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.
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.