Greetings

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.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Strawberry Wine - Third Bottle (6), 24th December 2014

A Christmas Eve bottle of wine round at 3 The Alders. It felt deserved. Despite the office closing on the 23rd, I had an exceptionally busy morning, trying to get two houses sold before New Year. On the rare occasion I was not on the phone, I was sending e-mails. But I think I may have managed it. The drive up to Newcastle felt like a holiday as a result - and the traffic was far quieter than expected.

The wine was appreciated by all - strawberry is definitely one of the best.


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Xmas Tutti Fruti 2014 - The Making Of ...


I can take or leave Christmas these days. Days off work, spending time with family, feasting and drinking are all good points. Exchange of gifts and having to be in a jolly mood from early December are rubbish. However, for me over recent years, Christmas begins with carrolling around Moortown with the Wrights. It is the only time of the year that I sing in public, and Christmas carols take me back to my childhood. The tunes are simple and evocative, the lyrics are often unintentionally hilarious. Fourth verse of We Three Kings anyone? How about abhoring not the Virgin's womb?


Anyway, after singing heartily in North Leeds on 22nd December, I came home to measure fruit. This year I have 8 lbs 14 oz of ingredients plus 2 satsumas. This is made up of 1¼ oz rosehips, 9 oz sloes, 14¾ oz apples, 1 lb 1 oz gooseberries (mostly green), 10 oz gooseberries (entirely red), 1 lb 14½ oz blackberries, 2 lb 5 oz blackcurrants, 1 lb 1¾ oz elderberries and 4¾ oz rose petals.


I let it all defrost overnight, during which I got exceptionally cross with Aggie for her unearthly mewing, and the next day, which was my last day in the office until 5 January.


On the evening of 23 December I boiled 12 pints water and poured this over the mashed fruit. I added 6 lbs sugar. Claire kept me company in the kitchen, crocheting bladder tumours while I crashed about, mostly dropping things and saying "oops". It has been a lovely evening and we have spent the last half hour finishing the Christmas jigsaw in a vaguely competitive manner.

The Christmas Jigsaw
I put the yeast and a teaspoon and a bit each of nutrient and pectolase on Christmas Eve morning and spent the next few hours working more dilligently than befits one on holiday. The contents of the bucket were given a stir and then left until we came back from Newcastle on Saturday afternoon, when it got another stir.

The mixture fermenting
I put the liquid into its two demijohns on Monday afternoon, 29 December, while suffering from a heavy cold. I made sure that my sneezes and hacking coughs were always directed away from the wine. It is currently an attractive dark purple and the taste I took at the end was encouragingly fruity.


NB - This is my 700th post since I started the blog in April 2011.

NB2 - If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here

Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas Tutti Fruti - Eleventh Bottle (A6), 23rd December 2014

This bottle was opened and drunk mostly so that we can drink the final bottle on Christmas Day. As excuses go for having a bottle of wine, that is one of the worst. In fact, it was a suitable flavour because I spent the evening making Christmas Tutti Fruti 2014. It was a lovely evening too. I am officially on holiday (though unofficially still have to work to get two house sales through before 31 December) and that is always a joy. Claire kept me company as I mashed fruit and boiled water and threw sugar all round the kitchen, drinking this bottle. I have complained in the past that this wine is a bit thin, but I think this bottle was fine. Maybe my mood affects taste.


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Blackberry Wine - Seventh Bottle (A4), 21st December 2014

I took this bottle to Ros's for Sunday lunch. At the Lehany's 'Lunch' is a fluid concept. We started eating shortly before six.

This blackberry wine was excellent, but was far from the only bottle drunk in the evening. As a consequence, I have spent all of today (Monday) feeling exhausted and wondering if I am coming down with something. It was a lovely night, though, full of venison casserole, cheese and entertaining conversation.


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Crab Apple Wine - Eighth Bottle (C2), 20th December 2014

It must nearly be Christmas: we have started the annual jigsaw puzzle. In past years this has been a gift from Julia. This year it is from Mom. The image is Van Eyck's Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele, the original of which we saw in Bruges and is an amazing piece of art.

There is something very companionable about working quietly on a jigsaw together, drinking crab apple wine on a Saturday night. Rock and roll, however, it demonstrably is not.


