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.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Xmas Tutti Fruti 2018 - The Making Of...

Though I pretend not to, and despite being distinctly grumpy at work, I do enjoy Christmas. More accurately, I enjoy the feasting, the friends and family, and the sheer laziness of it. Today, Sunday 23rd December, has emphasized the last of these. I got up late and, other than a jaunt out to pick up provisions from Harehills, I have done very little. Or 'very little' unless one counts wine-making, which personally I don't. A hobby does not fall into the category of 'chore' (though rinsing and sterilising equipment is never exciting).

This afternoon I began my Christmas Tutti Fruti, though this has only consisted of digging fruit out of the freezer, weighing it and putting it into my bucket to defrost. In total I have 8 lbs and ¾ oz of fruit, which is enough for a double batch. Taking the fruit in the order that I added it I have:

Quince - ¾ oz
  • Elderberries - 6 ¾ oz
  • Blackberries - 7 ½ oz
  • Strawberries - 10 ½ oz
  • Rosehips - ¾ oz
  • Sloes - 12 ½ oz
  • Blackcurrants - 3 lbs, 3½ oz
  • Redcurrants - ½ oz
  • Raspberries - 4 oz
  • Gooseberries - 1 lb 6½ oz
  • Apple - 9 oz
  • Satsuma - One (weighing in at 2 oz)

I left the fruit overnight to defrost. That evening, my Christmas started in earnest with Christmas carolling round the neighbourhood, organised by Angie for St Gemma
's Hospice. This is the event which marks the beginning of Yuletide for me - it is a pleasure to sing carols half-remembered from my youth, in a group where virtually everyone else can sing in four-part harmony.

The crushed fruit, with sugar added
On Christmas Eve I waited until 3 p.m. and the strains of Once in Royal David's City from King's College, Cambridge before mashing the fruit. I added 5½ lbs sugar and 12 pints of boiling water and gave it all a good stir, crushing any whole gooseberries I found with the back of the wooden spoon. The yeast, nutrient, pectolase and a small quantity of tannin went in on Christmas Day.

The fruit, fermenting in its bucket
I left the wine mostly unstirred (on account of being in Newcastle and York) until Sunday, 30th December, when I put the wine into demijohns. The wine has the most sludge that I can remember and made the process long and sticky. The following morning I weighed the discarded fruit. From the original 8 lbs, it now weighs 3½. The rest must be juice.

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