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 17 November 2020

Jam Wine 2020 - The Making Of...

Many years ago I spotted that CJJ Berry had a recipe for Jam Wine. I filed this information away under the heading "Odd and Not Useful". Over the last few months I have watched our 'Home Made Condiments' cupboard fill to capacity and started to wonder whether I should dust down that recipe. Also, stored in the attic, were a collection of jars that we brought with us when moving house in 2015 and which have lurked there ever since.

Jars found in the attic

Claire was fully on board with this wine - it solved the problem of all those jars, but first of all we needed to play "Jam or Chutney". This involved opening each jar (more difficult than it sounds) and taking a taste - because of course only about half were labelled. This appeared to produce no chutney, lots of marmalade (which I did not use) and some sort of jelly with large pieces of garlic floating in it - also rejected.

A different view of the same jars
Notice the dust!

In the end I used nine jars in a variety of sizes and these were: Plum 2013, Strawberry 2013, Gooseberry 2011, Bramble Jelly 2013, Rowan Jelly 2005, Damson 2014, Crabapple & Chili Jelly, Fig, and Quince Jelly. The Crabapple & Chili was the nicest, the Rowan the worst.

Emptied jars

On Sunday 8th November, I tipped all contents into my bucket (together it looked like an enormous, disgusting blood clot) and poured over 6½ pints of boiling water. I gave it a good stir and left it overnight for the jam to dissolve. On Monday morning I added two teaspoons of citric acid and one of pectolase. Then in the evening (rather than 24 hours later as instructed by the recipe) I added 8 oz of minced raisins, 1 lb of sugar and a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient and tannin.


The yeast (which was a new tub and a different variety) did not take and I feared that this wine would have to be thrown out. On Wednesday I made a yeast starter, with the half teaspoon left of my old yeast, half a pint of warm water and half a pint of the jam wine. This started fermenting and continued to do so after adding a further pint of the wine, so I poured it into the bucket. Success!

I put the liquid into its demijohn on 15th November - which took quite a while. During this process I noticed large bits of onion in the solids that I was sieving out. "This appeared to produce no chutney" was a rash and inaccurate statement. "Jam or Chutney" is a surprisingly difficult game.

Jam wine in its demijohn