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Rhubarb Wine - Sixth Bottle (A5), 14th-18th December 2014

I have rediscovered my joy of reading. Or possibly I have just read three or four books in a row which I have found gripping, well-written and which deal with important issues. Or maybe I'm getting bored of arsing around on the internet. Anyway, while drinking this bottle mostly on Sunday night I was reading Life after Life by Kate Atkinson, which is delightful with an interesting concept of rebirth and doing things both differently and better. Reading on this occasion, though, was mostly Christmas card displacement therapy. By the time I had finished the bottle, however, the Christmas cards were done. Hoorah. I still have yet to buy a single present. Bah Humbug.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Blackcurrant & Red Gooseberry Wine - Second Bottle (5), 13th December 2014

This bottle was our post-WYSO concert celebratory drink. It wasn't very nice. Too sharp and dry. The fruit is distinctive, though. I may add sugar to the next bottle. Anne was here and claimed she enjoyed her glass, but I suspect politeness.

The concert went well - Amy's bassoon concerto was splendid, but I split my G# in the big bassoon moment in the Brahms. Curses.

The evening almost started very badly indeed. Nick, the conductor, got lost when walking from our house to the venue. I went looking for him in a panic, couldn't find him, returned to the church and discovered that he had found his way after all. Phew.

Our conductor is missing ...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Elderflower Wine - Fourth Bottle (B4), 11th-13th December 2014

I started this bottle on Thursday night while watching The Missing  on i-player. It has been a terrific, if bleak, series so far and there is only one episode to go. Claire was out playing string quartets and I know that elderflower is not her favourite flavour.

The second half of the bottle was drunk after our WYSO concert, mostly because my mother found the Blackcurrant & Red Gooseberry far too dry. She pulled a comic face and fell on the Elderflower eagerly. David (Anne's new fellow) helped empty the bottle, and also preferred it.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Elderberry Wine - Third Bottle (B3), 7th December 2014

Rory came round on Sunday night for a meal. I made sure he wasn't a vegetarian and we fed him a steamed ox-cheek pudding. Claire is so good at cooking and I regularly get reminded of how lucky I am in this regard. She made dessert too - a citrus pudding cooked in its own juices. Lots of stodge, and all of it delicious. The wine was also good - its usual red and deep self. It was a lovely evening, and I think a relief for Rory to escape sharing his building with students who know nothing except how to party into the early hours.

The pudding, or a close representation.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Crab Apple Wine - Seventh Bottle (B5), 6th December 2014 (ish)

This is the second bottle in this batch that I have given away. I must be getting generous in my middle age.

The fence separating our drive from number 16 has been looking past its first flush of youth for several years. Within a week of James and Anna moving out, bit started to fall off - the wood was rotting away. Our new neighbours, Chris and Jo, are more practical than us and less inclined to leave things undone. So they have built a new fence and we have watched. In thanks I paid them half the cost (£50) and gave them this bottle.

The fence in all its glory

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Redcurrant Wine - Third Bottle (B3), 5th-6th December 2014

Well, this was a surprise. I opened a bottle of redcurrant on Friday night because there was nothing to celebrate and I have to get rid of the remaining ten bottles somehow. Turns out that this was unexpectedly not nasty. The rank mustiness has gone (pretty much) and this is entirely drinkable. It was not a happy bottle, however. I was sat on the sofa, miserable and cold, and Claire asked me if I was alright. For no reason I started to cry. I wasn't alright at all, but I don't know why. Nothing is wrong in my life. Just a little low, I suppose.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Prune & Parsnip Wine - Eighth Bottle (A5), 30th November 2014

Today has been a splendid day (apart from a brief trip to Sainsburys). For the first time in an age - probably three to four years - Claire and I went for a Sunday walk, just for the hell of it. We went five and a half miles from Horsforth via Cragg Woods to Rawdon and back, and it was marvellous. Even walking through copious amounts of mud and discovering my boots leaked. There were some ridiculously posh houses along the way - at least one with mad Victorian turrets.

This bottle of Prune & Parsnip was our reward, but also a reward for writing programme notes for the WYSO concert on 13th December. I spent longer than ideal at the computer trying my best not to copy and paste from Wikipedia.

