Purple Footnotes

The Purple Footnotes Blog is where you will find the latest posts and club-related news from our content editors. If you have an interest in contributing to this section, please contact Doug Hudson, or any Board member.

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  • May 02, 2023 5:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are excited to announce that Drew Horton has agreed to give the Purple Foot Club an exclusive presentation centered on high-acid winemaking! Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 10th at 2:30 PM.

    Drew is the Enology Specialist for the University of Minnesota's Grape Breeding & Enology Project and is a wealth of knowledge. You don't want to miss this one!

    The event will be held at the Prairie Club Room at the following address:

    10025 Elm Lane, Corcoran, MN 55374. It's about the first thing you come to via the main gate entrance from Brockton Ave (a.k.a.  Hwy 101). 

    The meeting room is in the back, on the right as you enter the clubhouse.  There is a parking lot in front of the building, and the building is small enough, the Club Room isn't hard to find.

    As promised, the event is open to all Club members and the Club is picking up the tab for this event. We will also have a couple of Minnesota Wines to taste.

    Please send me an RSVP if you plan to attend so that we know how many tables and chairs to set up. 

  • April 30, 2023 2:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The club is preparing to order corks again from Amorim.  These will be 1+1 ("twin-top") corks, printed with the Purple Foot name and logo.  The are available in bags of 250 corks, at $50 per bag, which is $0.20 per cork.   You can order online from the website.  Orders must be in by June 15.  We expect to be able to distribute the corks at the picnic in July.   You can find the cork order page under Club Matters.     

                             Or  Click Here

  • March 20, 2023 4:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Shirley Moore has graciously offered to update our Purple Foot Flyer. It now includes our website information and a QR code to take people directly to it!

    It is a .pdf file that can be downloaded and printed for use by our members and/or posted at retailers that cater to our winemaking endeavors. Take a look here. It is very well done.

  • March 14, 2023 6:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For those of you that were not able to attend our annual potluck and election meeting you missed our special guest speakers. Steve and Barb Helsper from All In One Wine Pump. Steve also being quite the good wine maker is the mastermind behind his pump.  His wine pump is a game changer for wine making. You can transfer your wine under vacuum and also save your back at the same time. There are many members in our wine group that already use this pump and would vouch for how wonderful and easy it is to use. If you would be interested in more information on the All In One Wine Pump here is the link. https://allinonewinepump.com 

  • March 09, 2023 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For those members who were not able to attend our Annual Meeting, here are the results of the Election:

    President - Larry Janke

    Vice President - Joey DeCarlo

    Wine Steward and 2nd VP - Chad Redlin

    Treasurer - Nancy Wood

    Secretary - Jill Parkins

    Director - Kent Nienaber

    Director - Laura Schroeder (new to the board)

    The vote was unanimous. Thank you to Larry Moore for conducting the election process. These positions will take effect in August 2023.

    The minutes from the meeting are posted here.

  • February 24, 2023 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    jamaican-themed love sick wine label

    Our Love Sick Marquette label was born out of a difficult situation that arose during COVID. In early September of 2021, my wife and I traveled to Jamaica. 2021 was unique in the fact that we had to be COVID tested to enter the country as well as for the return to the U.S. We have traveled to Jamaica every year since 2003 and this has become our special time away. As we neared the end of our trip, we looked forward to our plans to harvest our grapes from our small backyard vineyard. We have always enjoyed picking grapes and the camaraderie with friends as we work together bringing in the harvest. This is usually followed by a large meal to share in the celebration of the harvest and being with friends. 

    Two days before our departure, we headed to the resort’s nurse station to get our testing done. To our surprise, I tested positive, which meant I was automatically quarantined to a room. My wife tested negative, so she was OK not to quarantine as long as she didn’t stay with me. I would now be quarantined for the next 10 days. It was very difficult for my wife to leave me in Jamaica. As she departed, I waved to her from the new “confines” of my room. Never in my life had I ever experienced a timeout of this proportion. 

    Upon her return home, she quickly got to picking the grapes and setting up the crusher. At this point, we began long-distance video chatting through all the steps of getting the equipment together, sanitizing, and testing. She did all the work of getting the harvest in and getting the grapes on the road to fermentation. This included all of the testing in my lab, which she had never done before. As difficult as it was to be apart, she found strength to get it all done and we both enjoyed, to some degree, the video chats that brought some form of togetherness. 

    Featured in the February-March 2020 issue of Winemaker magazine, submitted by Purple Foot member Kent Nienaber.

