From an actual, late-night phone call from my mother a few months ago:

Mom: Guess what I’m making right now!

Me: What?

Mom: Wine!

(Of course.) My mom and her next-door neighbour both garden and cook enthusiastically. They grow an impressive, complementary selection of food throughout the summer and surpluses are frequently shared between each other. This summer, the neighbour insisted my mother take some of her grapes and make her own wine–as the neighbour herself does. She offered both the grapes and the recipe. And my mom agreed. That’s right. These two South-Asian women, great cooks but non-drinkers, made wine this summer.

While I was impressed, I can’t say I was hopeful. My mom doesn’t even like wine and she would agree wholeheartedly that she has no frame of reference for the stuff. How to tell if she was successful then? She would need a wine-drinker to tell her, right…?

You know what came next. I don’t know if the grapes, the recipe or the Vintner could have used some help but, well, this wasn’t my “type” of wine, shall we say. Trust me, she won’t feel bad when she reads this–I think she took a little pleasure from making me try it. She likes it, and my aunt likes it too. But then again, the biggest compliment I’ve heard them give any wine ever was “Mmm! It’s sweet!”

I won’t be quick to encourage her to make another batch, but I love my mom for trying.