The wine was as good as ever - sweet and rich and golden.

Buckstone Hall - Mad Victorian Turrets

Monday, 8 December 2014

Rhubarb & Elderflower Wine - Second Bottle (5), 29th November 2014

I continue to be very pleased with this flavour. The clarity and colour are excellent, and its taste is pleasant and unusual. Elderflower is there but does not dominate and the rhubarb gives it a depth.

We drank most of the bottle while watching Food pornography - Nigel Slater's exploration of cake. There were slow motion shots of egg yolks falling from their shells, flour being invaded by lumps of butter, and batter dripping from its whisk. My saliva glands were working overtime. It was also an entertaining and informative programme, but really I was there for loving shots of cake.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Crab Apple & Strawberry Wine - First Bottle (1), 27th November 2014

Thanksgiving is one of the many reasons that I am pleased to be half American. Any festival that is based around food ticks my boxes. This year it was Richard and Linda's turn to host and Claire's to make the pumpkin pie. My contribution was a bottle of 'Crabapple & Strawberry' - this being the closest to what I imagine cranberry wine would resemble.

There were seven of us round the dinner table: Andrew is visiting from Newcastle, and we were joined by Pippa and Jackie. It was a lovely evening, though I had to battle my falling eyelids. The wine was good - bone dry yet fruity and clear. It deserves its position as a Regular.

How the wine looks in its bottle
If you want to see how this wine was made, click here

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Blackberry Wine - Sixth Bottle (C4), 23rd-25th November 2014

It was steak & kidney pudding on Sunday night, and therefore a bottle of red was in order. On my rationing system, and bearing in mind that the Wine Party has skewed things, this was the only red available. It did its job admirably, however, and there was still a glass over when we went to bed. Claire snaffled this on Tuesday night while I was out playing quintets round at Madeleine's. She has not slept well for about a fortnight, but after this glass slept soundly until the morning. I, however, was kept awake by cats and worrying about insurance.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Orange Wine - Ninth Bottle (A1), 22nd-26th November 2014

Just before I opened this bottle I bottled my 2014 orange wine. This meant I got a direct taste comparison, and I don't think I have done that before. Orange wine that has had a year and a half to mature has a richer, deeper taste than that started only eight months ago. This bottle is moving closer to sherry, but has lost none of its orange flavour.

The abundance of orange wine meant that there was still some left on Wednesday, when we returned from WYSO. Amy played the Weber bassoon concerto and was fabulous. I love this piece - it is so much more fun, and showy, than the Mozart and I await the concert eagerly.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Elderberry Wine - Second Bottle (B5), 18th-21st November 2014

Claire continues to suffer from office politics, quite literally, at work. It looks like there is nothing that she can do to avoid being moved into an entirely unsuitable office with her current one being turned into a store cupboard. Hence opening a bottle of elderberry on Tuesday night in an attempt to make things better.

This wine had a metal taste that I did not notice in the previous bottle, but it was dark and rich and good all the same. The second half of the bottle was drunk by Claire on Thursday and Friday whilst I was out playing trios with Pat & Peter, and drinking more beer than was sensible with Matthew respectively.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Gooseberry Wine - Fourth Bottle (5), 15th November 2014

As with the Wine Party last year, gooseberry was the evening's loser. It came twelfth out of twelve with an average score of 2.13 out of 5. I agree with this result - gooseberry was my choice of nastiest. Catherine thought it "like a tart sauvignon blanc with a sock left in it," and Rachel wrote "Hell in a glass". That is literally the most damning review I have had. Lindsay poured hers down the sink. "Like alcoholic punk music" was Matthew's take. Overall not a success. But I think this was one of the best parties I have held.

Me - at the end of the Wine Party

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Rose Petal Wine - Sixth Bottle (B5), 15th November 2014

I am genuinely surprised that Rose Petal came second to last place at my Wine Party. And that is by adjusting Lindsay's score of minus five to zero. I personally think this is one of my best, and it was Catherine's favourite. She has excellent taste. Overall its score was 2.39 out of 5. Richard and Rick both commented on its bitterness. Matthew wrote "I feel like I'm drinking something my mum would wear."

By the end of the evening I poured all wine that was left into one bottle, and this was less than half full. I think that suggests a successful party.


