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, 21 April 2018

Dandelion Wine - First Bottle (3), 14th April 2018

I am extremely pleased with this bottle. It has elements of a medium sherry, but with a lemon zing and something unusual besides. That will probably be the dandelions. It has a dark gold colour and was clear all the way down. I shall ration this flavour to one a year because dandelion wine is one of those that keeps on improving.

It was a suitable choice for the day, which has been the first day this year that has felt spring-like. No rain and the sun made a showing for part of it. I spent a couple of hours in the garden, cleaning the eventual rose-bed. Claire tidied borders and pottered, some of which involved pulling up dandelions.

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

Monday, 16 April 2018

Xmas Tutti Fruti 2015 - Tenth Bottle (B5), 7th-8th April 2018

On Saturday night, I allowed myself only a sip of wine. This was because on Saturday afternoon I allowed myself a whole bottle. The bottle was an Italian red and the sip was Tutti Fruti. The bottle was better. I had been out for lunch with Rodney, and that always involves too much to drink.

We finished the Tutti Fruti on Sunday after a whole day of learning how to make lithographic prints using tin foil and coca cola. I hadn't been to an art lesson since I was 14 and it was surprisingly enjoyable. Claire concentrated on blood cells for her design, whereas my most successful involved rhubarb wine.

My lithograph
The image I worked from (but in mirror image)

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Gooseberry Wine - Second Bottle (4), 5th-6th April 2018

My phone is ancient and temperamental. Every so often it decides not to receive texts or phone calls for a few days and then vomits them all out at once. Hence, on Thursday night whilst I was out for a curry and beers with Darren and Nigel, I did not get Claire's text asking what bottle she could open. Had I done so, I would have replied "Not gooseberry". Never mind.

I had a couple of small glasses on Friday night - I had been feeling delicate all day. This wine is bone dry and as sharp as needles with a gooseberry punch. I wonder how it will mature, but at this rate I am unlikely to find out.

This is what my phone looks like

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Xmas Tutti Fruti - Third Bottle (B3), 3rd April 2018

I like this wine more than I remember. The rose petals are distinctive without being overpowering and there is an overall dark fruity taste. It was questionable whether finishing the bottle was a good idea, however. Particularly after a large glass each of crab apple wine. On a Tuesday night.

Claire and I settled in to watch Lewis but its denouement was ruined, rather, by mouse activity. A mouse brought in by Wiggy a few nights ago is in rude health*. All four legitimate household mammals spent 15 minutes chasing the illegitimate mammal round the dining room, failing to catch it. Yet again, we have rubbish cats*.

*Update: A couple of nights ago Claire was woken by a crunching sound. Wiggy was eating a mouse in our bedroom. Claire got up, didn't turn any lights on, picked up the (very much dead) mouse. By the soggy end. I slept through, but curiously had a dream of a cat eating a mouse.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Crab Apple Wine - Twenty-fourth Bottle (A1), 2nd-3rd April 2018

I bottled my Blackcurrant on Easter Monday, but that did not produce sufficient wine. Hence opening this bottle of crab apple, which continues to be a decent, highly drinkable wine. I spent the evening watching the first episode of And Then There Were None: a book I remember from when I was 11 - it is a nasty little tale of cruelty and retribution, but has an all-star cast so is (at least) glorious to look at.

We finished the bottle on Tuesday (and then finished another) because Claire was still on her Easter holidays and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Ginger Wine - First Bottle (5), 1st April 2018

This is a superb bottle of wine. It is light and refreshing and gingery, but no so gingery that it is a novelty wine. Very drinkable too. Neither of us believed Claire when she said, on its opening, "We don't need to finish it". By nine o'clock, it was gone. I spent most my time reading Bird Cage Walk by Helen Dunmore, which was excellent. It is a novel dealing with power, abuse, loss and the conflict between public and private spheres. That makes it sound worth and dull, but it is entirely gripping - there is an element of 'thriller' to it, and Threat is ever present.

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

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Elderberry Wine - Third Bottle (A2), 1st April 2018

Judith cooked an enormous slab of beef for our Easter lunch, and I opened a bottle of elderberry wine to go with it. The food was superb and the wine was passable. This is not my best vintage of elderberry. Andrew's adjective of choice was 'frunty' and I have no idea whether that is a compliment or not.

The weekend was excellent, starting with a lovely visit with Keith and family (we taught Ellis how to play 'Cheat'), going round Craster to buy kippers, watch the waves crash against the pier and get thoroughly cold walking much of the way to Dunstanburgh Castle, and finishing the Guardian cryptic double crossword.