The Norman Transcript


September 27, 2013

Pop your cork



This particular winery is near the University of Oklahoma, so it was no surprise to see many college students at the wine festival. It was a crisp first day of fall. The sun was shining, there were booths offering tantalizing ways to part with your money. The band was terrific and the grape stomping was squishy.

For those who have watched replays of the old “I Love Lucy” television shows, you may have seen the famous wine stomping scene. Well, folks, Lucy was nowhere in sight when they dumped bucket after bucket of red and white grapes into the plastic vat.

Children of all ages and sizes, as well as a few ladies, climbed in and stomped on those lovely grapes. As people climbed out, there were eager little and not so little bare feet ready to climb in and take their turn at the squish those grapes dance. Eventually, the mountain of grapes succumbed to all that bare footing and dark liquid was visible.

One of the college guys who bought some wine looked worried. His delicate sensibilities were clearly disturbed by the thought that he might be buying a bottle of wine whose contents may have endured a meeting of the feet and the grapes. He asked whether there is a disclaimer given on bottles of wine that come from such grape stomps. The lady behind the counter smiled and said “Yes.”

Most people know that after the fermentation process is complete, the bit of toe jam mixed in with the grapes is thoroughly sterilized. However, if you happen to be a bit squeamish, it is best not to dwell on such things. But for the most part, a machine usually performs “stomping” duties in the normal grapes-to-wine process.

As a parting giggle to those who paid attention, there was a sign in the winery’s shop which was similar to a frequently aired commercial about Las Vegas.

“What happens in the winery, stays in the winery.”

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on Visit her website,

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