail pays off in several big ways. And, bootlegger or not, it’s a small example of barter economy. Like so many aspects of homestead life, it’s an incremental improvement (see Incremental Improvements).

I haven’t talked much about wine making lately. I suppose that’s because we’ve settled into a routine, although we do have a new variety this year: trailing currant. Generally, we have trouble harvesting enough currants at one time to manage wine, but we did it this year, so we’re giving it a try. Wish us luck!

trailing currant wine

Trailing currant wine, in front of this year’s batches of birch wine (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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