  • February 17, 2022 3:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We managed our way through another competition, our first for 2022.  The Aged Wine competition featured a number of outstanding wines in nearly all of our listed categories.  Congratulations to Richard and Gail Chilman for winning Best in Show!  I'll find a picture or two and post them shortly.  

    This was the first live competition that we have done since May, 2020 and it was pretty darned exciting to get the results in person, see everyone's smiling, shiny faces and enjoy some really excellent wines.  Full results are HERE

    As always, thanks to Duane and Andrea Van Hoever and Maureen Janke for officiating and scorekeeping.  And remember to start looking at your Nouveau wines.  May is not far off and we're anxious to do some more judging!

  • January 04, 2022 12:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The following was submitted by our Librarian, Gordon Rouse:


    I have added some books to our collection from both club member recommendations as well as  others that have been donated by members and nonmembers.  Take a look at these and the full list on the club website.  If you know of something that you would like to see and we don’t have it on our list, please let me know and we’ll add it to our wish list.  If you’re interested in taking something out, you can reach me at gfrouse@gmail.com  We’ll get it to you either at a meeting or perhaps by mail.  

    Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells  

    By Harold McGee.  

    This former NY Times columnist writes about the science of food and cooking.  Here is a story of the world, of every smell under our collective nose. A work of astounding scholarship and originality, Nose Dive distills the science behind the smells and translates it, as only McGee can, into an accessible and entertaining guide. Incorporating the latest insights of biology and chemistry, and interweaving them with personal observations, he reveals how our sense of smell has the power to expose invisible, intangible details of our material world and trigger in us feelings that are the very essence of being alive.  Hardcover 2020


    Wine & War: The French, The Nazis & The Battle For France's Greatest Treasure 

    By Don and Petie Kladstrup

    The remarkable untold story of France’s courageous, clever vintners who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from German plunder during World War II.

    In 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine. Like others in the French Resistance, winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupiers, but the tale of their extraordinary efforts has remained largely unknown–until now. This is the thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them. Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France.  Paperback  2002


    Tony Aspler's Cellar Book

    By Tony Aspler  

    How to Design, Build, Stock, and Manage Your Wine Cellar Wherever You Live

    Tony Aspler returns with a book for anyone who has fallen under the spell of the glorious grape — and dreamed of having their very own wine cellar.

    Tony Aspler’s Cellar Book provides guidelines for anyone, whether their regular tipple is a $15-Australian or a $100-Bordeaux, who wants to keep a supply of wines that will age with grace and flavour and be ready to consume for a mid-week dinner or a spontaneous celebration. Tony’s suggestions for general approaches to establishing a cellar, specific bottles and even themes will help you create the perfect collection — big or small. Basic techniques for evaluating the right cellar for your needs are accompanied by sidebars of cellaring experience and advice from well-known wine celebrities. Follow Tony as he builds his own cellar in his condo, while picking up tips on how to build your own.  Paperback 2009


    The Homebuilt Winery

    By Steve Hughes

    43 projects for Building and Using Winemaking Equipment.  Useful tools that you can make yourself.  Build your own winery! Learn how to set up a home winery and construct all the basic equipment for just a fraction of what commercially manufactured products would cost. Leading you through the entire winemaking process, Steve Hughes includes building plans and step-by-step instructions for making more than 30 essential winemaking tools. From fashioning presses and pumps to the best way to fill and cork bottles, The Homebuilt Winery covers everything you need to know to affordably enjoy delicious, high-quality homemade wine.  Paperback 2012


    The Wine Bible

    By Karen MacNeil

    910 pages on everything about wine appreciation, especially wine regions of the world. 10th printing.  Comprehensive, entertaining, authoritative, and endlessly interesting, The Wine Bible is a lively course from an expert teacher, grounding the reader deeply in the fundamentals—vine-yards and varietals, climate and terroir, the nine attributes of a wine’s greatness—while layering on tips, informative asides, anecdotes, definitions, photographs, maps, labels, and recommended bottles. Discover how to taste with focus and build a wine-tasting memory. The reason behind Champagne’s bubbles. Italy, the place the ancient Greeks called the land of wine. An oak barrel’s effect on flavor. Sherry, the world’s most misunderstood and underappreciated wine. How to match wine with food—and mood.

    Plus everything else you need to know to buy, store, serve, and enjoy the world’s most captivating beverage.   Paperback 2001


    The Beer Book 

    By Tim Hampson

    Listing more than 800 breweries and 1700 beers from all over the world.

