This blog is a record of the wine that I make and drink. Each flavour made and each bottle drunk will appear here. You may come to the conclusion that, on the whole, I should be drinking less.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Blackcurrant Wine - Tenth Bottle (A2), 19th February 2017

This weekend has involved remarkably little alcohol. Particularly if you discount tonight. On both Friday and Saturday we were at the opera - The Snow Maiden and Hansel & Gretel respectively. The Rimsky Korsakov was fine but the Humperdinck was excellent. This left Sunday to have a bottle of wine plus a couple of gin & tonics, and this blackcurrant wine was delicious. I'm now on the bush tea to sober up a little, before I go to bed.

I have spent the day having an exploratory walk around north Leeds, where Council Estate slots into seven-figure dwellings nearly seemlessly, and finishing Eight Months on Ghazza Street, which was chilling, ambiguous and thoroughly recommended.

Hansel & Gretel, the Opera North way

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Xmas Tutti Fruti - Second Bottle (A4),15th-16th February 2017

If I say that this bottle was disappointing, it is only because I know how good Christmas Tutti Fruti can be. My sole complaint is that there is a thinness to it which was missing from 2014's vintage. Taste-wise it is fine, if not very interesting.

I opened the bottle on a Wednesday - which was a rare night in, on account of it being half-term and no WYSO rehearsal, and we finished it on Thursday. Little of interest happened on either day - which makes for a dull read (apologies). I saw an excellent docudrama - The Moorside - based on the Shannon Matthews kidnapping. The acting was exemplary, but the programme has been criticised for being too soon after the event (9 years) - the girl involved is only now 18.

The three main characters in 'The Moorside' - all fabulous actors

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Crab Apple Wine - Eleventh Bottle (A3), 12th February 2017

I was a little disappointed with this bottle of wine. Maybe it was my mood (mostly mournful) but there was something about it that I found bitter. Claire disagreed, and we had no problems dispatching the bottle. It had been a miserable day, weather-wise (and in general) and apart from an irritating trip to Sainsburys we were cooped up all day. I got on with our Book Group Book - Eight Months on Ghazzah Street by Hilary Mantel, which so far is excellent and uncomfortable, but otherwise it was a low-key end to what has been a terrible weekend.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Blackberry Wine - Fourth Bottle (B2), 11th-14th February 2017

This vintage of blackberry is superb. Have I said that already? There is an instant burst of blackberry which tastes as good three days after opening as it does when fresh. I opened it before Rachel, Duncan, Claire and I went to Hansas for an evening of hot vegetarian curry and talking about Stan.

Rachel & Duncan's visit coincided with the first day of our new sofa - which previously belonged to Rachel's grandmother. We have had it upholstered with an Art Deco inspired material. Until now, I had only thought of sofas as functional rather than things of beauty. This one is absolutely stunning.

Our 'new' sofa

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Prune & Parsnip Wine - First Bottle (A2), 10 February 2017

Stanley died tonight. He was hit by a car and we think was killed instantly. He was part of our lives for nearly seventeen years and of our two cats was the better one (by some margin). I thought I was okay about it - he was old, still healthy, died quickly, had a good life - but when I rang my mother I just broke down. Stan was a lovely cat and I won't know a better one. There will be a void, Stanley-shaped, for quite some time.

We tried to numb the grief with a bottle of Prune & Parnsip - which I am not in the best position to judge right now - and by watching The Full Monty - and that helped. But right now, I would like to be annoyed by a cat whining about his food being inadequate.

Stanley - butter wouldn't melt!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Rhubarb Wine - Eighth Bottle (B3), 8th-9th February 2017

This wine was opened to celebrate the fact that I am not going to jail.

In January I had a phone call from the Inland Revenue: they wanted to come and inspect some professional records I was meant to keep. My heart dropped and I felt sick. What records I had were scant and on checking the maximum penalty, I focussed on the word "imprisonment". The next 3 weeks were spent getting my papers in order and worrying. The inspection was on Wednesday and, of course, went without much of a hitch. So I remain a free man, able to enjoy a glass or two of rhubarb wine - a dependable mid-week bottle.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Elderberry Wine - Third Bottle (A1), 5th-7th February 2017

My Sunday was one of those days where I am glad to be alive. Well, I am always glad to be alive, if one considers the alternative, but on Sunday I was particularly so. This was only partly down to my elderberry wine (which is fabulous) accompanying roast gammon. Mostly it was spending the day not rushing about, but having time to dig in the garden while the sun shone and robins watched my every move waiting for worms.

I made bread, started my Prune & Parsnip wine and went to Leeds Grand Mosque for an open day to watch Muslim men pray - so an entirely ordinary Sunday! We went to the Mosque in response to awful things happening in the Middle East and the USA, but watching the prayers felt intrusive (albeit interesting). I was invading other people's personal faith.

Leeds Grand Mosque