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.

Saturday 9 February 2019

Prune & Parsnip Wine 2019 - The Making Of...

The wine in the crypt
The wine under the stairs
Claire thinks we have too much wine. Subjectively, I find that an alien concept. Objectively, she may have a point. We have over 200 bottles around the house (and I think significantly over). Whilst 160 of these are shared between 'Under the Stairs' and 'The Crypt' and are therefore 'Out of the Way', the remainder are dotted around, mostly hidden behind or underneath furniture - and not particularly well hidden at that. To this end, Claire has suggest that I reduce the amount of wine that I make - doing single batches where I ordinarily do a double, ditching a flavour or two. But that makes me uneasy. I have agreed that maybe I don't need to make a triple batch of rhubarb and perhaps rose petal should be jettisoned this year. A single batch of Prune and Parsnip, though? Unthinkable

Wine under a table
Wine behind the chaiselong

I bought my parsnips from 'The Fruit Stall' in Chapel Allerton - an excellent greengrocers, always heaving. It looked like I was going to clear them out of parsnips but was told not to worry, they had plenty out back.

At home (Saturday 2nd February) I sliced 4 lbs parsnips into small pieces and bought these to the boil in 16 pints of water (though did this in two stages due to pan-capacity). I gave them 20 minutes boiling time. Whilst this was happening, I cut up 1 lb prunes with scissors, put them in my bucket and covered them in 5 lbs 8 oz sugar.

Once 20 minutes were up, I poured the parsnip water into the bucket, catching the parsnips in a colander. If food were scarce and we were poverty-stricken, I would have turned the parsnips into soup. As it was, I threw them out.

The wine fermenting in its bucket
I added a teaspoon of yeast and a teaspoon and a half of nutrient and pectolase on Sunday morning and left the wine to its own devices, stirring occasionally, until Thursday evening, 7th Feb. Putting the wine into demijohns was relatively quick and went without incident. The wine is as brown as ever.

If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here.


  1. What I do in this situation is have a fundraiser for a charity I want to support. Invite all your friends to a tasting party, to take a bottle away with them and give a donation to your supported charity. The fact that there's only so much I can drink and give as presents doesn't reduce how much I enjoy making new wines from fresh ingredients. You could also go commercial, but in addition to the paperwork that requires an entirely different approach which you probably wouldn't enjoy so much.

  2. Ben, consider adding a wine cellar, in or under your house or backyard... That takes care of your space problem, and adds a hefty amount to the value of your home. Because, who wouldn't want to pay extra for a house with a wine cellar? And if you check on your local building codes, you may be able to add it in legally, without jumping through expensive building code hoops, paying fees, and having it add to your tax burden?

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  3. Perhaps you should add on a room? lol