Jour Vignoble

picking cab,

Last October, Fiance and I headed out to Middleton and picked more grapes.  We went at it alone, which loosely translate to ‘We waited to late to ask’ and ‘Our friends were busy’ and there was some game on, we kept hearing.  No big!  We packed some sandwiches, the dog and off we went!
We picked all day.  We picked a lot, like, a few hundred pounds a lot.  So cool, can’t wait to do it again.
Haulin' Cab.

the bounty
The cabernet booty.
Just a little crush.
good juice.

The next weekend we picked granache, barbera and nibiollo.  The Barbera and Nibiollo will be aged together, as there was about less than one hundred fifty pounds of each.
great berries
And my camera battery died, and it was raining lightly.  Not necessarily a bad thing, as it kept our cutters clean, and with the right water resistant jacket, tunes on the ipod, and we’re good.



Thanks for reading!



Pic a day Challenge week 7

This past week was a blur.  Between feeling a tad under the weather, and working late at Bespoke for my first art show at Happy Fish.  I am so so SO excited, things are starting to come together, getting prints ordered, materials to hang and display.. OH!  There will be whole post (or more) regarding all of this.  I think talking about it makes it surreal.  A good one, but I feel like when I am there, hanging up things, it will be really real.  One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the help of my awesome assistant (Fiance-Man! Yes, like a superhero), who spun his arms around, over and over at my direction.  And when I told him, I am going to try and write “bespoke” (and it… wasn’t that bad) what can he do?  “Do whatever you want” and it just… worked.  I am so pleased.

Okay.  Picture a day time.
Day 8 -Sun

Day 9 – Front Door.  Yup.  Still have the snowflake on her.  It will stay up probably until we go on a rafting trip.  We are in denial.  Fiance’s gchat status is set to “snow” year-round.  I did score a 60% off clover door hang, hey, there is some Irish afoot.

Day 10 – Selfie.  Ugh, really, fatmumslim???  haha Decided to try this with my warpcam app.

Day 11 – Makes me happy.  Novelty stuff.  I love it!  Oversized, miniature.. food.  This was my very first purchase at Cracker Barrel.  What I like about this picture it I am drinking tea.  Its lightly steeped English Breakfast, so kind of like coffee?

Day 12 – Inside my closet.  I “installed” Christmas lighting in my closet.  I use it… occasionally.  Tie rack holding my costume/talisman jewelry.

Day 13 – Blue.  Oh these lights.  Used them a lot this past week, and I am nothing but pleased with the results.

So, another few days, some more pictures, an art show in March (eeee! I said it!) and tonight we are getting our Bonum on and having the owners of Bueno Cheapo Vino try it and give us a review.   So excited!

Cupcakes and wine

So for the superbowl I made cupcakes.  I am not well versed in this game, but I like it, say it with me now, “For the (you said)commercials food”.  Oh.  Fiance makes a buffalo chicken wing dip and a queso that I can’t. stop. eating.  It’s delicious.  Now, off to the gym.

So I made some Mexican chocolate cupcakes, I found the recipe online last year, and I use this recipe as the base for most of the ‘on the fly’ cupcakes.  I have dusted these with powered sugar every time I have made these, so frosting them was going to be a first.


I decided to get better at taking pictures of the food I make.  Still pretty bad at it.  This time, I found my settings with the kit lens, then popped on the wide angle.  I think I had a dream where my wide angle was at an orphanage of lenses or something of the sort.  Either way I remember I woke up one morning and after I let the dog out I went and put the wide angle on the Nikon body, and put it back into its bag, and let the dog in.   I love the kit lens, great glass, superior pictures, shot me a wedding and other sessions..



Look!  A football field… of cupcakes

not even close to scale


So.  Something else that’s cool?  The labels we designed, well, we finally decided to get some printed!  We are arranging a ‘tasting’ with some people whose wine opinion we seek.  Let me tell you, labels turn the ‘bootleg’ bottle look off.  Its awesome!  I love how they turned out.  I did campaign for a star trail on a label, since we have three vintages to play with, and I got it!

The uh, application of the labels were fairly executed.


Ah the pressing.  This time I set the camera up and used the remote to take shots here and there.  It turned out pretty well!  I only broke one jug, that’s good!  Again with the setup, right on the border of the garage floor and driveway, we have a tilt to help drain out.

time to wine

I pulled the barrel of tempranillo, it was light.

doing a barrel pull.

During the pressing, just dump it in!

this was mostly juice (and sediment) at the bottom

I’m serious when I tell people that I just hold the funnel.

look! i do stuff!

And when I tell people I sample a lot (hence the one broken jug)

it only gets better with age

Blocks are in, time to press in the tannin.

time to press

Always gotta taste it.  See how it is developing, and if it will get too tannin-y.

test taste

Ah the cake, also known as, the worst mess to clean up ever.  This is the leftover skins and seeds.



free run, or during a press, can't remember

Near the end, this was the cabernet.  So so good, can’t wait to taste it in a month!

more tasting

Always there to taste.  I’m your gal.

more testing

And doing slight horse work, like if the horse had a real bad back.

much easier when empty

Both of these wines already have a great dark color…

do you think this will wash out?

The aftermath.

until next time, mr. or ms. barrel..

