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, 9 September 2018

Blackberry Wine 2018 - The Making Of...

One should always listen to one's mother. Mothers are generally right about things and those who don't listen will live in a permanent state of regret.

A few weeks ago Mom said that I should come over to pick blackberries because they were now ripe. This was early August and therefore too early. The correct weekend to go brambling is, of course, the first weekend in September. So today (2nd September) Claire and I set off for York Victorian Cemetery. It was a glorious morning - bright sunshine, birds singing, only a hint of Autumn - and I was looking forward to an abundance of blackberries.

As is our practice, Claire and I split up to forage. After about 20 minutes, when my basket was somewhat emptier than it should have been, I got a text from Claire complaining that the blackberries were mostly mummified and asking how I was doing. We met up and decided we would be lucky to pick 4 lbs between us, enough for a single batch. This was frustrating and I regretted not heeding Mom's advice. However, fairly quickly we both found better patches and came away with about 6½ lbs.

Graves to mention are (for Claire): Margaret Nicoll and her sister Eva Barley, S. F. Elliott (a wireless operator in the RAF) and Ivy & Fred Foster. I picked from Sallie Allen, James W W Hughes and his mother Frances Grace Hughes, and Henry Ridgway Hodgson. We will raise a glass to them when the time comes.

A sculpture along the old railway track
Back at my parents' I went brambling along an old railway track and got over a pound. Though I was six ounces short of 8 lbs, this was enough for a double batch.

The wine after a stir

At home I mashed the fruit, added 5 lbs 6 oz sugar and 11¼ pints of boiling water. Next morning I added a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient and pectolase. I left this until Saturday morning, 8th September, before putting the liquid into its demijohns. This was a slow task and I tried to film the process for the blog - now I have my super duper new camera phone thing. Irritatingly, the film is too large to attach to this and I don't know how to shrink it (any advice gratefully received!). The amount of water I used in this recipe was exactly right and the wine is looking how it should.

The demijohn in the background is Rose Petal

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