Friday, 28 November 2014

Peach & Banana Wine - Third Bottle (3), 15th November 2014

For this year's Wine Party I asked guests to choose which wines I served. I had more requests for Peach & Banana than any other. It is ironic, then, that this flavour got most votes for 'Worst'. Despite this, it avoided last place - coming tenth with an average score of 2.4. Lindsay really liked it, commenting that it needed a cocktail umbrella, possibly a sparkler. Other people were less generous: 'Hints of earwax' from Catherine, 'Musty toilet cleaning pineapple chunks' from Rachel, 'Smells of celery' from Katie and 'Just no' from Becky.



Thursday, 27 November 2014

Whitecurrant Wine - Third Bottle (2), 15th November 2014

We are getting into the realms of the Distinctly Unpopular. This wine came ninth in the Wine Party, scoring an average of 2.869. Two people declared it their worst. I think that is unfair. However, two people gave it top marks.

This wine party, more than any other, has been marked by a lack of agreement. Rachel described this bottle as 'cheek-sucking drain cleaner', whereas Lindsay wrote 'Liquid Stilton. In a good way', and gave it a 5. Vicky poured hers down the sink, and both Ros and Alex wrote simply "No".


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Blackcurrant Wine - Third Bottle (6), 15th November 2014

This was the first bottle I opened at the Wine Party and I thought one of my better ones. Sadly my guests did not agree. It came eighth out of twelve and its average score only reached 2.893. Rachel thought it was lovely, but only after she had drunk several other flavours. Matthew described it as a short, sharp shock and as the sourest of my wines (but still gave it a 3.5).

We ate well at the party: Claire made a chicken chilli and Boston Baked Beans and I spent an eye watering amount on cheese (about £65). No-one went away hungry.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Christmas Tutti Fruti - Tenth Bottle (A4), 15th November 2014

We are now into the realms of the Wine Party's bottom half. Christmas Tutti Fruti came seventh out of twelve, with an average score of 3.286. Katie summed it up with "not awful". Actually, it was better than that - just a little thin and bland.

One of the benefits of the wine party is that I end up with a tidy house. It takes a lot of work getting there, but I enjoy that 15 minutes of stillness before anyone arrives and everything is done. It is a time to relax and pretend that I am the sort of person who can live an ordered existence.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Apple Wine - Second Bottle (1), 15th November 2014

This bottle really split opinions at the Wine Party. Two people scored it a 'One' and two others gave it a 'Five'. I thought this was one the worst, but it came sixth of twelve, getting 3.375 on average. Katie said it tasted of dentist's mouthwash, but several people commented on its freshness. These aren't mutually exclusive, of course. Matthew thought it would be lovely with a ploughman's lunch. Personally I thought it thin, dry and bland. So, a whole range of opinions there.

A Ploughman's Lunch

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Blackberry Wine - Fifth Bottle (C5), 15th November 2014

Of all the wines at the Wine Party, this was my favourite. Despite this, it was a mid-ranking wine, coming fifth out of twelve, with an overall score of 3.45. Catherine thought it deep and earthy but without body (which makes it sound like an open grave), whereas Richard specifically commented on its good body.

I am always surprised at how different opinions are about the same drink. Lindsay hated it: "Vimto is not nice and nor is this". But she hated Rose Petal more, and that is another of my favourites. Very odd.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Strawberry Wine - Second Bottle (4), 15th November 2014

This bottle was fourth out of twelve at 2014's Wine Party, getting a respectable 3.55 out of 5. Only one person thought it was poor, saying it was too sweet. Otherwise people liked it. Rachel was most eloquent, writing "Smells of summer - fruity alcoholic fruit juice".

It was an excellent party. There were 18 of us and I think everyone had a good time. I certainly did. The last guest to leave was Matthew, who went about half midnight and, unusually for me, I was not desperate to get to bed.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cherry Wine - Second Bottle (1), 15th November 2014

Of the wines I made and presented at the Wine Party, this came top with an average of 3.63 out of 5. It was third overall, though; not that I am bitter. Catherine thought it was let down by its aroma but Katie said its smell was reminiscent of buttercup syrup (which I have never heard of). Lindsay, Anthony and Matthew all noted its medicinal qualities. Two people hated it: Alex wrote "You have poisoned my girlfriend" and someone (I suspect Vicky - said girlfriend) commented "brought on wrinkles". I can't please everyone.


