There's something magical about making food or drink with your own two hands. Not that I haven't passed a few store-bought cakes off as my own at dinner parties, but it just doesn't feel the same when your contribution to the meal comes out of a bottle, box or KFC bucket. But what about the wine? If the Blood Into Wine documentary featuring Tool frontman Maynard Keenan is any indication, making your own wine is a bitch.
That's where places like Studio Vino at McClintock Rd. and Guadalupe in Tempe come in.
Studio Vino lets you skip the most difficult parts of the winemaking process (planting, growing, pressing), making for a fun, highly social experience. Owner Kari Zemper opened the Studio two years ago after purchasing supplies from another wine store that went out of business.
I popped by Studio Vino earlier this week for a crash course in personal winemaking. If you're imagining a barefoot romp in a vat of grapes followed by a Jell-o wrestling style catfight ala I Love Lucy's famous winemaking episode, no worries. There are no nasty feet on your grapes... in fact, there are no grapes!
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Tasting and Prep You start with a tasting at Studio Vino -- basically a little preview party that includes gourmet cheeses and chocolates. You and each friend/relative/lucky stiff you invite get to sample 6-8 of the possible wine varieties, which range from Riesling to Shiraz and Zinfandel.
Of course, we're talking mini samples here. Otherwise you'd be slurring your words and breaking bottles by the time the tasting was over.