Grape Stomping

Hot Springs
Morning harvest
My grape processor
Watercolor I did in Boulder CO 15 years ago
On the vine
Years ago a friend served me fresh-frozen, thawed red grape juice from her wildish vineyard of Concord grapes. Up till then, I hadn’t even liked grape juice!

My young grape vines produced beautifully this year, as did the older one. Last night while floating in remote hot springs [see pic], my friends and I nibbled grapes and discussed the qualities of various juicers on the market. I listened, they talked. It was evident that the only way to get grape juice from the grapes we hadn’t eaten would be to purchase a $400-$500 juicer. That was last night.

This morning, I had an “aha” moment (embarrassing because it’s so obvious). My first mental picture was of Italians stomping on grapes. Perhaps the French stomp also, but it seems better suited to the hedonistic leanings of the descendants of ancient Rome.

Rather than stomp my grapes, I put them in a bowl, took a full bottle of V8 juice for weight, and did a mini-stomp with a substitute foot. Then I dumped the mess into my regular strainer, nothing fancy. It dripped for a few minutes, enough for about a half glass full. Drank it.

Fanfare, please! Souza march music! Beethoven’s 9th! Pooh and his honey pot!

The fullness of flavor astonished me! There’s so much more to grape juice when it’s not filtered and cooked (though some done that way are good, like Newman’s Own Concord Juice). It’s how grapes have been done for eons! Why do we think we need processors?

Wow! I feel good today! It’s already 9:27 a.m. and I must get on with the Amara (working title) rewrite! First, though, I’m going to pick some more grapes, take pix, and show you my equipment and the hot springs.

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Author: Victoria Paulsen

I'm writing the second of two YA novels about the Roman empire just before Septimius Severus became emperor, and just after. My background is in theater. At UCLA and Univ. of Colorado, I studied Greek and Roman drama as well as Latin. That was awhile ago. My new research is even more fascinating, thanks to the Internet. I want to share the fun stuff!

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