Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Seasonal wine making

Gorse flower wine

2 quarts flowers, loosely packed, no green parts
1 gallon boiling water
1lb - ish dried fruit
1 orange
1 lemon
3lbs sugar

Place the flowers in the bin and pour over boiling water; cover closely and leave 3 days.
Strain the flowers out, then add the dried fruit and sliced citrus fruits and the sugar; stir to dissolve. Warm to blood heat, then add the activated yeast. Cover again and leave 2 - 3 days, then place in a demi-john; you can take out the fruit or leave it/some of it in as you choose. Ferment out, then bottle.

As the flower wines can be a bit "thin", as they only really add their essence, some people use grape concentrate as well, but you need to reduce the sugar if you use this.

I don't, and use the recipe above, or very similar for mine; broom wine is made in exactly the same way, but it is easier and less prickly when it comes to gathering the flowers.

You should find a place with several bushes, so that you don't denude one or more too much.

The above is how I do it, and I'm sure there will be as many recipes/methods as there are winemakers.


2 quarts young nettle tops
1 gallon water
large nub of fresh ginger
1 lemon
1 teabag
2 1/2 lbs sugar

Place nettles and grated ginger in large pan with water, bring to simmering point and simmer for about 30 - 40 minutes; strain on to sugar, add sliced lemon and teabag, and leave to cool to blood heat. Add yeast, stir well, cover tightly and leave to ferment for 3 -4 days. Strain and put into demi-johns, ferment out, rack at 6 weeks, then bottle after another four or so, when wine is bright and clear. Leave at least 6 months, if you can, before drinking.

I've got two gallons of nettle wine done, and hope to get out at the weekend for some gorse flowers, with their lovely coconutty aroma.......

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