Wine, wine, wine (Spring Break is over Whine)

Spring Break is ending. Instead of throwing myself on the floor and sobbing hysterically like I want to do – I’m reflecting on the past week. It started with a Scentsy party with great friends. I love this picture because everyone is smiling. Looks like someone in the room said something funny.

A few days after the party, I packed my bags and headed off to Odessa, Texas. Yes, Odessa is a very popular Spring Break destination – haven’t you heard? Actually, my friends Brent and Tina now live in Odessa and I decided to go visit them for a couple of days.

Here’s what I know about Odessa:

  • Brent and Tina live there with their super cute son Rip.
  • It’s seven hours from where I live – ugh.
  • There is a Mexican restaurant there that used to be a Chinese Restaurant. It is decorated with an amazing mix of sombreros and Chinese dragons.
  • Tina’s parents own and operate a store called Homemade Wines of Odessa.

Brent actually works for his father-in-law at the wine store. I took about a thousand pictures of the wine store and asked Brent about a million questions about making wine. When I started to write captions for the photos I took, I realized that I don’t know much about making wine, but I sure do appreciate the process. It is very interesting and it’s fun to see it all come together. It’s even more fun to drink the fruits of your labor.

So, here is a pictorial of my two days in Odessa at the wine store. My apologies, to Brent and his father-in-law John, if I don’t have a lot of technical information to go along with the pictures.

First, while I was there, I saw a lot of “transferring” and “filtering”.  One of the things that really impressed me is that the customers who come into the store can see their wine being made. It’s a very open concept which is very cool.

In this photo, Brent is probably trying to tell me something very technical about the wine-making process. I was probably saying something very profound like … “the wine smells really great” or “have you ever spilled one of these big buckets of wine?”

I did learn that the French word for FILTER is TAMPON. That’s all I have to say about that.

I was fascinated by the filtering process. There is pressure and water and tubes running here and there.

Filtering the wine also means you are really close to bottling the wine. I call this the bottle tree. I’m not sure what it is really called. I spent a lot time with the bottles as it took no training for handling the bottles.

Then the cork …

Then the bottles set on these big magnets for 30 minutes. It has something to do with ions, but I won’t begin to try to explain it here.

Then we added the labels and the seal. They even have custom labels. I brought a few bottles back home for Angee and Keely. For Keely’s bottle, Brent added a label that says “Keely’s Back Pain Elixer” because I told him she had been struggling with a hurt back for a while. So, Keely, if you are reading this, I have a bottle of great wine for you!

Finally, it was time to place the wine on the shelves and it’s ready for customers.

If you ever get the chance to go to Homemade Wines of Odessa, be sure and ask Brent to play you a tune on the piano!

I really had a great time learning about the wine and getting to see first-hand how it is made. The thing that really stood out to me is that this wine is truly a hand-made product. While my photos make it look simple, there are a lot of steps and it isn’t a simple process. There is also a lot of variety in this wine store — plenty of choices for those who like sweet wines or dry wines, red or white. Also, as someone who has a sensitivity to sulfites in wine, these wines have very little and so I don’t have any reaction when I drink it.

I hope you enjoyed the photos from my trip and now I’m off to drink a glass of wine and whine about my Spring Break coming to an end.


  1. earlyrisers

    all i can say is, i love wine. and i love you. and i even love brent and his awesome family! thanks for the vino kiddo!

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