We very much need a larger freezer. And we need to defrost the current one. At this time of year, when soft fruit is abundant, a deep and empty freezer is what one requires. Ours is standard-sized and full. This wine is a direct result.
On Saturday 12th July, Claire and I went round to Lindsay and Antony's house to pick blackcurrants. It was an afternoon well spent in their garden, enjoying the sunshine and seeing friends somewhere other than on a computer screen. We mostly attained social distancing, but we were still in their company, and that was lovely. Their blackcurrants were not as plentiful as in previous years - I suspect that the pruning shears have been out - but we came away with 2 lbs 6 oz.
Our blackcurrants are later, and my original intention was to keep Lindsay and Antony's fruit in the freezer until ours were ready. However, this gave no room for freezing bread and therefore Something Needed To Be Done. I decided that instead of pure blackcurrant, I would bulk up what we had with 10 oz of raspberries. Our raspberry canes have been prolific this year, requiring a daily pick, and the fruit that we cannot have on our porridge, we freeze.
On Friday 17th July I took the blackcurrants and raspberries out of the freezer and left them to defrost in a bowl. I mashed them that evening, poured over 6¼ pints of boiling water and added 2 lbs 12 oz sugar (I think - I am writing this a week later). On Saturday morning I put in a teaspoon each of yeast, pectolase and nutrient.
Over the week I was particularly dilatory in stirring the wine - maybe it got three stirs - and really I should have put it in the demijohn on Wednesday. But it has been a busy week at work, so I left this until Thursday evening. This process was unremarkable - neither pleasantly speedy nor stultifyingly, arse-achingly slow. I have ended up with a demijohn full of purple-bordering-on-the-black wine. I suspect that our blackcurrant bushes will not supply enough fruit this year for a pure blackcurrant wine.
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here