|Blackcurrants and Stan|
I have been picking blackcurrants since late July and there are still some to go. These may be left for the birds, thought I wouldn't want our garden to become a soft fruit restaurant for pigeons.
I started the wine on Sunday, 18th August. Rachel came over with the blackcurrants she had harvested whilst Claire and I were at Rydal, and I supplemented these with those I had picked that day to make the weight up to three pounds. I put them in the bucket and poured over half a pint of boiling water to encourage them to defrost whilst Rachel, Duncan, Claire and I made merry and drank rather too much for a Sunday.
At some point that night, though I now cannot remember precisely when, I mashed the fruit and poured over a boiling syrup made up of three pounds of sugar dissolved in five-and-a-half pints of water. I left it overnight to cool and on Monday morning, setting my alarm 10 minutes early so I could do this and make my sandwiches, I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient.
The liquid was strained into the demijohn on Thursday night, 22 August, while listening to a not-as-dull-as-it-sounds documentary about Gibraltar on Radio 4. Apparently cigarette smuggling is big business there. I left a large gap in the demijohn overnight, keeping some wine back in its own bottle. This was wise as the fermentation was initially aggressive. 24 hours later I have filled the demijohn to its neck and the wine's colour is that of a dark claret.