Eight days ago I opened my first bottle
of blackcurrant and red gooseberry wine. It was really rather lovely - full of sharp, fruity flavour that takes the best from each ingredient. Therefore, when presented with a heavy crop of blackcurrants this year, I decided to do it again.
|Both Fruits Together|
Our blackcurrant bushes are prolific this summer. Even though we are towards the end of the season I still managed to get nearly two pounds of fruit off them today, 10th August, and there are several pounds in the freezer. Between us, Claire and I are planning another batch of wine, several jars of jam, blackcurrant gin, blackcurrant vodka, sorbet and still plenty left over for Christmas Tutti Fruti.
|Red Gooseberries - always the bridesmaid and never the bride|
The red gooseberries are doing less well, and I blame the sawfly, which I ignored entirely this year. But there were still enough of them for my arms to get thoroughly scratched and to get the 8 oz needed for this recipe.
I started making the wine this evening whilst also cooking tonight's meal - lamb chops marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano, griddled courgettes, cous-cous and french beans - so had to be careful not to mix the ingredients and processes. I weighed out 2½
lbs blackcurrants (getting some from the freezer) and 8 oz red gooseberries. These were put in the bucket and I mashed them (after pouring over half a pint of boiling water) while heating 5½
pints of water with 3 lbs sugar dissolved.
|The ingredients in the bucket before the yeast was added|
Once the water had reached boiling point I poured it over the mashed fruit and left it overnight before adding the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient and pectolase. I left it for a further four days - till Wednesday 14th August - before sieving out the fruit and putting the liquid into its demijohn. I did this part while listening to Tchaikovsky's Third Symphony on Radio 3. It is not a piece I know at all and, apart from the bombastic and tedious final movement, it is rather good.
|The result so far|
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here