This is 35 gallons of wine.

tempranillo on left, cabernet on right

We bottled about 25 gallons from the 2010 vintage.  This means more bottles (to clean- GROAN) and of course, more wine!  Even in the pitch glasses, the lees just drops right down.  Look at that color!

temp on left, cab on right

We are totally having some of our wine at our wedding!  All we will need is some white, almond champagne, and beer.
These wines are great, and I can only give credit to my Beau since he was in the garage cellar day in and day out busting his Bonum off.  Sure I was around, but not really.  In my defense, I was editing photos from the wedding in Arizona.   I mean, I would hop on fb, but on my phone.  It was Pinterest’s fault!  I did do a lot of big girl stuff, like get a Smugmug account, and changed the brand to something with a little more broad upscale but affordable  market appeal (or at least I hope so).  Soon I’ll have a link to sell digital prints online!  Film will still be reprinted locally and then shipped or delivered.  I’m not saying anything is taking off, but it is definitely going on some road trips!


Ah the bottling.  Not too long of a process considering we did it in our garage cellar. So we cleaned bottles day of, because that is how we roll.

cleanin' bottles

Got everything loaded into the truck (including the 15 gallon barrel that is mega heavy) drove down to Riverwoods (who we piggy back off of, but lately we have been walking just behind them) and they were just. finishing. up.  Change of plans, borrowed 2 bottling systems and headed back home to Bonum.

the set up

Bottling our wine at home… I can liken to an at home birth.  I wouldn’t really know what that’s like, but Beau had picked the tempranillo, we had the barrel at our house, ect.  Now we are bottling it, at our house.  Kind of cool,which also means we can drink a little more lavishly.

first bottle bottled at our house!


bottling the temp


first case! bonum blend

Okay yay! First pics, I then proceeded to cork about… 8 cases of wine so the pictures were few.  Like an oiled machine that will need an oil change in about a month we were.
In my fashion, I told people we were looking at around 5 cases.  We had 7 dedicated, 4 magmums, 2 splits and 3 bottom of barrel bottles.

slight overestimation


party bottles, splits and some bottom of barrel bottles

All in all a success!  The tempranillo is muy yummy.  We drank whatever wouldn’t fit into a full bottle.   Hopefully other people will think the same thing!

I heard it through the… these

We went grape picking!  The Beau, myself and a good friend went out to Middleton to Pick some cabernet and (more) tempranillo.  This guy, Larry, grows grapes, and lets amateur vintners come and pick when its harvest time.   Uh, want the house.  It was like a real life Pinterest (click if you dare, you’ve been warned.  also, thanks for coming!).  Big house, vineyard, kitchen counter full of wine, a corker, red wine vinegar… a fantastic budding downstairs cellar.

it was like walking into a pinterest

The best part of this post is where I mention that I actually took pictures!!! YAY!!

"does someone wanna call me a cab?"

We arrive around ten, and finish by 5ish.  It was a long day, and I didn’t do nearly as much as the other two.  I blame the bees.

working his bonum off


bucket of bees here!

Yeah, is there a bee shortage?  Plant a vineyard, they will come.  I said it was a win vin win situation.  Must be some good wine in those grapes, those bees were not buzzing off (haaahhh ahh.  yeah.)  Larry has a crusher and to crush on site raised the price by a quarter but it turns out to be a better value since the deed is done day of.

to ze crusher


its just.. a little crush...


yay shutter speed!


i was the.. photographer..


berry berry nice

It was also Adult Halloween Party Night and Beau preferred not to partake, while I could take it or leave it.  We all went to  Superb Sushi downtown for a celebratory dinner.

sushi time!!

I even made a song for it while we were on the last tempranillo vine.  I did stop by my co-worker’s party she was having a block away.  Beau was very nice and got  big  jugs of water to freeze for a cold soak (or ice bombs, as I have picked up) for the grape juice  while i stopped over, not dressed up, not even in my banana (gasp) to say hello, drink a glass of wine and leave.  Since I was sporting my Chucks,  I did cuff my jeans and rough my hair up and call myself a hipster.
I am working on the rest of the wine posts, bottling the 2010 tempranillo and syrah and pressing the 2011 cabernet and tempranillo.  For the homies reading this, I will get the bulk of the pictures on picasa… soon.
All in all a good night to end a crazy month.  I’m sure an October post will find its way out soon enough.  Getting sneak peaks and the what have you lined up for the photography blog.  I did a super sweet and fun family session and the photos are just adorable, candid and pintrest-y.
Right now it is hyperdrive crazy month until Beau’s family comes here for Christmas… NO PRESSURE.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we are filling my parent’s house up!  We are looking to have about 8 or 9 people over.  Talking with my mom last night, we made the game plan.  What was my advice?  Write it down!  Be the delegate hostess.  I am making the apple dumplings Beau may make something and I invited a friend so she is doing something with yam or sweet potato.  Then my lil big bro has  his girlfriend’s family over too, so yeah, a full house.  That means mega leftovers!!  I saw a recipe on TV for a leftover casserole, with mayonnaise, awwww yeeeah.

It’s eating season, and the wine is wrapping up, so I can park in the garage and have no excuses to drag my body out of bed in the mornings and work out.