Friday, February 26, 2010

Anthesteria


Well, the dregs of the southern Snowpocalypse has hit New England. Finally! This is the first real snow we've had all winter. I can't believe that in New England I've only had to plow the driveway twice, and I haven't used the snow shovel at all. Sad...

It was beautiful outside. Snow etched every tree and fence post, and the bushes looked like they were coated with cotton balls. Inside it was warm, and the tulips the guys got us for Valentine's Day were just gorgeous against the white landscape outside. There's just something delicious and wonderful about being inside a warm, cozy house with family and friends, enjoying the camaraderie of the season, while heavy snow falls outside.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow it's Anthesteria, and I decided that I would do some mid-level celebrations (in other words, I'm not dressing up in my Greek gear and trudging up into the hills to the snowed-in temple or shrines, but I am definitely setting aside time each of these three days to truly enjoy the holy days). On the first day, it was traditional to open "the new pots of wine." Since I don't have pots or jugs of wine to open, but I DID have to rack my still-bubbling, made-from-scratch pea pod wine, I decided to take a snifter of that and use it for my offering and such. I am really glad I did!

First, we took the wine and siphoned it out of the big glass demijohn, and put it into one of our wine buckets. That's when Gray snuck out a tiny plastic goblet of the wine for me. We all shared a sip of it, and I was favorably impressed. It isn't as sweet as I expected (though that may change considerably with time... this wine isn't supposed to be ready until around Yuletide!) but the flavor wasn't bad at all, and it had a pleasant alcoholic burr to it. The only real issue with it is that it looks rather like urine... but I am hoping that it will clarify a bit with time. LOL...

Once we had the wine out of the demijohn, I cleaned it thoroughly. We then decanted it back into the demijohn for more long-term storage. It will sit in there for another six weeks, and then we'll re-evaluate. It may need to be racked again (the process of putting it into another container and leaving behind the dead yeast sludge at the bottom) or it may be fine as it is. In about three to four months, we'll bottle it, and it'll go away into the basement until Yuletide or thereabouts.

After the wine is opened, we'll sit down to an episode or three of Good Neighbors, one of which will be the one about the first batch of their pea pod wine (here's a clip of it, for those who aren't familiar with the show... it's the second clip in the bunch). I am hoping for a similar reaction to our own vintage. *chuckle*

Here's to Anthesteria, my friends. May your wine bring you great joy, may your ancestors share their wisdom with you, and may they all return to their resting places on Sunday early! Enjoy the snow... it's melting as we speak.
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