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.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Prune & Parsnip Wine 2020 - Third Bottle (6) 14th-15th July 2021

Work has been tedious and anxiety-making this week. We have had a Subject Access Request and that means that I have spent literally half my working hours reading through old emails and spreadsheets, harvesting relevant information to present to the Requester. Therefore I was much in need of this Prune & Parsnip on both Wednesday and Thursday. It is at the upper end of midweek bottles and a white that does not need to be chilled. Television also helped - an opiate for the masses.

Wild flowers in Potternewton Park

Monday 26 July 2021

Rose Petal & Orange Wine 2019 - Fifth Bottle (4), 11th July 2021

We had another virtual dinner party with Rachel & Duncan on Sunday night and this was our bottle of choice (after a small whisky smash). The food was a Turkish dish: Lemon & Apricot Cinnamon Chicken: so something involving rose petal for the wine was perfect. There was a more pronounced orange flavour than I had remembered, but that wasn't a bad thing. The meal was sumptuous - and easy to make. And then for pudding I produced a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake

Friday 23 July 2021

Blackberry Wine 2020 - Third Bottle (B3), 10th July 2021

This bottle would have been another exploder, but this time I caught it with the cork protruding upwards and bunged it in the fridge. Two days later, Saturday, the wine remained safely in its container so I removed the cork and we drank the lot. I don't think 'fizzy' adds to the whole red wine experience, but otherwise this was a decent bottle of wine.

The day was uneventful, save that I played BATHROOM on a triple word score in my weekly Scrabble session (98 points, thank you very much) and ordered a mini-freezer for this year's excess fruit.

Raspberries ripening in our garden 

Sunday 18 July 2021

Rhubarb Wine 2018 - Twelfth Bottle (A1), 7th July 2021

I have yet to let on to Claire that this bottle came from the Rhubarb Wine vintage that she claims is nasty. She drank it without complaint. It was a Wednesday evening bottle in a week that has been the most sociable for a very, very long time. We had Pat's 80th on Saturday, an impromptu meal at Mary's on Sunday and wind quintets in Harrogate on Monday, with trios to follow on Thursday and Book Group (albeit that one by Zoom) on Friday. That is pre-lockdown levels of sociability and then some. So of course a quiet night in on Wednesday became a whole bottle night.

Wiggy and I had a disagreement about the chair

Thursday 15 July 2021

Strawberry Wine 2020 - First Bottle (4), 2nd July 2021

Claire and I disagree about the merits of strawberry wine. I love its ruby-red colour, its lightness, its taste of strawberries and appreciate that there is a hint of real wine lurking beneath that. Claire thinks it is okay. Because Claire does not particularly enjoy it, we have several bottle of strawberry wine yet to be drunk and for the first time since probably 1999 I won't make the flavour this year.

We drank the bottle to another one of my excellent quiches (he said, modestly) - this time 'The Sick and the Weak' quiche, made from elderly vegetables we have been hoarding.

My Excellent Quiche

If you want to see how I made this wine, click here.

Monday 12 July 2021

Rhubarb Wine 2019 - Eighth Bottle (A4), 29th-30th June 2021

I have new boots. Bought at great expense and looking as if they have been made by elves for a medieval Germanic shoemaker, I am really pleased with them. It is the first time that I have been at all interested in footwear apart from slippers. On Tuesday I took my first walk in them - just to Sainsbury's - and I did not return limping and blistered. In the evening I opened this bottle and we had our first glass inspecting the garden and spotting amphibians in the pond. The wine is a fine vintage of rhubarb - there is a touch of bronze to its colour and I think it similar to a shop-bought white. Claire may disagree!

I had the last glass on Wednesday after returning from Madeleine's quintets. It is so good to be playing chamber music again. 

New Boots

Saturday 10 July 2021

Blackcurrant Wine 2019 - Eleventh Bottle (B5), 27th June 2021

A Sunday bottle of wine. The day had been quiet, though pleasant. We had meant to go to York, but the car being repaired at the garage put a stop to that. Probably it is time to replace it, but that prospect does not fill me with joy. Instead I made a Coffee & Cranberry Loaf.

We drank this blackcurrant wine, which is excellent, to a roast chicken dinner and some of the best gravy that Claire has ever made. It is the redcurrant jelly that makes the difference.

Cranberry & Coffee Loaf

Friday 9 July 2021

Apple Wine 2019 - Fifth Bottle (2), 26th June 2021

I really should write up my wines as soon as I have finished them. It is three days later and I remember little about this bottle. That suggests it was not ghastly. I think it had a heavy, overly floral taste and needed a sugar syrup to make it better, but it was still acceptable. We drank it to homemade pizza, which is always delicious, and a silly superhero film called Ant Man in which the protagonist did not invade picnics or live in a rockery. Otherwise, much as the wine, it was entirely acceptable.

My Apple Wine in the Fridge

Thursday 8 July 2021

Crab Apple & Strawberry Wine 2020 - First Bottle (3), 23rd-24th June 2021

This is such a pretty bottle of wine. It is jewel-red and so clear. Taste-wise, it is not bad either and I think rather better than Apple & Strawberry. It has a fruity dryness to it that is appealing and I should have another bottle to see if I think 'crab apple' or 'strawberry' is the dominant flavour. I'm not convinced either is distinctive.

The most exciting thing to happen on either day was that some new jeans arrived through the post. By far the most expensive jeans that I have ever bought (from Spoke) but they fit perfectly and are so, so comfortable. The adage that you get what you pay for seems true on this occasion.

If you want to see how I made this wine, click here

My old jeans - 32" waist apparently!

New jeans - 31" waist

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Blackberry Wine 2020 - Third Bottle (B4), 23rd June 2021

I am a fool. Last bottle of Blackberry 2020, I was smugly pleased about noticing the corking inching towards explosion. Any sensible winemaker would then put all bottles of the same vintage upright, thus minimising the chance of detonation and mess. Not me. Hence, on Wednesday morning I discovered our dining room floor covered in sticky red liquid. I briefly wondered what Wiggy had slaughtered before realising what it was. There was one large glass left in the bottle which Claire and I shared that evening. This would have been an excellent wine.

Our food that evening - Involtini (delicious)

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Xmas Tutti Fruti 2019 - Ninth Bottle (A4), 19th June 2021

Having opened a sub-standard bottle of Apple & Strawberry, I opted instead for a Christmas Tutti Fruti. It was a Saturday night after all, and therefore an evening to have something nice. Also we needed plenty of alcohol to dissolve the heat from our meal - 'Devil's Curry', which was as blistering as it sounds. On finishing this bottle we reached again for the Apple & Strawberry which was, perhaps, a mistake. The rest of the night is a barely remembered blur.

My bassoon and reeds - taken on 19 June

Sunday 4 July 2021

Apple & Strawberry 2018 - Fifth Bottle (4), 19th-20th June 2021

After opening this on Saturday we decided that we wanted something rather better, drank a bottle of Xmas Tutti Fruti, and then returned to this bottle for extra room-spinniness. It isn't a terrible bottle of wine, but there is a hint of the bitter. There was a glass each remaining for Sunday - a day which I mostly spent in the kitchen making Delia's ragu (superb!) and a Rhubarb & Custard cake (rather less so). On the whole a quiet and gentle weekend.

Rhubarb & Custard Cake in the making