Food feature for The Commercial Appeal
Aug. 22, 2012
In vino veritas. In wine there is truth. And the truth is, Bill Sharpe says, making wine is pretty easy.
He should know, as he and wife, Carol, have been making and bottling their own wine at home since 2004. In that time, the Oakland, Tenn., couple have produced about 1,000 gallons — or 5,000 bottles — of wine.
It began as an appreciation for wine itself, and a hobby of visiting vineyards while traveling. A brief flirtation with buying a winery (until the prospect of so many acres and so much cleaning and maintenance became overwhelming) became a passion for these oenophiles to produce their own blends at home.
Of course, such an interest begins with the wine itself. “We’ve enjoyed wine all of our adult life,” Bill said.
“Because I never did drink very much, I started out with the boxed wines,” Carol added. “And then as we started going to different functions, mainly with his company, I started branching out to the rieslings, the sweeter wines, and then I got into the drier wines, the chardonnays, the pinot grigios and the sauvignon blancs. The chardonnay is my favorite.”
“I’ll put our white wines up against anybody’s,” Bill says.
Bill, an engineer with the Pickering Firm, and Carol, who is recently retired (“She does most of the work now, the bottling,” Bill says) from Mercury Print Co., not only make the wine for themselves and to give away to friends, but it’s also an enterprise that has afforded them much fun and much low-cost wine to drink … (read more)