When my children were young, I took up home-made wine making and got a bit of a reputation for it – a reputation I found that has lasted a while. Paul, having not met too many of my friends before we moved back over from Australia, has heard stories of my wine on various occasions since. I last made wine probably 15 years now, although I would like to do it again if we ever get a house with enough space and I can buy the equipment cheap enough … if anyone has any they are getting rid of … let me know!
I started in the usual way, with a kit. It was fine but relatively costly. However, having got the kit, I was able to start experimenting with other ingredients. I made wine from dandelions, carrots, peapods, jam, elderflowers, elderberries, redcurrants, grapes, parsnips, gorse flowers, potatoes, cabbage, tea, coffee … you name – if it didn’t move quick enough I made it in to wine!
My wine seemed to have a startling effect on people, one person forgot where their mouth was and chucked it over their shoulder on their second glass, we had a detailed description of how to remove ‘squirting boards’ while fitting radiators, and days vanished from peoples lives on regular occasions!
The most successful wine was probably the carrot wine, which somehow managed to be as smooth as a good whisky, and without doubt, the worst was the cabbage wine, the only way to drink that was to hold your nose!.
As part of a fund-raising event, we held a wine tasting evening using various home-made wines … we raised some money and some people even managed to find their way home … I seem to remember one person being wheeled home in a wheelbarrow.
It was used to keep us ‘warm’ on adult backwoods training evenings … we all slept well at least … there are many more stories which I am sure will come up relating to my wine … although my poor old father would end up in trouble with my mum on every occasion almost, that he drank it!
Of course, there were the odd one or two that blew their cork while being stored - the worst for this was the peapod wine. Good job it was in the garage.
I still find it difficult to walk past a bush or throw away something that could be turned in to wine.