3 min read

Life's too short to drink bad wine...

" Wine is sunlight, held together by water."  Galileo Galilei


~ Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival ~

We are delighted to be sponsoring the Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival again for 2015! The Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival is a community celebration of sustainable food practices and the preservation of food and beverage traditions. The spirit of the festival resonates so strongly with the ethos and philosophy of Home Make It, and we are thrilled to be presenting several of the workshops and demonstrations that will be showcased over the course of the festival.

The full program is now out, pick up a booklet from our Reservoir Store or check it out online and pencil in to attend the array of great events in your calendars, it's all happening from Monday 11th - Sunday 17th May. There will be lots of unique cooking demonstrations during the week in various locations around the City of Darebin. Most events are free, however it is essential to register online. Book in early as places will be limited. 

If you have made homemade wine, passata, preserved olives or ajvar or are a keen home brewer, we would love you to enter your prized produce into the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival competition. There are great prizes to be won, including Home Make It vouchers and hampers. To enter your wine, beer or passata, just follow the link for the ENTRY FORM. Entries close 6th May, 2015.

Get involved and participate in the following popular workshops and demonstrations being facilitated by the fabulous Home Make It team;

  • Introduction to Homemade Winemaking & Appreciation with Steve; Tuesday 12th May, 6.30pm at Preston Shire Hall. Free event however registrations are essential. 
  • Hot Spanish Sausage Making Course with Steve; Thursday 14th May, 6pm at Home Make It, 265 Spring Street, Reservoir. We are offering a special price of $70 for the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival, every booking will also receive a FREE Sausage Recipe it valued at $33. Register via Home Make It, and ensure to use the discount code "SAUSAGE" when checking out (after Paypal payment process). 
  • Home Brew for Beginners Workshop with Cade; also as part of the Good Beer Week; 12.00pm, Saturday 16th May at Preston Shire Hall. Free event, however registrations are essential. 
  • Make Your Own Feta at Home with Cade; at Saturday 16th May, 3pm at Preston Shire Hall. Free event, bookings not required.

        Salami Sessions 2015 supported by Home Make It and presented by Melbourne Salami Festa are also part of the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival program this year; with sessions being held Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th May at the Northcote Town Hall. For more details about these sessions or to book online visit the Melbourne Salami Festa website. Here you will also find details of more salami sessions being held over most weekends in May 2015.

        Meet the Makers will be showcased on Saturday 16th May at the Preston Shire Hall from 1pm until 4pm. Come along and meet the locals who have entered their homemade wine, passata and homebrew into the competition. The winners will be announced on the day. There will be free wine and beer tasting and demonstrations running throughout the afternoon. Enjoy the music and entertainment and much more.  This is a free event and bookings are not required.  



        ~ It's Wine testing time! ~

        If you are making homemade wine this year, then ensure to make wine testing an integral part of your winemaking process. Feel free to bring along a small sample of juice for testing at either our Clayton or Reservoir stores. We recommend doing this at all the main stages of the wine making process including, crushing of the grapes, pressing the grapes, during the racking processes and before bottling your wine. For your convenience, our stores currently have extended trading hours on Saturdays until 3pm and Sundays from 10am until 2pm. So do yourselves a favour and make time to bring in your samples for analysis and receive some expert advice along the way :)


        ~ Helpful tips for Homemade Winemaking ~

        When you go to the expense and huge effort of making homemade wine, you want good quality wine outcomes to be proud of every time! You don't want to leave it to chance from one season to the next! Here are some helpful tips that will assist you to make great quality and drinkable wine from one vintage to the next;

        1.  To make good quality wine, you need to start with good quality grapes;

        • know which region your grapes come from,
        • know with certainty the variety of grape you are buying, and
        • know with certainty when the grapes were picked.

        Note: If you have purchased your grapes from the market, side of the road or off the back of a truck, you really won't know with certainty, any of the above. 

        We recommended our customers to buy their grapes directly from wineries. The winery will be able to let you know when the grapes should be picked and the variety of grape you have purchased. 

        Visit our Reservoir or Clayton stores for recommendations and details of good quality grape suppliers in your area. You can book your grapes in advance, pick your own grapes or organise home deliveries. 

