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.

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Recurrant Wine - Final Bottle (A1), 15th-16th November 2016

When opening a bottle on a Tuesday night, one requires a 'Punishment Wine': that is, a wine which is likely to be slightly unpleasant so one can reflect on one's lack of temperance while drinking it. This final bottle of Redcurrant fitted the bill splendidly. It had the taste of a fruit wine that had aged too long. So, the base flavour was beyond subtle which meant that only a thin dryness remained. It was drinkable, but not with any delight. Still, that is this batch of disappointing redcurrant finished and (despite having a plant in the garden) I suspect it will be many years before I make another.

Sunday 27 November 2016

Elderberry Wine - Eighth Bottle (A5), 13th November 2016

I gave Claire her free pick of reds and she chose Elderberry. We had just returned from an afternoon Airedale Symphony Orchestra concert and needed a drink. The concert was mostly very good, with Dvorak's violin concerto the highlight., but too long. We could easily have done without the Polonaise and Waltz from Eugene Onegin and no-one would have gone home thinking that there was just not enough music.

The wine was excellent - elderberry gets smoother with age - and was partly drunk to a beef cobbler and partly drunk sat in front of the stove, where I finished my book: The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Crab Apple & Strawberry Wine - First Bottle (3), 12th November 2016

What a genuinely excellent bottle of wine this is. Dry, pink, clear and refreshing. It has a strong strawberry taste, but the crab apple sharpens it, making the wine greater than the sum of its parts. We drank it to a Bolivian Chicken Pie that I made.

Claire spent the afternoon at the Otley Science Fair, showing people their cheek cells, so I was in charge of cooking. Being an adventurous soul, I dug out the Latin American cook book and chose something complicated - cross between a pie and a souffle with added corn. Just as I was pleased with the wine, I was proud of the result. When cooking goes right, I can really enjoy it.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Orange Wine - Eighth Bottle (B1), 10th-11th November 2016

I drank rather too much on Friday - not quite half a bottle of orange wine and two whisky macs. But this is my reaction to this week's news. Actually my other reaction is to stop watching the news - it is entirely depressing and I can do nothing about it. So why put myself through that, other than the dubious virtue of 'Bearing Witness'? It isn't that Trump is going to be the next president (which is awful in itself) but that people were inspired by hate and fear and xenophobia and misogyny. Individually, people tend to be alright or better. Collectively we are a terrible, terrible species.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Prune & Parsnip Wine - Eighth Bottle (A1), 6th November 2016

Prune & parsnip wine seemed the natural choice to accompany rabbit stew. There was a subtle sweetness to both food and drink, and I don't think I could have had a better match.

The day has mostly been spent at Airedale Symphony Orchestra, rehearsing for next week's concert. I don't think the orchestra has sounded better and for once I am genuinely looking forward to the performance. The more I play Schumann's First Symphony the better I like it. Having believed Schumann to be the most overrated composer, I am now have second thoughts.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Blackberry Wine - Fourteenth Bottle (A2), 3rd-4th November 2016

I find myself in a state of eternal exhaustion. Work is busy (which is a good thing), Claire is ill (which is not) but recovering and this week my only night in was Thursday. Hence a bottle of blackberry wine. I drank some while finishing the Book Group Book for Friday - The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. Though I found it gripping in parts, and I cared about the characters, ultimately I was a little disappointed and I'm not sure why. Then I moved onto watching The Missing on i-player, which so far and until the last few seconds of this episode, has been excellent. Now, though, I fear it has degenerated into silliness and genre fiction.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Claire's homage in the form of sausage roll

Saturday 12 November 2016

Rhubarb Wine - Sixth Bottle (B1), 29th-30th October 2016

My little sister is a bad influence. After an evening of not-quite excess, Rachael asked whether there was any more wine. There is close to 200 bottles. I fished out a bottle of rhubarb and we made minor inroads into it.

On Sunday I spent much of the day chasing after an energetic nephew, some of it in Roundhay Park. As soon as Myles saw the tourist train it was inevitable that we would have an overpriced journey to the top of the park and back again. Some of the rest of Sunday was spent with the remainder of the rhubarb wine and my invalid* wife.

*That is 'invalid' as in 'ill' rather than 'invalid' as in 'not recognised'.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Fig Wine - Second Bottle (5), 29th October 2016

Mom, Rachael and Myles came to stay on Saturday night and I wanted to pour them the best of my wines. Well, not Myles, obviously. He is not yet four. Fig wine is an excellent bottle, and we needed something red to go with the lamb that Claire had just cooked.

It was a lovely evening, full of talk and laughter. Mom has recently returned from Japan and China, so kept us entertained with tales of the exotic.

We finished the evening with steamed ginger pudding, sat in front of the stove. As I say, a lovely evening.

Friday 4 November 2016

Blackcurrant Wine - Fourth Bottle (C6), 28th October 2016

Claire is not well - coughing, spluttering, not sleeping and nearly voiceless. So far I have managed to escape this lurgy - despite being surrounded by it both at work and home. It is my Hardy constitution.

On Friday night when I got home Claire said that she had no idea what to have for supper and that she needed plenty of Vitamin C. I ordered an Indian takeaway and opened a bottle of Blackcurrant Wine. Both problems solved in an instant.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Crab Apple Wine 2014 - Final Bottle (C2), 26th-29th October 2016

I dashed away from Madeleine's quintets on Wednesday so that I could watch the Final (and final time it is on BBC) of The Great British Bake Off. Claire's alcohol consumption currently only consists of hot toddies, so I drank this bottle of crab apple almost entirely by myself - albeit over three nights. The final Bake Off was as warm hearted as all previous episodes and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

On Saturday night I shared what was left of this bottle with Rachael and Mom, who were both visiting. This, though, was an appetiser for the rest of an excellent evening.