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.

Friday 14 July 2017

Rose Petal Wine and Rose Petal & Orange Wine - The Making Of...

When Claire and I were married, 19 years ago, Betty Rumsby gave us rose vouchers as a wedding present. We bought two, both white. One was a rambler which produced a fine array of blousy roses and it was with sadness that we had to leave this when we moved house. The other was a bush. We planted this in the front garden that had no sunlight and dreadful soil. It put out the occasional rose but mostly sat and sulked. We took this with us and finally it is happy. This year it produced several white roses with a scent of sherbet and as they faded I collected the petals for my wine.

Our Rose

This and the photo on the top
left are two of my mother's roses
Meanwhile, Mom was also busy snipping roses from her garden - a mix of pink and red - freezing them and handing them over when our lives coincided. By Wednesday 5th July I had enough for my wine making plans.

That day I measured out 8 pints of rose petals, the amount required for a double batch, and put them in my bucket with 1 lb of minced sultanas, the juice from two oranges and 5½ lbs of sugar. I poured over 15 pints of boiling water (releasing a fabulous perfume), left it over night and added the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient, pectolase and tannin.

This year, at Claire's suggestion (and she is Always Right), I have also experimented by making a Rose Petal & Orange wine single batch. On Saturday 8th July - a day on which I have done little but enjoy the summer weather - I thinly peeled three oranges, avoiding the pith, and covered their peel with a pint of boiling water. I measured out 4 pints of rose petals and put these in the bucket with the juice from six oranges (nearly a pint of liquid) and 3 lbs sugar (so no sultanas this time, hence the increased sugar ratio). I poured over 5½ pints of boiling water and left it over night. Next morning I added the water covering the peel (though not the peel itself, which was discarded), the yeast and a teaspoon of each of the chemicals.

I put the Rose Petal Wine into its demijohns on Monday 10th July and the Rose Petal and Orange into its demijohn on Thursday 13th July, fishing out a dead beetle before I did so. The overall colour of both wines is a pinky-orange, but the Rose Petal & Orange has a lighter house-brick colour and is the more attractive.

The Rose Petal & Orange is on the left - but
it is difficult to discern the colour difference.
If you want to see how the Rose Petal & Orange turned out, click here.


  1. Hello again,

    The broom didn't taste of coconut, that's gorse that smells of coconut. We haven't opened a bottle of it yet but when we bottled it there was no coconut scent or taste sadly. I'll let you know as soon as we do though.

    Can you do a post about what you do when a wine stalls?

    You haven't posed and our Elderflower wine last year stalled last year giving us something really rubbish. This year the rose petal and orange wine that we were making when I last commented here has stalled too. It was nice and lively until I strained it, it blooped a few times and then nothing. We've stirred it, added more yeast (generic Young's yeast that makes lovely fruit wines) that was lively in the raspberry wine we were also making more yeast nutrient, more sugar, some rhubarb and raison juice that was going into the rhubarb and Elderflower wine to see if that helped. It's close to raspberry, Elderflower and rhubarb and elderflower and gorse wines that are blooping quite merrily so the temperature is fine. Just nothing from this one.

    We're rather poor with out petal wines I fear.

    1. Hello again too!

      I suspect that what you describe about a wine stalling is actually the wine finishing its fermentation. I find that after about the first six weeks (sometimes less) there is very little in the way of bubbles going through the air lock. And certainly after I have racked it from one demijohn to the other, the wine usually just sits, getting clearer. Therefore I suspect that you haven't done anything wrong.

      Do you have a hydrometer? With that you can check the specific gravity - but more usefully, you can tell whether the fermentation has stopped, depending on whether there is any change in how high it floats from one week to the next.

      Does that help at all?