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.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Strawberry Wine 2016 - The Making Of...

Strawberries have gone up again. £6 a kilo or, for those of us who think in Imperial, £2.73 a pound. I am certain that I could buy them cheaper in the market. But picking strawberries during Wimbledon fortnight is a tradition and it almost feels like foraging - appealing to my inner hunter-gatherer. You can't put a price on that. Well, you can. It is £2.73 a pound.

On Sunday morning, 10th July, Claire and I went to Wharfedale Grange Pick Your Own Farm to gather enough strawberries for this wine (4 lbs needed) and my autumn 'Strawberry and Apple' (another pound). We came away with 7 lbs 5 oz, and much of the extra has been turned into jam.

The fields were full of families with earnest parents trying to convince small children that this was Fun. Close to us, close enough for me to feel proprietorial about the strawberry plants in reach, William and Mia we having Fun at the top of their voices. I knew their names because their parents kept telling them to pick more quietly.

4 lbs of strawberries before mashing

Back at home I weighed, hulled and washed the strawberries and then put the 4 lbs needed in the bucket and mashed them. I poured in 3 lbs of sugar and 4 pints of boiling water, and left it for about 28 hours. On Monday night, after having met Kate - Chris's girlfriend - for the first time (she seems lovely and I approve) I took the pulp out using a collander initially, and then a jug, sieve, funnel and demijohn. I then covered the pulp in two pints of water, stirred it around a bit and left it while I washed and resterilised my bucket.

What is left of 4 lbs of strawberries at the pulp stage

Next I drained the liquid from the pulp into the bucket, now discarding the pulp, and I poured the nascent wine stored in the demijohn back into the bucket. (Strawberry wine is more labour intensive than most.) I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase, nutrient and tannin.

On Friday night I put this wine into its demijohn, which was a very quick job. It is house-brick red in hue.

If you want to know how this wine turned out, click here.