Homemade Wine, Chicken Cacciatore and Neighborly Support

These have been incredibly trying times for so many reasons starting of course with terrible Covid Pandemic upon us. Personally, my family has been having a hard time as my Mom broke her ankle on both sides and is wearing a cast for the foreseeable future, unable to move around too much and in pain. Add to that, that she was afraid to go to the doctor because of where they live and the incidence of Covid at all medical facilities nearby. It’s been very nerve racking but hopefully she is on the mend. In the midst of this, I have been drinking up a storm. I am living with my parents and son now out of New York City. It’s been nice to have a garden and hear birds but our town has the worst number of cases in the state and the local hospital is overrun. It’s shocking and sad and hard to cope with thinking of all those who have perished.

To get through this, I have been cooking up a storm – tonight chicken cacciatore from a 1950s cookbook, turning to my cellar and my friends. Lucky for me, I have a lot of wine that I can drink and much of it is homemade. Not great but I discovered not terrible either.

I’ve been making wine in my parent’s basement and their backyard with my press since 2006. I don’t make it every year, I’m on my 6th vintage. This year I made Syrah and bottled it in Magnums. I opened a bottle this week and it was delicious. Not quite like the Northern Rhone wines that I discussed in my post yesterday but it did have some savory notes and bramble. I was incredible pleased and it has led me to try wines from previous years too. I made a Zinfandel in 2018 that I am drinking which is okay, not a lot of fruit and too much alcohol but drinkable under quarantine certainly.

I am bartering with my next door neighbor and sharing the wealth of my cellar. He and his family loved the Syrah and I am now leaving them a couple of bottles a week. They lent me a wheelchair for my mom and a larger soccer net for my son.

The virus has brought so much death, financial destruction and horrible news but it has also put me in touch with all of my neighbors and so many friends. My neighbors in the city brought me strawberries for my son 4 times in two weeks and wanted nothing in return. I of course left wine at their door but because I wanted to, nothing was expected. If nothing else, I will drink my cellar, have more patience, be in touch with people I love and love my neighbors.


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