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.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Prune & Parsnip Wine - The Making Of ...

2012 has begun with dull, dank weather. I don't think it has stopped raining and it now being four o'clock, the chances of it getting light have gone. Let us hope that this is not an indication of the coming year.

I have spent much of the day stretched out on the chaiselongue reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles in preparation for Friday's Book Group. It is a novel I know well, it having been one of my A Level texts, though I have not read it for twenty years. What strikes me now, which did not then, is how little Tess does for herself. She is done to, or is driven by the actions or suggestions of others. And perhaps this is the point. Afterall, the gods end their sport with Tess in the closing lines, suggesting she has no control. But this has nothing to do with Prune & Parsnip Wine, which I started today - 1st January.

I have chopped up four pounds of prunes into small pieces and these are currently boiling in six pints of water. The bucket contains six pounds of sugar and a pound of chopped prunes. Once the parsnips are soft (after at least 20 minutes simmering) I shall pour the liquid into the bucket, and then boil another seven pints of water to add.

Claire has just come to tell me "Your wine smells of everything that is evil about parsnips".

I put in the yeast and one teaspoon each of nutrient, pectolase and amylase on Monday morning. The wine currently smells dreadful, and I don't remember this from previous years. Uh oh.

This smell lessened over the next few days, but there is a cloying hint of nastiness. Fingers crossed. I put it all into its demijohns a couple of days earlier than I might usually - on 5th January - but it was at the most convenient point of my timetable. Neither demijohn is full: there is at least a pint's space in each. But as the wine is fermenting aggressively, this is (with luck) sufficient space to keep the liquid in the demijohns.

I added a pint and a half of tap water to Demijohn A and a pint to Demijohn B on 7th January.


  1. I have not had the opportunity to try a parsnip based wine. Is the color from the prunes? Do you think the nasty smell could possibly be sulfur dioxide? Or, do you believe it is the work of the parsnips?

  2. The colour must be from the prunes - as it is very clearly a dark brown wine, and the parsnips are more of a pale biege.

    I'm not sure about the smell, and I'm currently pretending it didn't exist. This is mostly because I have made 12 bottles and anticipating a dreadful wine of that quantity is just depressing. It will be fine!

  3. In fact, this wine is more than fine. It has turned out brilliantly. You can see my thoughts on the first bottle by pasting this link into your browser: