a DIRT & WINE blog


Batch #4: Bottling the New Year Noir

Bottling day is always exciting. We actually bottled this batch earlier this month on the 2nd. When you bottle, you of course sample! This is only the 2nd red wine kit we’ve done and the first didn’t turn out… but this one did! We got about 27 bottles.

There is nothing spectacular, at first taste, if you will. However, more experienced wine maker’s and the many, many reviews promise this wine gets better with age. All wine does! Well, most. Anyway, reports of tasting notes every month or so to come.

I found this great community of home wine maker’s via the Winemaker’s Academy, as well as a reference to some wine labels that are not a pain to remove. A big thank you to Matt for the reference and discount!

We named this batch, New Year Noir, as we bottled after the new year. We obviously have cats because this is what made the “front page”, if you will.

New Year Noir

A perfectly good, New Year Noooooiir, get it? Roar? It’s okay, you don’t have to.


I didn’t get the alignment correct the first two times and the label peeled off and back on so easily. The picture shown is not the best but the size of the label is great, as well. I’m in LOVE with these GROG TAG labels. I don’t think I will ever spend the time scrubbing labels again. Let’s be real, it’s just not fun. I also purchased some of the “write on” labels, will test those out soon enough.

We have two kits of white wine awaiting their fermenting tub – cheers to more wine making!


Moonflower & Bottling

The moonflower that I have growing up the pergola bloomed this week!

He started opening up right at sunset. Yes, my plants are typically male. I don’t know why, they just are. Anyway, I thought I read somewhere they can open up in under two minutes. Not so much for this guy, he took his time.

First Moon Flower

I noticed a few lady bugs over the vine, always a good sign. We tried to capture the different phases as it slowly opened but was somewhat difficult to do with just the string of lights. Of course, I had to create a GIF. Why not?

Moon Flower GIF

On top of trying to capture and enjoy the first moon flower bloomed, I was busy trying to get this batch of cab bottled. It took about 30 minutes to sanitize all the bottles and the tools needed to siphon the wine out into the bottles.

Once started though, we got 29 bottles filled under an hour. We’re getting better! I’m also impressed we got this much out of the batch, considering the racking and filtering dilemmas we went through.

cab bottled

Now, all we have to do is wait a year and let these babies do their thing! On to the next batch… and staring at moonflowers…

moonflower patio