I last made Spiced Beetroot Wine ten years ago. 2011 seems like a foreign country: they did things differently there. It is worth revisiting this flavour from time to time, not least because of its alarming colour. Also, on the whole my reds are better than my whites - and whilst this is not a traditional red (what with it being made from beetroot) it has the appeal of the unusual.
|Not quite enough beetroot|
I came home from Chapel Allerton on Saturday noon with not quite enough beetroot. Claire wanted two for her 'Beetroot, Goat's Cheese and Caraway' Bread, leaving me with 2½ lbs rather than the 3 lbs set out in my recipe. However, the bread was superb and I was deviating from my recipe in other ways, so this was no sacrifice at all.
|Beetroot, Goats' Cheese and Caraway Bread|
I began my wine-making on Easter Sunday, 4th April. Often at Easter we are in Newcastle or hosting Claire's siblings here but those options were impossible for obvious reasons. Instead I spent most the day in the kitchen baking (peanut butter cookies and lemon meringue pie, thank you for asking) and making wine to Classic FM's Top 300 Countdown. I chopped the beetroot into small-ish chunks and put these in my biggest pan with 6 pints of water. This was brought up to the boil and left simmering for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, I sliced 2 oz of ginger thinly and put this, the juice of one lemon, 2 lbs 12 oz sugar, 8 oz minced sultanas and 2 pints of cold water into my bucket. Adding sultanas is new - and has been done to give the wine additional body. I put in six or seven shards of clove - some bits looked like really tny cloves - and this is certainly less clove than I have used on past occasions. I also added less than half a teaspooon each of ground cinnamon and mixed allspice. When the beetroot had finished boiling I poured in the water and discarded the vegetable.
Monday morning I added a teaspoon of nutrient and pectolase. I started a teaspoon of yeast in half a pint of sugary lukewarm water and once that was going put that in too.
|Fermenting Beetroot Wine|
After stirring once a day, I put the wine into its demijohn on Friday, 9th April whilst listening to the extensive coverage of Prince Philip's death. It was a quick job (the wine, not the death) (though that might have been too) and the wine is a pleasing colour. I have wrapped the demijohn in newspaper, however, so that the colour does not deteriorate (which apparently happens with beetroot wine).
|A pleasing colour|
(NB - I haven't altered the wine colour, just
removed the green grass from the photo)