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Vindu Goel on making wine

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By Vindu Goel
When I look at the two cases of 2006 Juice Crew Red that now sit in my dining room, I still can't believe it: I helped make that wine.

The delicious Rhone-style blend of grenache, syrah and petite syrah cost our band of amateur vintners less than $20 a bottle, start to finish. And the process was remarkably easy, thanks to an outfit called Crushpad.

Although the quirky San Francisco company is officially a winery, it doesn't produce anything under its own name. Instead, it helps ordinary folks - like the 20 or so people in my group - fulfill their dreams of making a wine of their own.

Crushpad staffers handle the messy parts of winemaking: hauling fruit, crushing and pressing the juice, checking on the barrels of maturing wine, bottling.

Customers get to focus on the fun stuff, like choosing the grapes, tasting the wine at various stages and blending varietals and vintages to craft the perfect bottle. Crushpad's experienced winemakers offer advice at every step.

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Vindu Goel On Making Wine