Greetings

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.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Xmas Tutti Fruti 2017 - The Making Of...

It is 23rd December and I am only just now starting to feel in the mood for Christmas. This morning I collected a huge slab of venison for Monday's meal and tonight Claire and I will go carolling around the neighbourhood. Work has finished for the year and I feel I can start to relax.

A close up of fruits from the freezer
One of the Christmas traditions is, of course, making the Xmas Tutti Fruti Wine. This brings with it many seasonal abstract nouns to Claire, for the freezer (having been stuffed with fruit for five months) is now empty: 'joy', 'gladness', 'wonder', 'peace' to name just a few.

Those frozen fruit in the bucket
I have more fruit in the wine than I have used before - 9 lbs 9 oz - meaning that I toyed with making a triple batch, but have settled on the usual double. In the approximate order in which I extracted the fruit, I have used:
  • 1 lb 15 oz blackcurrants
  • 12 oz strawberries
  • ½ oz red raspberries and 4¾ oz yellow raspberries
  • 1 lb 9 oz blackberries
  • 2 oz damsons
  • 1½ oz loganberries
  • 1¾ oz redcurrants
  • 2 lbs 3 oz gooseberries (of which one gooseberry only was red - the others from our red gooseberry bush all having been gobbled by pigeons)
  • ¼ oz fuchsia berries
  • 2½ oz sloes
  • 14 oz rhubarb
  • 2 oz rose petals
  • 1 lb 3 oz elderberries; and
  • 1¾ oz blueberries
  • Plus (of course) 1 satsuma
The fruit defrosted
I measured all the freezer fruit yesterday and put it in my bucket to defrost overnight. This afternoon I mashed it with a potato masher, added 5 lbs 12 oz sugar and poured over 12 pints of boiling water. I made my wish for the coming year while mashing - last year's was that I hoped Claire's job would be sorted and secure, and that has - eventually - mostly come true.

Fruit mashed with sugar added
The yeast, nutrient and pectolase all went in on Christmas Eve (though several hours before the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols) and I have put this into its two demijohns tonight, 28th December, leaving a large gap in each demijohn (with two 'topping up' bottles prepared) so that the fermentation can die down. I could have cut the water used by two pints. But the taste at this stage is sweet and fruity, and it is a pleasing dark red in colour.

The wine in its demijohns (and the snow)