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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.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Blackcurrant and Red Gooseberry Wine 2013 - The Making Of ...

Eight days ago I opened my first bottle of blackcurrant and red gooseberry wine. It was really rather lovely - full of sharp, fruity flavour that takes the best from each ingredient. Therefore, when presented with a heavy crop of blackcurrants this year, I decided to do it again.

Both Fruits Together
Our blackcurrant bushes are prolific this summer. Even though we are towards the end of the season I still managed to get nearly two pounds of fruit off them today, 10th August, and there are several pounds in the freezer. Between us, Claire and I are planning another batch of wine, several jars of jam, blackcurrant gin, blackcurrant vodka, sorbet and still plenty left over for Christmas Tutti Fruti.

Red Gooseberries - always the bridesmaid and never the bride
The red gooseberries are doing less well, and I blame the sawfly, which I ignored entirely this year. But there were still enough of them for my arms to get thoroughly scratched and to get the 8 oz needed for this recipe.

I started making the wine this evening whilst also cooking tonight's meal - lamb chops marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano, griddled courgettes, cous-cous and french beans - so had to be careful not to mix the ingredients and processes. I weighed out 2½ lbs blackcurrants (getting some from the freezer) and 8 oz red gooseberries. These were put in the bucket and I mashed them (after pouring over half a pint of boiling water) while heating 5½ pints of water with 3 lbs sugar dissolved.

The ingredients in the bucket before the yeast was added
Once the water had reached boiling point I poured it over the mashed fruit and left it overnight before adding the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient and pectolase. I left it for a further four days - till Wednesday 14th August - before sieving out the fruit and putting the liquid into its demijohn. I did this part while listening to Tchaikovsky's Third Symphony on Radio 3. It is not a piece I know at all and, apart from the bombastic and tedious final movement, it is rather good.

The result so far
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here