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.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Xmas Tutti Fruti 2014 - The Making Of ...

I can take or leave Christmas these days. Days off work, spending time with family, feasting and drinking are all good points. Exchange of gifts and having to be in a jolly mood from early December are rubbish. However, for me over recent years, Christmas begins with carrolling around Moortown with the Wrights. It is the only time of the year that I sing in public, and Christmas carols take me back to my childhood. The tunes are simple and evocative, the lyrics are often unintentionally hilarious. Fourth verse of We Three Kings anyone? How about abhoring not the Virgin's womb?

Anyway, after singing heartily in North Leeds on 22nd December, I came home to measure fruit. This year I have 8 lbs 14 oz of ingredients plus 2 satsumas. This is made up of 1¼ oz rosehips, 9 oz sloes, 14¾ oz apples, 1 lb 1 oz gooseberries (mostly green), 10 oz gooseberries (entirely red), 1 lb 14½ oz blackberries, 2 lb 5 oz blackcurrants, 1 lb 1¾ oz elderberries and 4¾ oz rose petals.

I let it all defrost overnight, during which I got exceptionally cross with Aggie for her unearthly mewing, and the next day, which was my last day in the office until 5 January.

On the evening of 23 December I boiled 12 pints water and poured this over the mashed fruit. I added 6 lbs sugar. Claire kept me company in the kitchen, crocheting bladder tumours while I crashed about, mostly dropping things and saying "oops". It has been a lovely evening and we have spent the last half hour finishing the Christmas jigsaw in a vaguely competitive manner.

The Christmas Jigsaw
I put the yeast and a teaspoon and a bit each of nutrient and pectolase on Christmas Eve morning and spent the next few hours working more dilligently than befits one on holiday. The contents of the bucket were given a stir and then left until we came back from Newcastle on Saturday afternoon, when it got another stir.

The mixture fermenting
I put the liquid into its two demijohns on Monday afternoon, 29 December, while suffering from a heavy cold. I made sure that my sneezes and hacking coughs were always directed away from the wine. It is currently an attractive dark purple and the taste I took at the end was encouragingly fruity.

NB - This is my 700th post since I started the blog in April 2011.

NB2 - If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here

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