Green Mountain Green Wine Goes to Scranton

March 17, 2010

SFW - Wee Folk Wine Label
A ‘quick and dirty’ label we produced for a short run bottling of home made wine for the festivities. All due apologies to Guido Reni, the god Bacchus, and Wee Folk everywhere.
What the heck would make someone go to spend a long weekend in Scranton, PA?
After all, isn’t it just a post indutrial city with a less than appealing reputation, as evidenced by it’s references in the media and comic sketches like SNL , during the last presidential election cycle?
“Ain’t no party like a Scranton Party!”
Followers and Devotees of “The Office” will surely recognize this line, and may even have lol’d at some of the subsequent videos that became available.  Well, there is more than just a grain of truth in the saying…the folks in Scranton…they live it.

In this particular case, the reason for the journey was a Vermont connection,  and a long overdue visit.   A very good friend and classmate from Vermont Law School’s 1992 MSL Environmental program is a long time resident of the area, family man, professor of Math at the downtown Lakawanna College, and local community organizer, ETV and radio host, who has had an open door waiting for far too long.  So, during a recent phone conversation, after he informed me that Scranton hosts the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the USA, I said “What!”, and then made some lodging reservations.

We worked a funraiser at the parade, met at a local watering hole for food afterwards, got warmed up again, and then headed for a party.

The wine we brought, had in fact been adulterated by just a couple of drops of the green food coloring, but was otherwise, as “green” a wine as we could produce, in more ways than just the hue.  Hand destemmed, hand crank crushed, basket pressed, and fermented to dry in a cool basement without temperature control, and less than minimal sulphite additions.  A blend of Vignoles, NY 76, and Lousie Swenson…back sweetened with Vignoles juice that had been preserved in the freezer, and just a dash of an elderberry essenece beverage for additional R.S. (barely detectable in our fast bench trials).

2009 was an underripe year so there is a clear tartness reminscent of green apple on the palate, while the Vignoles and NY 76 have the interesting effect of combining to create an intense Bosc pear skin aroma that is just plain exciting.  Even though the party we attended was set up for stouts, ales, and Irish whiskey, there were a number of wine drinkers there who were in the mood for a change-up, palate freshener.  In retrospect, the high TA  low pH wine probably was a great scrubber after a few beers.   I think that our hosts just opened the first bottle to be nice, but they promply opened two more from the six pack we’d brought in.  The consensus was in approval, and agreed that it smelled and tasted as green as looked.  They wanted to know what else we had done to make it like that, and all I could say was that we just must have been damn lucky.

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