        Tip: Yes, you may pay more initially for grapes purchased at wineries, but you'll spend less on your overall winemaking process in the long run. 

        2. When making homemade wine, you must sterilise all your equipment! This does not mean just washing your equipment with warm water. You must use food grade sterilising agents. Any contaminants and bacteria present is the single biggest reason for producing poor quality wine. So sterilise, sterilise and sterilise!

        3. Ensure to use good quality equipment and wine storage containers that are food grade. We've seen all sorts of equipment used from home and storage containers that are loaded with bacteria and contaminants. 

        4. After the grapes have been crushed and on-skins, you would ideally plunge the skins every 3 hours, for best results. At a minimum we would recommend plunging three times a day, before the pressing of the grapes.

        5. When making homemade wine, as opposed to homemade cooking, exact measurements of all ingredients and additives is important! "A little bit of this and a little bit of that" rule does not apply to homemade winemaking. Be accurate and proud! Use exact measurements and avoid experimentation. We can assist you with the correct quantities of yeast and additives for your wine batch.

        6. Bring samples of juice in for testing at all stages of the wine making process. Get your sugar level and ph levels right, and be sure that the fermentation process has completely finished. Know when it's time to bottle. Use the correct yeast for your grape variety. Add additives to correct or enhance your wine. Use fining agents when necessary. Take advice! And remember, we don't use chemicals we use additives. They are all naturally made. Our expert staff will guide you to correct any wine faults or enhance the quality of your wine. 

        7. Look at the temperature at which you store the wine during the fermentation process. A cold or hot environment will damage the quality of the wine. A warm environment for the fermentation process to occur is best (22°C to 24°C is optimum). Use thermometers to monitor the temperature of the room that you are storing the wine during the fermentation process. There are many options to warm or cool down your storage containers; from immersible heaters, blankets, electric blankets or bags of ice for cooling etc.

        8. Racking is an important process in the wine making process. The racking process separates the sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the storage container and needs to be separated from the liquid. The racking process should be done at the very least 2 to 3 times during the wine making process.  Make sure to use a food grade siphon the liquid from one storage facility to the next, leaving the sediment behind. 

        9. Patience is a virtue! Don't bottle too early. Bring in a sample for testing/analysis and get advice as to when your wine is ready to bottle. Allowing your wine to mature further in the bottle will also give you more optimum results, however, we completely understand the temptation to drink it all too soon :)

        10. Take advantage of our equipment for hire! Take the manual hardship out of the grape crushing process with our electric crusher-destemmer. Also available for hire is our quality, Italian made press and corker. Call our Reservoir store on 9460 2777 or Clayton store on 9574 8222 for more information, availability and hire bookings. 

        ~ Food & Beverage Workshops ~

        Pizza Making Workshop with Michele Circhirillo, Executive Savoury Chef of Brunetti on the 7th May, 2015 at our Clayton store only! 6-8pm.  The workshop concludes with a shared pizza feast. 

        Salami and Cured Meats Courses in May, June and July, 2015. Learn the ancient art of meat processing and curing with this informative and interactive course, led by the cured meats and butchery expert James Mele. Book ONLINE.  

        Sausage Making Courses in August and October, 2015. Learn how to make delicious homemade sausages with our hands on workshops. 

        ~ Cade's Home Brew News ~

        Hi Brewers,

        Busy Easter weekend of brewing and bottling for you all I hope. We have some new products coming into store in the next couple of weeks.

        brew master bucket

        Firstly, our Swap n Go CO2 bottles are in store now and at $25 per swap for the 2.3 & 2.6kg bottles, it’s a real bargain.

        Secondly, the SS Brewtech range will grace us with it’s presence next week. So for all your shiny fermenting and brew boiling needs, come in and see us. And last but not least, we will soon be popping some of the highly regarded Gladfield speciality malts onto our shelves to spice up your recipes.  

        Happy brewing & hope to see you soon! 


         ~ Weekly Specials ~

        With the tomato season all but over for another year, take advantage of our huge "END OF SEASON, PASSATA  SPECIALS". 

        ~ Facebook and Twitter ~

        You can keep up to date with daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

        For all our Nonna Paolo fans, here's another You Tube clip on of the iconic internet sensation, asking SIRI  "the time in Italy"on her IPHONE". Very entertaining! Have a great weekend.