    Beer: the drink to taste, savor, talk about, and travel for. Explore its rapidly expanding horizons-- thirst-quenching lagers, "meal in a glass" stouts, peppery white bears, tangy fruit-based brews, and classic ales and bitters-- with this guide to every good beer in the world. Discover the beers to try and how best to enjoy them.  Paperback 2008


  • December 16, 2021 3:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You can order your 50th Anniversary Riedel wine glasses now on the website.  The price per stem is $11, and they are expected to arrive around April 2022 (we think).  There are a limited number available, and these are really high-quality stems, so get your order in soon!

    You can find the order page under "Club Matters"

  • April 07, 2021 7:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As we have some very good wine making books in our collection, we haven’t added new books on the topic for a while as there haven’t been many good ones that have much new to offer. However, in the process of doing research for the eLibrary, I came across some new titles and have added some of these winemaking books to the Club print library. These items are available for check-out via pickup, or by U.S. mail as the club as agreed to pay the postage to get the items to you to further your wine enjoyment and wine making education. I will have more items for you the next few months. You can reach me at gfrouse@gmail.com

    The Complete Guide to Making Your Own Wine at Home, by John Peragine is a good starter book and nicely eases the reader into more and more complex topics. This is readily apparent in the first few chapters as the author discusses water sources, sugars, yeasts, and the minimum of equipment you need to get started. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 cover making wine from kits, juices, and grapes, respectively. Chapter 6 covers 24 different winemaking mistakes and how to fix them. Chapter 7 covers “country wines” or wines made from fruits, vegetable, and herb ingredients. Chapter 8 covers mead, cyser, pyment, and malomels. Chapter 9 is on labeling and organizing your cellar, while Chapter 10 briefly covers starting a home vineyard. The final chapter discusses the pros and cons of Opening Your Own Winery. The book includes some good, but slightly dated appendices. Other books in our collection cover some of these topics in more depth, but this is a good book for the beginning winemaker. 2010 paperback.

    Wild Wine Making, by Richard W. Bender. The subtitle of this book, “Easy and Adventurous Recipes Going Beyond Grapes” sums it up well, as you won’t find a more thorough, creative book of recipes. Chapter 1 covers what you need to make these wines, and the author encourages small-batch, one gallon batches with a minimal amount of equipment. Chapter 2 covers the author’s approach to winemaking, calling it “… fairly straightforward and quick process, although it can be messy.” He goes through 10 easy to follow steps; perfect for the inexperienced fruit wine maker. The real fun begins with Chapter 3 as it contains 76 different fruit and vegetable wine recipes. Examples include Apple Champagne, Burgundy Kale, Ozark Pumpkin Sake, and Strawberry Chocolate. Chapter 4 is Flower & Herb Wines and the author describes it as “… you essentially are brewing a strong sweet tea and then adding yeast.” Recipe examples are Cinnamon Basil, Ginger-Green Tea Sake, and Rosemary. Chapter 5 is on Hot Pepper Wines and the author blends in fruits so the wines are drinkable on their own, although they work well for cooking wines. He suggests these are more pre-meal wines served as small one-ounce servings. Recipes include Key Lime-Cayenne and Tomato-Jalapeno. For the really adventurous, Chapter 6 covers Cannabis Wines that include recipes such as Appleweed, Christmas Cannabis and Plum Pot. Chapter 7 covers pairing these wines with foods/cheeses, cooking with these wines, and hosting a tasting or winemaking party. If you’re already a fruit wine maker and want to get some inspiration, I highly recommend reviewing the 145 recipes in this beautifully photographed 2018 paperback.

    The Big Book of Cidermaking, by Christopher and Kirsten K. Shockey Ben Watson makes a good point right in the forward “… that cider at its highest and best expression doesn’t use a recipe, but a process.” This sets the tone for this comprehensive book on cider making as the authors later explain why they made this book. They believe we’re in a cider renaissance with many of the old rules are fine, but there’s no reason to limit your creativity and encourage the reader to pursue the style and flavor you like. They encourage the maker to start our simple and small batch and then move up to larger, more complex batches as you gain experience. The book covers various methods of processing apples, blending juices, and has many step-by-step processes with good photographs to show you how to do key steps. There are recipes, but the emphasis is more on the process than the ingredients. They cover wild and cultivated ciders, wild-yeast ciders, infused ciders, as well as iced, wined and spirited ciders. The last chapter does a nice job of suggesting how to taste and judge ciders, and there is a good appendix for troubleshooting your cider problems. If you’re a cider maker, or want to become one, this is a book for you. 2020 paperback.

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