I’m almost certain Seth won’t be reading this before Christmas.
But I’m so proud of my herby wines, I just can’t resist sharing. It’s been an emotionally draining autumn and winter. The house is cozy, but the world outside is a tempest. In our little house, we can feel heavy winds shake the canvas. The rain pounds against the roof, and the snow comes whooshing down the sides.
But the world’s tempest is farther off. It doesn’t touch our little patch of wilderness – yet. So we’re staying home more and more, behind our guard of birches.
This Advent, out house is cozier than ever – little catches of gifts are everywhere, waiting for the Nativity. Socks, books, slippers, and my beautiful wines.
I bough big, inexpensive bottles of shiraz and pinot grigio, and infused them with herbs for about a week (3 days for the chilis!). Then I strained and bottled them up.
There’s a theme: Wine for a Time of Tyranny, of course.
Last weekend, I strained out my chili, cacao, and bourbon blend: I laughingly called it “Burn it all Down” because there are certainly days when we feel the need to cut ties and burn bridges. There is a noticable burn in the flavor too, but the cacao nibs helped bring a smooth richness. Sipping it, I feel as though Rilke is beside me: “just keep going..no feeling is final.”
I’ve also bottled “Leave Me Alone”: linden, hawthorn, ginger, chamomile, and yarrow. Steeped in wine with a dash of gin, it’s the wine for that feeling when all the news comes crashing in. When cashiers scowl at your unsealed mouth or you see yet another soggy masks decaying in the snow. It’s a heartachy feeling, hence the abundancd of hawthorn and yarrow.
Still steeping under the icebox, I have my last, unstrained red wine infusion. I’ve called it “Revolutionaries Need Love Too”, and it’s full of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, brandy, rosehips and orange. It’s the warmth of firelight and the comfort of friendship, because in this dark season of deep shifts and wild uncertainties, we need each other more than ever.
I’m wrapping them all up for my husband’s Christmas gift. As the year wanes and we celebrate the newborn Christ, I’m excited to be sitting with him in our cozy, hidden, little home dreaming big dreams and sipping herbal wines.