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.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Blackberry Wine 2015 - The Making Of ...

The cusp of summer and autumn is often the best weather that England can provide. So it was today, 6th September. The sky was deep blue and cloudless. A perfect day to go brambling. As ever, Claire and I were in York for blackberries and we set off to the Victorian Cemetery after saying our farewells to the Wands. Helen and Ian are moving to Woking to be closer to Celia, leaving York after 43 years. A part of my childhood gone. But not before I had a last piece of Helen's chocolate cake!

We got to the cemetery at noon and picked for an hour and a quarter. The blackberries were thinner on the ground than usual - they are late in ripening, which meant picking was more selective than the great handfuls that previous years have allowed.

Claire and I both ensured we took some fruit from Thomas Douthwaite's grave, even though his gravestone is now entirely obscured. Other graves I picked from included the Leetham family plot, Timothy Taylor, John William Walker and Sarah Allison. I won in the nettle-sting stakes (I got several, compared to Claire's frankly pathetic none) and also in the weight of blackberries picked. Between us we got 7 lbs 5 oz, which is not even enough for a double batch. So I went to Stonegate Fields in the early evening and picked the remaining 11 oz required - though I was in competition with a woman who was picking blackberries for her apple & bramble pie.

I crushed the fruit without washing it, put in 5 lbs sugar and 11 pints of boiling water. The yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient and pectolase went in on Monday morning. I put this into its two demijohns on Friday evening, 11 September, which was a quicker process than expected. Using a collander at the beginning helped.

If you want to see how this wine came out, click here.

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