Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kiwi Melon Pino Grigio Wine from a kit

We LOVE this refreshing light summer wine! It has a Pino Grigio base with a hint of Kiwi and Melon, it was a big hit last summer so we thought we would make another 5 gallons for this summer.

It is very important to ensure all our equipment is sterilized. We use c-brite a powder you mix with water and rinse all your equipment with prior to starting the process. Since this is a kit we use an array of chemicals to preserve, ferment and clarify the wine.

One of the last steps we add the Kiwi and Melon flavoring, we do not add the full amount that come with the kits, this keeps it the wine from becoming too sweet.

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Wine Making October 2008

Having make wine in the past from kits we thought we would try our had at making wine the old fashioned way right from the grape. We purchased a total of 18 cases of grapes; 5 cases of Cabernet and 13 of old vine zinfandel. We crushed most of it by hand since at the time we did not have a grape crusher!!

The crushed grape sat in a vat covered with a sheet for 10 days. Twice per day Phil stirred the fermenting grapes, as the days progressed you could hear the grapes "simmering" and "bubbling". The whole house smelled like an old wine barrel.

On day 10 we pressed the grape, strained the juice and placed it all in glass carboys. We let this ferment for 3 months. We bottled and let it sit for an additional month.

Since we used no chemicals, yeast or preservatives this wine will need to be consumed within one year!!

To see the album click on the photo below

Mia's 18th Birthday

August 10th 2008 Mia turned 18, so we had a pizza party. We now have the technique down and are experimenting with more exotic types of pizza!

Of course we had the standard Pizza Margarita with San Marazano tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil from the garden. We also feasted on a pesto pizza with shrimp, BBQ chicken with caramelized red onions, mushroom and onion and sausage and pepper pizzas.

Cold Stone Creamery made the Red Velvet and Cake Batter Ice Cream cake....Christina finished off the night with some roasted marshmallows.

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4th of July our first official party

4th of July 2008 we held our first official party; the menu homemade soda, beer and wine. PIZZA of course was an appetizer. Our guests were amazed that a pizza could cook in 3-5 minutes. We stuck to the basics, tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni and basil. Nothing exotic but it was Good Eats.

Our entree was Paella cooked in a large cast iron pot. Lots of great ingredients, fresh clams, Chirico sausage, chicken, squid and frozen peas...yumo! It came out perfect!

Desert....three pies, apple, strawberry and peach, and because that was not enough we grilled pineapple soaked in rum, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Our Brick Oven Build April 2008 - June 2008

We began to plan our brick oven in October of 2007. Phil did lots of research on the Internet and read books on the subject. After much negotiating with me I finally gave him the green light to proceed, still not convinced that this was at all possible.

Phil had worked as a professional chef for many years, one of the restaurants he spent time in was Addesso on Providence's East Side. This famous eatery had one of the first wood fired brick ovens in the area.

Most of the brick we used came from my efforts of scanning for used brick as luck would have it I found someone who had just knocked down his indoor fireplace and chimney. We took home 2 pickup truck loads of both red brick for the outside of the oven and fire brick for the interior. The fire brick is needed due to the intense heat generated by the wood burning inside.

We began to dig the additional patio extension the second week of April. Poured a 12 in thick foundation for the oven by the 1st week in May, and began to lay cinder block and brick shortly after that. We went through truck loads of sand, bags of regular cement, a few bags of refractory cement (high heat resistant), lots of lime, water and most of all sweat. By the end of June we were lighting curing fires, you need to SLOWLY cure the cement with small fires building up to the inferno type fires that you need to cook a pizza in 3-5 minutes! The small fires dry out the cement without cracking it; if you crack the cement you will lose heat!!

So we had our first official pizza party July 4th 2008, and have not stopped using the oven since.

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The Red Dragon Cafe