Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter

I do like to spend part of a festive day progressing my wines. Today I racked (first time) the blackberry and raspberry that went into the demijohn on Saint Patrick's Day. I had a bit of difficulty with this one which I began on the first day of March. The first yeasting went nowhere. It fermented nicely on the second attempt. I noticed today that there was a lot of sediment so made racking a priority.

The wine is a good, bright colour and has little sweetness left in it. For the first time ever I added sugar. Just two tablespoons, dissolved in boiling water and cooled down to blood heat. I also added a dash of white wine left over from last night.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Fourth Racking Blackberry Wine

Tonight I am drinking one glass of blackberry wine. I made two batches of blackberry from the fruit I picked in September and October. This one was made with 1lb of fruit and the second with twice that amount. I racked it this evening and there was a glass left over. It is dry and has a great flavour.  One to look forward to.

A post from my other blog on picking blackberries.

After a few fine, bright days the rain came back. I had made the most of the fine weather gathering blackberries and rose hips by day and making, progressing and tasting country wine in the evenings. Wednesday was a very productive day for I was out in the fields for hours berrying and listening to Nelson Mandela's 'Long Road to Freedom'. The reading was so engrossing that I probably stayed out longer than I had intended.

Nearly twenty years ago, and after a few failed attempts, I finally passed the driving test and got my driving licence. Within weeks I decided that I'd make the trip to visit my sister in Kerry. It was quite a journey back then, as roads were not as good and there were many little towns and villages that could not be bypassed. I was over ten hours on the road and by the time I got to the sister's house, ten miles west of Dingle, I was completely exhausted. It was good to get to bed that night. The only problem was that every time I nodded off to sleep I woke with a jolt, my hands on a steering wheel and the dusty road ahead of me. I've never had such an experience before or since - until Wednesday night.

That day in the fresh air and the evening sterilising, racking, stirring and tasting had me ready for a good night's sleep. My only problem was that each time I drifted off I was jolted awake, my hand stretched out to pick just one more juicy berry...

Postscript: Bert has just informed me that blackberries picked after the 29th September are 'no good.'

Who says so?
Alan Titchmarsh. He says that after the 29th September they are as bitter as gall.
Because the devil spits on them.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Carrot Wine

Tonight we are drinking a bottle of carrot wine started in October 2011 and bottled last May. It is a beautiful colour, ever so slightly fizzy and on the sweet side. After this there is just two bottles left. I see from my notes that a bottle popped its cork four months after bottling and one that I gave to a friend at Christmas popped last month.

Really instead of drinking I should be making for I've only started one batch this month. Time to look in the freezer to see what is available. And carrots are cheap.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Making Rhubarb Wine

Rhubarb wine is, without doubt, one of the easiest wines to make and to drink. Rhubarbs 1 and 2 are finished and both pleased us. Rhubarb 3 is ready for bottling and tonight I racked the most recent batch, Rhubarb 4. It is a month in the demijohn and the flavour is already amazingly delicious. It tastes like a yummy rhubarb tart with only one little thing to bring it down - it is maybe a smidgen too sweet. Then I checked my notes. I started this wine off with a pint and a half of surplus pineapple wine. What a combination! A new project for the summer time - rhubarb & pineapple wine. Apparently they work well in a crumble too.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Taking A Break

Tomorrow I'm heading off to Donegal for a couple of days so, as if I hadn't enough to be getting on with, I decided to start another wine before I left. I went to the freezer and pulled out a bag of raspberries and another of blackberries. Sugared and watered, campdened and nutriented, it will get yeasted when I return.