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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.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Blackcurrant Wine - The Making Of ...


Blackcurrant wine is one of my very best. It has a sharp, tangy taste which is unmistakeable. Blackcurrants, however, are not consistently available in sufficient quantities for me to make it every year. Therefore, I was delighted when Julia rang this morning, 22 July, to let me know she had three pounds going spare. The timing could not have been better; today is a Sunday where I have little else planned and by starting the wine today it will be in its demijohn by the time I go to Rydal Hall.

Claire and I went over to Julia's bearing gifts of a jar of strawberry jam and one egg. In return we were given a bag full of gooseberries, the blackcurrants and recipes for gooseberry chutney and gooseberry ketchup. We returned home via Sainsbury's, where we collected vast amounts of vinegar, sugar and rum - the last being for a rumtopf which Claire shall begin today.


Immediately after lunch of salad and pitta bread I started the wine, a process which took little time. I boiled 3 lbs of sugar in 6 pints of water. Whilst this was on the hob I poured the currants into the bucket and mashed them. I did not bother washing the fruit; it was already sticky and I did not want to lose any of the juice. The boiling water will kill anything nasty and a little dirt is good for the immune system. I poured the water-sugar mix over the mashed blackcurrants and gave it all a stir.

When we returned from a feast at Richard and Linda's I added one teaspoon of pectolase, and then the yeast (Burgundy) and a teaspoon of nutrient on Monday morning.

I had planned to put this in its demijohn on Friday night and then bottle my Prune & Parsnip as a pre-Rydal treat. What I had not planned to do was to be still in the office at 10 p.m. finishing off a set of 14 certificates of title that landed on my desk the day before a two week holiday. Scuppered! So, I sieved out the fruit and put the liquid into the demijohn of Saturday morning, 28th July, at 7 a.m., while listening to reports about the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Radio 4.
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If you want to see how this wine turned out, at the drinking stage, click here.

If you want to see a video on YouTube of how someone else - Alex Dav - has made blackcurrant wine, using quite a different method - click here. It lasts about 5 minutes and has some intriguing ideas.And his follow up is here, and again it is worth watching