Monday, 17 November 2014

Julia's Wine - Redcurrant 1994 - 15th November 2014

There were only two wines served at my wine party that achieved a higher score than 4 (out of 5). I did not make either of them. Julia's Redcurrant came second with 4.108, and I imagine she would have been delighted. Her wine did not taste much of its base fruit and, as I imagine happens with all aged country wines, appears to have turned into sherry. It was lovely, though, and the guests agreed. Those that got a taste. Ros, Alex and Vicky confessed that they were responsible for this being the first empty bottle of the evening.

Julia, being delighted.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Colin Shreeve's Rhubarb Wine (1987) - 15th November 2014

It was the Wine Party last night. One of the guests - Becky, a colleague of Claire's - brought her parents. Her father, a farmer's son from Norfolk, used to make wine and came with a bottle of 'Rhubarb 1987'. He was nervous about presenting it but needen't have been. It won the competition hands down. Three guests voted it their favourite, and its average score was a whopping 4.425 out of 5. My nose wasn't put out of joint. No, not at all.

The wine as delicious and had retained a deep pink colour. It tasted more like sherry than anything, and shows that aging wine may be the way forward. If only I had even the slightest bit of patience.



Friday, 14 November 2014

Rhubarb Wine 2012 - Final Bottle (A1), 12th-13th November 2014

I put this bottle in the fridge shortly before Claire told me that we needed something nice to drink. She is not a huge fan of rhubarb and I offered to swap it, but she was in such a bad mood that she told me it was "fine" and I daredn't argue. The bureaucrats at Claire's work are insisting that she moves from an office that she likes, and no-one else much wants (for reasons of its thinness and pentagonal shape) into one that has very little light, not enough sockets, no shelving and a 1970s carpet full of oranges and browns. Claire has no say in this and feels like she is being treated as a piece of furniture.

I think two glasses of rhubarb wine helped - it was fizzy and cold and sweet, and we drank it to an episode of QI after a Brahms rehearsal.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Crab Apple Wine - Sixth Bottle (C1), 8th November 2014

I'm really cross - and over something so trivial as well. I have just watched the final episode of the current series of Doctor Who, and it was poor. After last week's superb episode, I feel cheated. And they killed a recurring character, who I liked, for no reason whatsoever. Unforgivable. So this bottle of wine (the first of my own for over a week) has not been a happy experience. The meal it accompanied, though, was delicious - three different curries and Surprising Rice. And the day as a whole has been good - mostly rehearsing Mozart's Requiem for tomorrow's concert. My biggest failure has been to start the first movement double speed, bringing the whole thing to a crashing halt. I must remember not to do this tomorrow.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Orange Wine - Eighth Bottle (B5), 31st October 2014

It is not yet ten o'clock and I am massively sleepy. This bottle was pretty much empty by eight. We drank most of it to a particularly colourful and tasty 'the Sick and the Weak' Friday night meal: brown lentils and sea bass that had been in the freezer for quite some time, fried polenta cakes, cabbage and a tomato sauce with searingly hot chillies. After this we watched the first episode of Life Story - a David Attenborough documentary. Claire thought it manipulative and false, and could not forgive tis anthropomorphising. I understand her arguments, but can can you possibly not love something with baby meercats, barnacle geese and lion cubs playing?


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Ginger Wine - Fourth Bottle (6), 29th-30th October 2014

Whilst definitely gingery, this wine has something about it that is cloying. It is drinkable, certainly, but not one of my best. What I have discovered, however, is that it is improved substantially by even a drop of cheap whisky. That adds a sharpness and definition that is otherwise missing.

On Thursday Claire demanded a glass as soon as she walked through the door. Her day had involved lots of brain power and she needed something restorative. We then went to the theatre to see Northern Broadside's production of She Stoops to Conquer, which was excellent. Broad comedy with superb physical humour, and just gorgeous to look at.

On my return I drained the bottle - adding just a dash of Sainsbury's Own Bland Basics Whisky.

