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Make Your Own Wine at Home With Help From Brooklyn Winery

By Serena Dai | September 29, 2014 7:41am
 Brooklyn Winery's Conor McCormack helped put together a class to help people make wine at home.
Brooklyn Winery's Conor McCormack helped put together a class to help people make wine at home.
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Facebook/Brooklyn Winery

WILLIAMSBURG — Forget home-brewed beer — a new class from Brooklyn Winery will teach you how to make wine at home instead.

The Williamsburg-based winery is teaming up with The Brooklyn Kitchen for the one-day-only class, which will take place at the winery at 213 N. Eighth St. on Oct. 9.

Wine lovers will start the class with a tour of the winery in its harvest season, when the bulk of the year's production activity revolves around grapes and fermentation.

"People are going to be able to see that up close and personal — feeling the temperature, smelling everything," said Conor McCormack, Brooklyn Winery's resident winemaker.

"It's very tactile. You learn the process of how wine is made."

After attendees see how Brooklyn Winery makes wine on the commercial level, Noah Singerman, sommelier at The Dutch, will show them how to translate that on a smaller scale at home.

Attendees will taste different wines and learn how various grapes, regions, weather, harvest times and aging containers impact the flavor.

Instructors will also offer suggestions on where to buy grapes and home brew equipment, which can be as simple as putting wine in a five-gallon bucket or using your hands instead of a professional tool.

"We want people to not be scared," McCormack said. "You don't need all the specialized equipment that we need on a commercial level. You can still make it work."

McCormack himself started his winemaking career in 2003 by sifting grapes in his bathtub and storing carboys, or glass jugs, filled with wine in his closets to age.

Making wine from home isn't easy, but it's not impossible — and it's rewarding for those who stick through the two-week fermentation process and eight-month to two-year aging process, he said.

His own first batch didn't taste good, but he was still proud of it, he said.

"It’s not this big mystery," McCormack said. "It’s actually a fun thing."

Brooklyn Winery and The Brooklyn Kitchen will hold two sessions of the event on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets cost $60, include a gift bag and may be purchased online.