I think this is pretty much ready. Three months or so does sound far too quick, but given the small 3 liter barrel and large surface area contact, I think this might be enough. I also think it strikes a nice balance between fruit, which is still discernible (it was a zin) and alcohol (which has tamed down a bit, though I'm not sure why) and an intense butterscotch and caramel nose from the oak. I think any longer and the latter would completely overpower everything else and become cloying. Also a touch of vanillin sweetness. Very nice.
So let's say here she is. Brandy. Made entirely by hand in the 6 foot radius of my kitchen. Grapes courtesy of Elke and Kieran since mine were all eaten by a big fat rat this season. Really.
Food Historian at the University of the Pacific. Director of Food Studies in San Francisco.
Author of Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet, Beans (2008 IACP Jane Grigson Award) and Pancake. A cookbook with Rosanna Nafziger THE LOST ART OF REAL COOKING.
Coeditor of The Lord's Supper with Trudy Eden and Editor of A Cultural History of Food: The Renaissance.
Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia (4 vols.) Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican and Chinese recently won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best Foreign Cuisine book in the World. The Routledge International Handbook to Food Studies is in print.
A sequel to the cookbook - entitled THE LOST ARTS OF HEARTH AND HOME.
Latest Books: Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food from Oregon State U Press, a little book on Nuts from Reaktion and The Food History Reader from Bloomsbury. The Most Excellent Book of Cookery (translation of a 16th c. French Cookbook with Tim Tomasik) from Prospect Books. Not to mention THE BEAST: The Food Issues Encyclopedia for Sage. Still in the works.