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, 17 April 2014

Blackcurrant Wine - Fifth Bottle (6), 5th April 2014

Rachael (my sister) asked for some of my wine and I had just poured the last of the blackberry. I offered her Prune & Parsnip or this, so Blackcurrant it was. At this point we were still sitting in the dark and I didn't keep track of who had any, but the bottle was quickly emptied by my assembled relatives. This is not surprising - blackcurrant is one of my very best.

The weekend as a whole has been a great success, with everyone but Jennifer (my father's sister), Tom (my father's sister's daughter's son) and Paul (my sister's partner) making it. Ellis (my brother's son) and Myles (my sister's son) have mostly been centre of attention - but that is right and proper. They were in danger of being kidnapped for being far too sweet.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Blackberry Wine - Thirteenth Bottle (D3), 5th April 2014

Much of this bottle was drunk in the dark. We are staying at the Nightingale Centre in Derbyshire and at 3:40, just before the Grand National, there was a power-cut. Lights did not come back on for nearly six hours, at which point there was a huge cheer. We managed to get in a whole knock-out table tennis tournament before the light failed entirely. The final was Matt (my father's sister's second son) versus Mike (my father's brother's elder daughter's husband), which Mike won (just). I made it through to the second round, but was beaten by Ben (my father's brother's younger daughter's elder son - aged 13).

When it got dark, we sat in the conservatory with tea-lights dotted around. As the Fire Warden, I was anxious they would set off the alarms and I would have to evacuate the building. Happily we stayed inside, drinking blackberry wine in the flickering gloom.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Peach & Banana Wine - First Bottle (4), 5th April 2014

I had the first glass from this bottle and Rosie (my father's sister's daughter's daughter) had the second. It is the Extended Family Gathering and I promised Rosie - who helped make this wine - that I would bring a 'Peach and Banana'. My impressions were that it is okay, but no more than. Claire (my wife - seeing as in the next few posts I will be identifying how I am related to people I mention), however, thinks it is horrible and therefore we will probably not drink the remaining five bottles with any speed. I thought 'peach' was prominent but others said 'banana'. It is a little sweet and there is a cloying tendency, but it is drinkable (honestly) whatever Claire might say.

The original ingredients
If you want to see how I made this wine, click here.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Kiwi Fruit Wine - First Bottle (3), 4th April 2014

I have been eager to try this wine since I first made it a year ago. The Extended Family Gathering seemed like an appropriate time to crack open the first bottle. And my verdict is that it is quite good and probably worth trying again. There is a strong taste of Kiwi Fruit, so I got that right when making it, and it is a crisp, dry white. Maybe a touch more sugar wouldn't hurt. There is a similarity to ordinary white wine, and that is pleasing. The colour is paler and less green than hoped, but attractive, and its clarity ranged from 'crystal' at the top of the bottle to 'murky' below. My guinea pigs (not literal, you understand) liked it

If you want to see how I made this wine, click here.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Strawberry Wine - Fifth Bottle (2), 4th April 2014

The Extended Family Gathering was such a success two years ago (despite my father's journey in an ambulance to Casualty) that we have done it all again, and I am writing this in Great Hucklow, Derbyshire. I have brought several bottles of wine, and strawberry was the first opened. Many of the relatives got to try some and all were polite. Anne (of the David variety - my father's sister's first son's wife) was dubious on first taste but became a fan thereafter.

It was a lovely evening, working my way round the cousins while waiting for my immediate family to arrive. Everyone is so clearly pleased that I organised it all and I feel that I have genuinely done a Good Thing.

The Nightingale Centre, where we stayed

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Crab Apple Wine - Fourteenth Bottle (C1), 2nd-3rd April 2014

Our mid-week bottle. And there was little remarkable about it. I was home both nights without any evening rehearsals, so that is a bit unusual. I also showed great self-restraint by waiting until Claire had finished her viola practice before drinking crab apple wine (though I admit to a snifter of whisky before hand).

Some of Wednesday's wine was drunk while watching 'Rev' on i-player: a gritty comedy about the Church of England, which is rather lovely in its own way. But anything with Olivia Coleman tends to be fabulous.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Exotic Tinned Fruit Wine - Ninth Bottle (B4), 29th March 2014

This was the second bottle of the evening and we polished it off with no effort at all. Rachel & Duncan were here after our WYSO concert, and one bottle was never going to be enough. The first taste of this wine was dubious. too much of the 'chemical'. However, it got better as it went along. Some might argue that my tastebuds became less discerning.

Even ignoring the concert (which I thoroughly enjoyed) it has been a lovely evening. We discussed holidays - both the forthcoming one in the Lake District, and a potential one somewhere on mainland Europe in 2015. But now my eyelids are closing and I must go to sleep.