Friday, September 08, 2006

Vin de Noix update

The house smells like nuts this afternoon. We've bottled the vin de noix. If I were a mouse, I'd have already waddled up to the little hole in the neighbors' kitchen fireplace upstairs and stuck my nose out far enough to get a good whiff and then plunged headlong down into the darkness to land in our fireplace. This happened one year, and luckily, Sister captured the mouse that fell. She does not have any teeth, being an old cat. She's not a predator, in fact she's afraid of anything that moves, but she knows when another animal does not belong in our house. She tries very hard to do what is expected of her. She caught him, he was just a baby mouse, gave him enough of a scare to keep him from running away, and called for us to come and take care of the situation. Good kitty.

Weeks of bottle watching are over. They had good bottles cheap at the olive oil store. I finally settled on those. They'll do very well as gifts once I spruce them up with a label and maybe some raffia. The shape reminds me of those old time elixer bottles we used to find at the fleamarket back home. For the vin de noix, my first choice would have been pots lyonnais. But they were just too expensive. What's the use of making your own holiday gifts if you're not going to save any money?

The vin de noix has turned as black as tar in the two months it's been resting. In an attempt to remove as much sediment as possible from the final jars, I strained it through a French press lined with a coffee filter to even further filter it.

The French press was further lined with coffee filter to bottle the vin de noix. The result was still completely opaque and black. It smells and tastes wonderful, with a slight bitterness that will mellow within a month. An amazing legendary home aperetif enthusiast named Foodman in the eGullet Vin de Noix thread managed to get his vin de noix to take on a deep amber color that catches the light. Maybe his nut ratio was different, I'll have to ask him.

Even though I used wine in the mix this year, it is just as dark as it was last year. The flavor, however, is lighter. Still excellent, and in many ways I'll say a much better aperetif wine. What will I do for the packaging? So many possibilities. A cloth pouch with a graphic? Some kind of special paper? A booklet with recipes for drinks? Maybe even recipes for use in cooking and for aperetif treats that go well with the vin de noix? Just a plain white label with calligraphy? A box? Maybe a trio of three different apero drinks for the small bottles. I think the olive oil store has wooden cases that hold 3 bottles. Maybe.

I will try and think of just the thing to bring out the special beauty of these bottles with the packaging.

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Blogger wheresmymind said...

What a cute kitty story!

6:43 PM, September 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been searching online high and low to see where I could get my own young green walnuts. I could not find a place that carried them. Would you have any suggestions where I could order these when they come back into season?

I live in American and unfortunatelly not a single walnut tree to be found in my area. Thank you for the help and the beautiful recipe!

12:56 AM, September 09, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Dear anonymous!

There are definitely online sources for green walnuts, because some of the people on eGullet ordered them for this year's wine. The best thing for you to do is to check in the eGullet vin de noix discussion (link in the post above) to see where people have ordered and if they are satisfied with their order.

Diamond Walnuts in California comes to mind for domestic nuts, even if they don't sell green walnuts for wine. I do know that many people on the west coast have walnut trees growing in their backyards. Even if you don't, never fear, the US postal service can help you.

The nuts are generally ready to use at the end of the month of June, beginning of July, depending on the area.

12:08 PM, September 09, 2006  
Blogger David said...

So that's what those French press coffee makers are good for. I think they make terrible coffee, but now I know I can use if for filtering wine!

12:55 PM, September 09, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

Elixir is exactly what I thought of when I saw the bottles (I confess, I look at the photos before reading — just because they are so lovely).

I am trying to imagine what vine de noix tastes like. . .

1:19 PM, September 09, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

You can pick up commercial versions of this aperetif treat (although the commercial versions are a bit sweeter and not as nutty) to get an idea next time you are in France!

6:27 PM, September 09, 2006  
Blogger Jann said...

wonderful idea.......need to sell this stuff!!

1:49 AM, September 10, 2006  
Blogger Riana Lagarde said...

Can I be on your gift list? tee hee! Super idea, I will have to try this next year since we have tons of walnuts on our trees.

Oh and I made your cepes and potatoes recipe the other night, is was delish!

5:48 PM, September 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another inspirational photo and day of reading. ilook so forward to reading this page everyday and some of your links. thank you.

12:03 AM, September 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, I can't believe I just found your blog. I enjoyed your eGullet ones very much! Looking forward to going through your entire website.

3:28 AM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

L Vanel -

Thank you for the link. Next year is the year my home will smell like vin de noix!



5:42 PM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks for your comments!

5:42 PM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Erin S. said...

Hey there--just found you thru food blog s'cool. I've been thinking about making my own vins du maison after picking up a book on apertifs earlier this year. How impressive. My landlord had some green walnuts on a tree in the yard, but he snatched them all before I could ask!

5:30 AM, September 16, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

When bottling the vin de noix, how air-tight should corking be? I am reusing my bottles of red wine, which had screw top and also using my emptied port wine bottles. After I filled up the bottles with the wine, I placed them on their sides to check for leaks, but after 3 hours, I am not seeing any leak. How long should I allow the vin to sit to reach maturity? And are the types of "corking" am using would be sufficient to keep the wine from spoiling while waiting for it to mature?

3:33 AM, August 07, 2008  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Hello Bob! Your corking should be 100% airtight if you plan to keep it for a long time. It seems like if they don't leak after 3 hours on their side, they should be alright. Vin de Noix gets better with age, in fact, the best flavors begin to develop after a year. When you give it away, tell the people you're giving it to. It will still taste great a long time from now, in fact it will taste even better as the years go on.

8:28 AM, August 07, 2008  

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