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.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Strawberry Wine - Fourth Bottle (5), 8th May 2018

This bottle of wine was converted into a cocktail, which I named 'Ben's Surprise', the surprise being that it was better than drinkable. Into each of nine glasses I put a dessert spoon of pureed strawberries, then equal measures of strawberry wine and prosecco, followed by a garnish of chopped strawberries. It has been inspired by a cocktail Rachel drank at lunchtime in Hix's Fish & Oyster House. A proper summery drink and an entirely suitable use of strawberry wine.

'Ben's Surprise' in the making

Friday, 18 May 2018

Elderberry Wine - Tenth Bottle (B6), 7th May 2018

English bank holiday Mondays are meant to be cold and grey and miserable. It is tradition. This one hadn't got the memo. It has been properly hot. Just the sort of day to go on a 10 mile walk, climb Dorset's highest peak (Golden Cap) and stare out over a turquoise-blue sea.

Ann cooked shepherd's pie (obviously a warm weather meal) and I opened a bottle of elderberry. Everyone admitted, on pressing, that they thought this wine was Very Good. Rightly so.

Golden Cap

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Rose Petal Wine - Tenth Bottle (A6), 5th May 2018

The weather was glorious today in Dorset, where we are holidaying. It is comfortably warm to sit outside in the evening and at Rachel's request I assembled the nine of us outdoors and poured this bottle of rose petal. Rachel had set expectations high, only to have them destroyed on first sip. The rose taste was subtle to the point of non-existence and there was a bitter secondary taste behind it. Wendy and Sooz both said they liked it, but I think they were being kind.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Ginger Wine - Second Bottle (6), 4th May 2018

After driving for 7 hours, covering 270 miles, I deserved a drink and, in fact, had many. At least one of those was a glass of ginger wine. We are on holiday on the Jurassic Coast and staying in a fabulous holiday home - Mulberry Cottage in Uplyme, Devon. The weather forecast for the week is promising and sitting with friends drinking too much wine is an excellent way to start a holiday. Though the drive was tedious, it is good to have arrived and this wine was enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Blackcurrant & Gooseberry - Third Bottle (6), 3rd May 2018

We are on holiday! Only just - the long drive to Dorset happens tomorrow - but On Holiday nonetheless. To celebrate, I voted in local elections and mowed the lawn. More traditional forms of celebration included getting takeaway curry and opening this bottle of Blackcurrant & Gooseberry. Both wine and curry were excellent - this sharp wine has more than one note to it, and is easy to drink. I haven't been on holiday properly since Corfu in October last year. Dorset may not be as exotic but I am looking forward to it tremendously.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Rhubarb Wine 2015 - Tenth Bottle (B5), 29th April 2018

Chocolate and rhubarb wine is not a good mix. I was disappointed with my first glass: it had the taste of a wine that had aged badly; sour and musty. Claire said she had not picked this up. My second glass was far better and I can only put this down to not having had a mouthful of chocolate immediately before it.

The food we ate was curry (of the bean variety) with fabulous yoghurt pancakes. It all made my eyes water, though. I have a large mouth ulcer on my top lip, which makes eating hot food painful. Claire insisted I take some paracetamol - thinking it unreasonable that her cooking should make me cry.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Rose Petal Wine - Ninth Bottle (A5), 28th April 2018

We ate mushroom and evil sausage pizza while drinking this wine. The sausage was outrageously spicy and one of those that starts sedately but then explodes into hotness in your mouth. It was fabulous. Rose Petal Wine went well with it - the flavour is distinct enough to hold its own.

Our evening continued in front of the stove watching Primary Colors - a film I had wanted to see when it came out in 1998. It was a thinly veiled exposé of Bill Clinton's rise to power, and brilliantly done. The acting was mostly superb and it raised interesting questions about corruption, politics and whether lying and cheating for the greater good can be justified.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Prune & Parsnip Wine - Third Bottle (A3), 24th-25th April 2018

Claire is massively busy at work. Every afternoon I get a text from her saying that she will be late. This week has been particularly fraught, to the extent that she missed WYSO. It is a good thing that she finds the work interesting and rewarding.

On Tuesday Claire asked, on coming through the door, what wine we were having and chose this from the options I presented. Prune & Parsnip is a good all-purpose white. It goes with anything and can be drunk on its own. On this occasion it went with left-over lamb curry and pilau rice.