Back in the early summer, I freecycled a stack of roof tiles that had been in our garden, gathering spiders and snails, since we bought the house. The woman who collected them gave us a courgette plant in thanks and Claire planted it in our front garden. It did not seem to be particularly fruitful and we mostly ignored it. This is a dangerous strategy when it comes to courgettes. The smallest fruit will, when you turn your back, grow into the most enormous marrow. And so it came to pass.
|Our innocent looking courgette plant|
Claire went out on Wednesday to harvest what we knew was a large courgette and staggered into the house with a seven pound, twenty inch monster. This was too big to cook and I was given permission to turn it into wine. In honour of my half-American heritage I feel justified in naming this brew 'Zucchini Wine'. Because of my Wine-Alphabet odyssey it is a wine that I had always planned to make, being the natural choice for Z, but I wanted it as my last letter. I have yet to tick off J, so that hasn't quite worked.
Anyway, I consulted my recipe books and have adapted C J J Berry's recipe for Marrow Wine. On Friday 1st September, I grated the zucchini (must not
call it 'marrow') using the food processor, only discarding the very ends. I put this in my bucket, along with the juice of two oranges and 2-and-a-bit ounces of grated ginger. I added 2 lb 12 oz sugar and poured over 6½
pints of boiling water. At this stage what I have made is a sweet zucchini soup.
|The grated zucchini|
On Saturday morning I put in two teaspoons of citric acid (the recipe book asked for four), a teaspoon of tannin (not mentioned in the recipe), a teaspoon each of nutrient and pectolase plus the yeast and gave it all a good stir.
Tuesday (5th September) was my only night in this week, so that is when I sieved the liquid into its demijohn. Once I had removed the bulk of the vegetable matter with a colander, this was a quick job. It is probably not worth noting that I should have used a pint less water (it is highly likely that I won't be making this again). The taste at this stage is unpromising and its colour is dishwater grey-green. I will deem anything better than 'nasty' for this wine as a monumental success.
If you want to see how this wine turned out (and I recommend that you do so if you are thinking of following this recipe), click here
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