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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.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Blackcurrant Wine 2019 - The Making Of...

Our garden has been abundant with soft fruit this year. We have had strawberries, redcurrants, raspberries, gooseberries and (most relevant to this post) blackcurrants. There are blueberries ripening and a tree laden with plums. Even our damson tree has fruited this year.

Our damsons - which isn't strictly relevant to this post
The blackcurrants have required careful picking - starting in mid-July and going all the way to early August. In the middle of this, of course, was Rydal week and that meant some fruit was spoiled. But I can't help the season. Picking blackcurrants is always fiddly: the individual berries each reach peak-ripeness at different stages, plumping up to be round and soft and juicy. You cannot grasp handfuls but instead must pluck single currants. It was rare that I would get more than half a pound in any single picking session. The most unpleasant occasion of gathering fruit was immediately before we left for Rydal, when the rain was incessant and I was quickly drenched.


From the near-month of picking, I got just over 5½ lbs of blackcurrants. Whilst a single batch recipe calls for 3 lbs, I decided that this was enough for a double batch. On Saturday morning, 10th August, I took the fruit from the freezer and let it defrost in a large bowl. In the evening I poured these into my small bucket and mashed them while boiling 12½ pints of water with 5½ lbs sugar dissolved. Actually, I lost count with the water because I was being distracted by John Finnemore on Radio 4 and couldn't remember if I had put 2 pints extra into the pan. (I hadn't, as it turns out.)


When I poured the boiling water into my bucket, it became apparent that my small bucket is only good for single batches. I transferred everything into the large bucket, cursing the extra washing that I had created.

I put a teaspoon of yeast, nutrient and pectolase in on Sunday morning, then transferred the wine into its two demijohns on Thursday 15th August. It is a deep, dark red-purple colour and bubbling away merrily.


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