Decisions, Decisions: Winemaking

Before I could make Z Line Vermouth, I needed wine (vermouth’s base ingredient). Though a total novice, I hoped to make the wine myself. My friend Sam is a fourth generation farmer who has started growing chardonnay grapes under contract in the last five years.  Sam graciously allowed me to harvest 100 pounds of grapes…

Leafy Mnemonics

As I mixed greens for a salad this morning, I felt the presence of two dear friends in the kitchen with me.  The mint and fava greens I chopped and dressed to top a dutch baby were strong mnemonics for Anya and Katie: memories called up of brief moments in the past when kismet brought…

Z Line Vermouth: Photo Essay

Many folks only know of vermouth as ‘other part’ of a martini. The dusty, little-known bottle on the shelf of almost every bar might be identified by a single tasting note: dry or sweet. But, oh, all the things vermouth can be! Vermouth is a fortified and aromatized wine, meaning: wine with extra booze and…

Object History

My first job in an archive was in early high school, a winter internship at my hometown’s historical society. Inside a mansionous barn, I walked down dusty rows piled high with broken household objects, rusty farm instruments, crumbling papers and photographs. At the far end of this expanse was a bulky computer loaded with a…

Z Line Vermouth: The Recipe

Ingredients 100 pounds chardonnay grapes, harvested on a cool night 5 grams of Pinot Grigio yeast 1 gram SO2 4 bottles applejack or grape brandy 1 jar dichondra seeds[1] 1 jar safflower 1 jar mandarin peels 1 jar wild anise flowers 2 cups dried alfalfa 5 teaspoons wormwood 4 cups safflower and wild blackberry honey…