Hands Off

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Week 40.

We’ve made it to the official end of month nine; Little Dude will be arriving any day now. As Wifey and I try to stay busy and struggle to keep our anticipation in check, I figure this is as good a time as any to finally start reintroducing a bit of wine back into winedad.com.

In hopes of a graceful segue I wanted to start with something that’s been very much on my mind these past few months: Believe it or not, I’ve found there to be a lot of conceptual crossover between winemaking and baby-making. The subject of “natural childbirth” is an explosive one, as is that of “natural winemaking,” so I’ll do my best to steer shy of the more controversial aspects of both. But they’re thought-provoking any way you look at it.

For mothers-to-be, “natural” generally refers to unmedicated birth with no drugs to dull the pain or speed the process along. You could say that the word is used pretty much the same way in the wine world – as far as most folks are concerned, “natural wine” is that which is produced without the intervention of outside yeasts, extra sulfites, or other foreign compounds to alter its chemistry. (By implication it’s also usually considered to be organic.)

In both arenas, the primary case to be made for “natural” lies in the the existence of countless precedents for end-results that were healthily conceived/born/guided with no scientific intervention whatsoever. The counterargument is equally straightforward: despite all of them, things can and do occasionally go wrong. Whether it’s the fruit of your loins or that of your labor that’s at risk, wouldn’t you want to leave as little to chance as possible?

At the end of the day, I myself don’t have that much experience either making wine or birthing babies. My exposure to the production side of vino has been broad but still relatively shallow, and the part I played in baby-making was neither drawn-out nor painful. But I do know from the little that I’ve seen so far that barring dramatic and unforeseen circumstances, both processes seem to go more smoothly the less we mess around with them.

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