Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cherry Plum Wine

4lb. Plums
10cm Root Ginger
4 Cloves
1 lemon sliced
1 Gallon water
3lb. Sugar

I used the cherry plums that I had previously frozen – there just happened to be approximately the right amount. I’m pretty confident that wine making, like cookery, is not an exact science, despite what some celebrity chefs would have us believe and this makes it much more exciting. If the plums have been previously frozen, this also helps to break down the fruit and release the juice. If you are using fresh fruit you will need to cut and stone the plums before continuing.

Now I Feel a Lot Better...
Bash the ginger with a rolling pin to release the flavour (and any residual stress left over from your day at work), add it to the plums with the cloves and sliced lemon. Boil the water, pour it over the mixture and stir. The boiling water will kill off any stress, which is now contained in the mixture; you can relax now and soak up the fantastic aroma.

A Lovely Smell and Colour
Cover loosely and leave for two or three days, stirring twice daily with a wooden spoon. I also added a teaspoon of Pectinase at this point, to help reduce cloudiness later. Strain the mixture through a jelly bag (a couple of layers of muslin or an old tea towel will do equally well), do not squeeze – be patient and allow it to drip.

And Wait...
Stir in the sugar until it is all dissolved and when the liquid is lukewarm add the (previously activated) yeast. Pour into a fermentation jar and insert an air lock. Then leave it to ferment to finish in a warm place.

Syphon off into bottles or a storage jar and cork.
Country wines will improve over time (apparently), although they can taste drinkable fairly soon after bottling. Even if your wine tastes great at first, it can be worth asking your beverage butler to set a few well labelled bottles aside in the wine cellar (kitchen cupboard/box-under-the-stairs/outhouse/shed etc.).
Cherry Plum Yum Yum Yum

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