Three of the actors for She Stoops to Conquer



Friday, 31 October 2014

Prune & Parsnip - Seventh Bottle (B4), 25th October 2014

Claire writes:

"This was drunk by Fatso, Suez, The Old Trout and me round at 3 The Alders while Ben was Rydal Committeeing round at Nick P's. Can't think of much to say about the wine in that it tasted like Prune & Parsnip usually does. Mother was dubious about the prospect but found the actuality reasonably agreeable.

"Topics discussed included various ways of graphically representing the variation in the periodicity of clock ticks and the forces underlying the same. Also the best cheeses for encouraging bears* and hiding horses** "

*Camembert
**Mascarpone

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Peach & Banana Wine - Second Bottle (1), 25th October 2014

I took this bottle to Newcastle for a Rydal committee meeting at Nick Pears' house. This was mostly because Claire finds Peach & Banana disgusting, and the Rydal meeting presented an opportunity to have a bottle without her. She was there at the opening, though, and when Nick asked me to give him a 'slug' she said he might find that preferable. In fact, the drinkers - Jayne, Sabine, Matt Byrne and Nick - all thought the wine entirely drinkable. Not necessarily delicious (and curiously tasting not at all of peach and only a little of banana) but acceptable.

It proved to be a good and drunken night - we averaged on more than a bottle of wine each.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Crab Apple & Strawberry Wine 2014 - The Making Of ...

This is my November wine. Yes, I know that technically it is still October (the 19th to be precise) but Crab Apple & Strawberry is now my regular November brew. The apples, though, are starting to go over and leaving it another fortnight might be too late. So I spent some of yesterday afternoon standing on a garden chair picking apples for both this wine and Claire's crab apple & chilli jelly. She has already made crab apple and roast garlic jelly (click here for the recipe - it is in the comments section) - which is either genius or insane. We try it tonight.*


When I got up this morning I took the strawberries out of the freezer, and by the early afternoon they had all defrosted. My time in between was partially spent making a lemon drizzle cake for tonight's meal with Richard and Linda. It is a total disaster. The middle has sunk and if I had set out to create a brick in cake form I could not have done any better. I am really quite upset about it and I have to present it tonight as pudding.

A brick in cake form
Ingredients in the bucket
Anyway, I mashed the pound of strawberries in the bucket and then washed and sliced the 4 lbs crab apples and put them in too. This was covered in 3 lbs sugar and 6½ pints of boiling water. I then made a fish pie and needed both chocolate and gin to restore any sort of good mood I might have had before.

Next morning I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient, and then left the wine until Friday 24th October. On getting home from work I transferred the liquid into its demijohn. As with crab apple proper, I fished out as many of the sliced crab apples as I could with a collander and then used the 'measuring jug, sieve and funnel' technique.

I thought that after having left the liquid for five days the yeast activity would have died down a little and so filled the demijohn to its top. It became apparent as I was racking my blackberry wine that my assumption was wrong. There was a whole load of froth trying to escape through the air trap. One emergency job with a sterilised teaspoon and turkey baster later I managed to control the situation, and the wine is looking splendid.


*After having tried it, I can assert it is both genius and insane.

If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Whitecurrant Wine - Second Bottle (5), 19th October 2014

I am very impressed with this wine. It is dry and has distinct similarity to wine made from grapes. I served it to Richard and Linda (well, to Richard, because Linda doesn't drink) on Sunday night when they came round for a meal. Unusually, Claire did most the tidying and I did most the cooking. It is true that Claire's course was more ambitious than either of mine - raised pies filled with chestnut, stilton and mushrooms served with a crab apple & roast garlic jelly. But I did a damn fine fish pie and a lemon drizzle cake that bore more than a passing resemblance to a house brick.

Lemon Drizzle Cake and definitely not a house brick

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Blackberry Wine - Fourth Bottle (C3), 17th October 2014

I haven't had any alcohol since Monday and today is Friday. This is distinctly unusual, but I think I made up for it tonight with a stiff gin and the lion's share of this bottle. It has been a busy, noisy day, though. After a lengthy period of having little to do at work, today was frantic with section 106 agreements, facility letters, contracts to exchange and sales packs to prepare. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt that I had earned a drink after my not-quite five mile walk home.

This wine is fabulous - fruity, light and full of blackberry flavour. It has been a good Friday.