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.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Gooseberry & Elderflower Wine - Final Bottle (B3), 18th-19th November 2015

I think it has taken all twelve bottle and three years, but finally I thought this flavour was quite good. It fizzed on opening and had a dry & refreshing taste. Any mustiness was subtle (but not quite unnoticeable). The answer to horrible wine must be to leave it for several years before opening.

We started the wine on Wednesday night after WYSO (Mozart's 24th Piano Concerto - wonderful) and before Claire began her experiment to cure insomnia (basically don't try to go to sleep and when you do, sleep in a different bed to your husband). We finished it on Thusday, when Claire was feeling refreshed from a proper night's rest and I had been kept awake by Aggie wriggling, washing and scratching.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Blackberry Wine - Fourth Bottle (C6), 14th-15th November 2015

Concerts and floods were the dominant themes for this bottle.

I opened the blackberry wine after coming home from Music Club, where Bill, Theresa and I had played a suite by Swan Hennesy. We only played moderately well and I was cross with Bill for getting a beat ahead and then missing a repeat. Still, the blackberry wine opened with a 'pop' and sparkled.

We finished the bottle on Sunday after returning from ASO's concert in Ilkley, which was Elgar's tedious Second Symphony. Getting to Ilkley was a challenge. The Wharfe had burst its banks and we had to approach Ilkley over the moor. Rose'y couldn't get there at all so the concert was made all the more interesting by a first bassoon sight-reading his part.

Monday 23 November 2015

Crab Apple Wine - Sixth Bottle (C3), 13th November 2015

I shouldn't really have finished this bottle. It was a Friday night and I had drunk very little through the (rather stressful) week. But we started the evening with a glass of rhubarb wine and then Claire had no more than a couple of glasses from this bottle. It wasn't even as if I particularly wanted the rest - but I justified empying it on the basis that there was 'only' a glass and a half left.

The wine was a very ordinary Crab Apple and Friday night was a very ordinary end-of-week night. So, nothing to laugh at at all.

Friday 20 November 2015

Rhubarb Wine - Fifth Bottle (B6), 12th-13th November 2015

Dan Benn, our wonderful bathroom fitter, gave me strict instructions to give Claire lots of wine on Thursday night. The latest thing to go wrong with the House is the bathroom - the bath, the sink pedestal and the radiator have all had to be returned to the supplier for being substandard (scratches and cracks mostly). Claire is not finding this easy and is also hugely busy at work. So this bottle was wine as medication and it helped. I detected a slight cheese taste, however.

Monday 16 November 2015

Prune & Parsnip - Seventh Bottle (B6), 7th-8th November 2015

One bottle is never enough when we have visitors, so our second bottle of the evening was Prune & Parsnip. Judith had made a marble chocolate cake and of the many available options, we thought this flavour would go the best. The unusual thing about the evening was that there was still half a bottle left at the end of it. The remainder helped our Sunday evening after another day of solid decorating for Claire. She is looking exhausted and is not sleeping properly. We will never move house again!

Sunday 15 November 2015

Blackcurrant & Raspberry Wine - Third Bottle (B5), 7th November 2015

Claire had the idea that we should drink this wine with people who knew Julia. Bob and Judith were here this weekend, and whilst Judith never met her, Bob spend a number of Rydals in Julia's company.

The Aged Ps were here to help with the House, so Claire set the septuagenarians to work, stripping paint off skirting boards and painting undercoats onto walls. Judith brought the evening meal with her - casseroled pork - and the wine went well with it. It is a fabulous bottle, full of rich fruit flavours.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Apple Wine - Fourth Bottle (5), 5th-8th November 2015

This wine has improved on its keeping. The apple flavour is more pronounced and it has acquired a thickness of taste lacking in previous bottles. There are elements of a strong scrumpy, and that is unsurprising.

It was opened on a Thursday before Claire went to her string quartet. She had a headache that had lasted for more than a day and felt that a restorative glass of wine (or two) might be the answer. On Friday night I slurped greedily at Claire's glass, but could do no more as it was Book Group and I was driving (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: I loved it). We finished the remains on Sunday.

Monday 9 November 2015

Christmas Tutti Fruti - Tenth Bottle (A2), 1st November 2015

Slow cookers are excellent. Claire put some strips of braising steak, bits of kidney, some mushrooms, chopped onion, a clove of crushed garlic, a bayleaf and enough water to cover in one before nine in the morning. We then spent a full day gardening and decorating at the House (the kitchen is the colour of putty), came back and - hey presto - a delicious stew. This called for a bottle of red and we hadn't drunk Christmas Tutti Fruti for a while. It is a tasty wine - verging on the "could this be made from grapes?". There is something more complex about it than single fruit wines: a depth of flavour.

Friday 6 November 2015

Blackcurrant Wine - Sixth Bottle (B4), 29th - 31st October 2015

What a lot I managed to fit in whilst this bottle of wine was open. I chose it on Thursday because Katie was here for a WYSO committee meeting, and these are her blackcurrants. She said the wine tasted like that she had made, which is probably a Good Thing. But I opened it to celebrate exchanging contracts for selling 14 Carr Manor Mount - we complete on 11th December. Then on Friday Bridget was here and we had a wonderful evening catching up (it has been two years since I last saw her) and eating curry. I had my final glass on Saturday night after coming back from The Grand, where we saw Kiss Me Kate done by Opera North. It was terrific, and I feel that my Shakespeare has been entirely Brushed Up.

Thursday 5 November 2015

Elderflower - Second Bottle (1), 27th- 28th October 2015

Let There Be Light. The House now has working electricity. I flick a switch and lights go on. This is new and miraculous, and I can't tell you how excited I am about it. Despite this, I had a bit of a wobble on Wednesday night about the whole House thing and I am unsure why. Perhaps it is the massive crack our bathroom fitter unearthed in our bathroom wall, meaning the wall needs rebuilding. At least the elderflower wine helped in a small way - and several days later I am more relaxed about the crack.

The crack in the wall

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Orange Wine - Seventh Bottle (B2), 25th October 2015

I had the morning off decorating to play bassoon quartets in Kirk Deighton. One of the highlights was the Captain Pugwash theme - short, fast and catchy. But thereafter it was back to painting - and this was mostly the kitchen ceiling. My reward was half a bottle of orange wine drunk to left-over curry from Friday, which was searingly hot. Orange wine is quite good in these situations. The sharp and dominant citrus flavour recalibrates the taste buds.

Sunday 1 November 2015

Crab Apple Wine - Fifth Bottle (A2), 24th October 2015

After a solid day of painting the new kitchen (albeit with watered down matt emulsion, creating a depressingly patchy effect), Claire and I went round to Rachel's for a meal. I took a bottle of crab apple with me, which we had after the gin and the champagne. We were fed babaganouche (and I'm not sure if that is how to spell it or how many words it is - but it was mostly aubergine and garlic) followed by a Mediterranean chicken teggine. Mostly, though, we were there to adore Duncan's new kittens - a tabby and a rag-doll. Just lovely.