Picking the fruit is not without its hazards - gooseberry bushes have vicious thorns and after each harvesting session my arms looked as if they had gone several rounds with a pissed-off cat. There would be frequent cries of "Ow" as I spiked my hand again.
The berries were of various quality. One bush - the one that produces the earliest, smoothest gooseberries - had abundant, clean fruit requiring little washing. Another had the odd scab and a third produced fruit that was entirely covered in brown patches. I made sure that I washed the fruit as best I could before freezing it.
When it came to making the wine on Monday evening, 15th July, I measured out 6 lbs of gooseberries - most of which had been frozen - and mashed them in my bucket. That that had come from the freezer mashed easily and those that had not mashed not at all. I cut as many of those that I could catch into half and mashed them again.
My last gooseberry wine was a little dry, so I added an extra 2 oz sugar this time: 2 lbs 14 oz: and I poured over five-and-a-half pints of boiling water. Next time I should use only 5 pints.
On Tuesday morning I added a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient, pectolase and tannin. On Saturday evening, 20th July, after an afternoon chamber-music party in Wetherby, I put the wine into its demijohn. This was a relatively quick process and the resulting wine is an opaque greyish-green. It will clear (he said, confidently) to a sparkling yellow.
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here.