Monday, July 27, 2009

Black Monukka

Black Monukka by Linda Starr

I often thought grapes were overdone. It seemed I saw them everywhere. There were paintings, illustrations, vines in restaurants, and those acrylic grapes. Well, you're probably familiar with what I'm talking about.

I know what you're thinking, not this time. I didn't make a bunch of grapes in clay. Hey, they're overdone. You'll just have to be satisfied with the photo I took. The various shades of purple are wonderful and they contrast so nicely against the green of the leaves. I just love this bunch of grapes and they taste good too.

A short walk in the garden told me why grapes are utilized so much, though. Isn't a bunch of grapes more than just a bunch of grapes? Is it just me, or isn't a bunch of grapes on the vine like a sonata, a Joseph Decker, a Da Heem, a Monet, a van Gogh even? They are beauty personified.

Click on the photo above to savor the subdued shades of lavender and purple in these Black Monukka, seedless table grapes, growing in my garden. Oh, and I take it all back, how could grapes be overdone.


  1. Nothing wrong with grapes Linda. Good grapes grow in NZ, and we do also get Californian grapes too. Yours look really yummy! I do so love the "bloom" that grapes get on them. Really challenging to do well in a painting. I like your grape leaf spoon rest.
    My father has made some wine this year from grapes that grow at mum and dad's place. Looking forward to some of it in a year or two!

    Best Wishes,


  2. just growing there, waiting to be eaten!

  3. Those grapes look delicious -- I prefer mine in the liquid form in a glass -- can't overdue that! lol

  4. Hi Linda, I don't think Grapes are overdone. They can be mis-applied, but never overdone. The photo is lovely.

  5. Hi Peter, thanks about the spoon rest, folks seem to really like grape related ceramics judging from the few shows I've gone to. Last night I was thinking that painting a realistic grape would be very difficult indeed. Yes, the bloom is so beautiful, gives kind of a dusky appearance. My elephant heart plums get a bloom too. How lucky you will be to taste home grown wine made by your parents. What type are they making?

    Before Gary and I were married he and his friend used to buy grapes in bulk from Wine of the People in Berkeley and they used to make their own wine, Zinfandel. Some mutual friends introduced us and when we went to visit them years later they gave us a bottole of Gary's wine they never drank (they weren't wine drinkers). The bottle of wine was almost 10 years old - it was so smooth it was wonderful - I think Gary could have won an award with that wine, so sad there is none left now.

    I just love the New Zealand wines. There is someting so wonderful about the earthy flavor they get. I particularly like a white one by Kim Crawford I had a while ago, I think it was a dry Riesling.

    Hi Gary, yeah they're just hanging around, te he.

    Hi Judy, no you can't overdo that - my motto is "All Wine Before It's Time".

    Hi Cindy, welcome and nice to see you here, perhaps that's what I was thinking they are often mis-applied. Thanks about the photo, these Black Monukka are wonderful tasting table grapes, I highly recommend them.

  6. Your spoon rest is very cool Linda! you're right, look at that color palette -beautiful. I think those grapes look sooo romantic -wish they were growing here. A little, vino, slices of cheese, french bread, under the warm sun with my sweetie....

  7. Hi Cindy, thanks it was fashioned after a real grape leaf. I just love the colors of the grapes, purple is one of my favorite colors and its all there in this one bunch of grapes. I had some great cheese the other day from Spain called Manchego, the idyllic picture you paint would be wonderful, only if the weather was cool, by the ocean for me, I am sweltering down here.

  8. Your Grapes are goregous! Ahhh CA wine is what those look like to me! Now Colorado Grows grapes and has some good wine but not where I live. I do have Raspberries though! A ton of them!

  9. Hi Linda,
    Dad's wines are very much his own..., he was a physics and maths teacher so likes to experiment! Sometimes the result is very nice indeed, but it is not predictable, and this can be fun! The grape is a red one, not sure of the variety, but the wine dad makes from it is almost like the red of a stained glass window, brighter than what you would see in a commercial wine. I think that one of dad's best ones was not a grape wine at all, but a red current wine. He gave us a bottle of it which we kept for nearly a year, and it was really good.
    I must try making plum wine next plum season here, as we get vast quantities of wild plums which would probably make a nice wine.

  10. Hi Peter, you parent's wine sounds interesting. I have heard of elderberry wine which grows wild here. It is a tiny berry though and I can't imagine how many berries one would have to pick much like the currant to get enough to make some wine. Plum wine might be good, although I tend to like the dry and not so sweet wines.

  11. Hi Mary, these grapes are actually seedless table grapes, although they have a wonderful flavor and would probably make a good wine, but maybe too sweet. Now raspberries I just love them, you are so lucky to have them there.

  12. Nothing better than cold grapes after a hot run! Otherwise, I tend to drink my grapes too. :)

    The color variation is fantastic too! Reminded me of a landscape painting class I took in college - had to really look at our subject because a sky isn't just blue just like grapes aren't just purple.

  13. Hi Cynthia, yes grapes are refreshing either fresh or distilled. Some day I'd like to take a painting class again, it has been years and I've forgotten much. I'd like to practice the blending of colors and the shading for lights and darks. A watercolor class would be fun too. They're on my list for the future.


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