Racking the Crab Apple & Soft Fruit. I racked the Crab Apple & Strawberry on 1st January 2012. This had a large deposit and needed the whole of a pint of water plus six ounces of sugar put in following racking. It produced a worrying smell of vinegar. Crab Apple & Blackcurrant, racked on 5th January, also had a large deposit, much of which ended up in the racked demijohn by mistake. I struggle to see liquid levels through brown glass. Again, I added a pint of water & six ounces of sugar.
Racking the Quince. I did this on 19th January. Its clarity is somewhat less than ideal. I put in another teaspoon of pectolase in the no-doubt vain hope of rectifying this. There was only a small deposit, and the taste was unpalatably dry. I managed to dissolve six ounces of sugar in three-quarters of a pint of water and fit this all in. My hopes for this wine are currently low.
Racking the Christmas Tutti Fruti. I racked this on 10th February. The sludge filled one third of each demijohn. This is a heavier deposit than I remember from any wine - though flicking through the pages of my diary may prove me wrong. However, the taste I got from each was thick. Too much like a fruit smoothy. Therefore, I do not despair that I had to put two and a half pints of water and six ounces of sugar into both demijohns. I probably picked up more sediment than none. Oh well.
Bottling the Gooseberry. I bottled the Gooseberry on 29th January. It isn't as sweet as I had feared on racking. This is a successful gooseberry; clear, unmusty, light. Definitely a summer drink. My only criticism is that it is not as good as the Gooseberry & Elderflower.
Bottling the Gooseberry & Elderflower. This happened on 29th January and was a revelation. It is fabulous. The elderflower adds perfume, the gooseberries sharpness and the sultanas depth. In an uncharacteristic show of being a Good Husband, I allowed Claire to drink the majority of the bottling glass whilst I made do with the unadorned Gooseberry (which, itself, was definitely drinkable). Now the quandary is whether I ever do pure gooseberry again.
Bottling the Redcurrant. I bottled the redcurrant on 5th February, and it is a little disappointing, mainly down to its thinness. There is nothing actively wrong with it (I hope the hint of mustiness was my imagination) but it is bland. Possibly it will mature into something more substantial, but I have my doubts. Still, it is a pretty colour, and Claire has suggested blending it with another wine, though I have yet to work out which one.
Bottling the Rose Petal. I did this on 14th February. On my walk to work this morning, I had the brilliant idea of celebrating Valentine's Day - the day most associated with roses - by bottling my Rose Petal wine. It has cleared (mostly) and is a lovely pink colour. The taste, if I am honest, is very slightly disappointing. There is a strong rose element to the mid flavour, but the whole is not as interesting as I had hoped.