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.

Monday 24 October 2011

Quince Wine - The Making of ...

I am gradually ticking off the letters of the alphabet in my wine making activities and today I reached the letter Q. I suspect that the letters I, V and Z will prove difficult.

Last week at Quintet, Jenny mentioned that Callum's parents were giving away quinces and was I in the market. I gave her an enthusiastic yes, despite this October having been particularly busy on the wine making front. We arranged, via e-mail, that Jenny would leave a bag of 20 quinces on her front doorstep on Monday night for me to collect after ASO. So, under cover of darkness (and a good deal of rain) I picked up a bag of fruit at 10 p.m. and drove off into the night.

20 Quinces, pre grating
I started making the wine on the evening of 18th October. Claire helped by cutting up the first 10 quinces for me to grate (using the food processor) before she retired to have a bath. I put these in 4 pints of water, brought it to the boil and boiled it for 15 minutes whilst I cut up the remaining 10 quinces, ready for grating. I then repeated the exercise.

Quinces are an ugly fruit - taking the worst part of lemons and pears and mixing them together. However, they emit a delightful fragrance when boiling.

The recipe says that I should strain the liquid onto 3 lbs of sugar, but it was getting late and this would have taken ages, so I just poured the whole lot into the bucket and planned to strain it on Sunday. I also added the grated zest and juice of two lemons. As is usual, the yeast and teaspoon each of nutrient and pectolase went in the next morning.

20 Quinces post grating (and in the bin)
I strained it all into its demijohn today, 24th October, rather than Sunday because we returned from a weekend in York relatively late. Straining was a faster process than I had anticipated, and I listened to Radio Leeds whilst doing so in preparation for my appearance in a fortnight. The questioning is hardly Paxmanesque, so I should be okay. Once in the demijohn I was worried this wine was not fermenting, and when I had a sip of the remaining liquid (of which there was at least a pint and a half too much) it was far too dry. I poured in two tablespoons of sugar into the neck, and this got everything bubbling away happily. Its colour is the usual dull and murky biege.
A murky biege wine


  1. Three wine solutions for you Ben:

    I is for: ICEBERG Lettuce.

    V is for: Viola, or 'Vintage Potato' or even Vimto wine.

    Z is for: Zucchini wine. I thought you would know that with you being half American? You probably already call it Marrow?

    Still waiting for your book to arrive in Ireland Ben. I will write a good blog about it when it arrives!

  2. Hope your quinces wine is ok! In northen Europe quinces are much more smaller. This is the way how I made Quinces wine:

  3. I have had my first bottle of this, and you can read a report about it here: - So it is a mixed result really, and if you are making quince wine, the lesson is ADD MORE SUGAR.

  4. Just googled Quince wine and your blog appeared... I was given some Quince last night and very excitedly found a recipe to make some wine... What a strange fruit and so hard to peel and chop!! Gave up half way and grated, boiled it all for the 15 mins then poured it over the sugar and added lemon and half a pound of chopped raisins... Phew a busy evening, left it to cool overnight and added the yeast this morning it's working well this evening.
    I see your blog was from 2011, how was the wine?

    1. Hello Angela - So, it took me 7 years to finish the Quince Wine, and it is one of those wines which has both good and bad aspects to it. Probably the best way to ascertain is to paste this into your browser, which is all my post entries relating to Quince wine: . You will see that it needed far more sugar than I gave it.

      I agree that it is a strange fruit, and chopping it is challenging.

      Do let me know how it goes.


  5. I made Quince wine a few years ago and I thought it was a tasty dry wine - word of warning, the second batch which was left to ferment longer was incredibly potent

    1. Presumably you are not Angela (who I have just replied to). I may well try quince again, and Claire is thinking of getting a quince tree, so we shall see.