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 21 July 2019

Gooseberry Wine 2019 - The Making Of...

When we moved house four years ago, we brought three gooseberry bushes with us. From these, we cut twigs and plonked them into the clay-based soil in our new garden, expecting them to remain twigs (only browner). Instead, they flourished and where we had three gooseberry plants, we now have many. Some are doing better than other, and their fruit ripens at different times - but for the first time, we had sufficient gooseberries for me to make gooseberry wine.

Picking the fruit is not without its hazards - gooseberry bushes have vicious thorns and after each harvesting session my arms looked as if they had gone several rounds with a pissed-off cat. There would be frequent cries of "Ow" as I spiked my hand again.

The berries were of various quality. One bush - the one that produces the earliest, smoothest gooseberries - had abundant, clean fruit requiring little washing. Another had the odd scab and a third produced fruit that was entirely covered in brown patches. I made sure that I washed the fruit as best I could before freezing it.

When it came to making the wine on Monday evening, 15th July, I measured out 6 lbs of gooseberries - most of which had been frozen - and mashed them in my bucket. That that had come from the freezer mashed easily and those that had not mashed not at all. I cut as many of those that I could catch into half and mashed them again.

My last gooseberry wine was a little dry, so I added an extra 2 oz sugar this time: 2 lbs 14 oz: and I poured over five-and-a-half pints of boiling water. Next time I should use only 5 pints.

On Tuesday morning I added a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient, pectolase and tannin. On Saturday evening, 20th July, after an afternoon chamber-music party in Wetherby, I put the wine into its demijohn. This was a relatively quick process and the resulting wine is an opaque greyish-green. It will clear (he said, confidently) to a sparkling yellow.

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


  1. I could not think that even such sour but very much beneficial fruit can be turned to WINE . I will try and afterwards acknowledge my result afterwards .Thanks.

    1. Hello Amit - yes, gooseberries are sour if eaten raw and without sugar. But part of that sharpness makes them entirely suitable for wine. Let me know how you get on and best of luck! Ben