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Updated on February 11, 2012
Slake my thirst!
Slake my thirst!

The title says it all!

I spent a great deal of the previous summer and autumn in the pursiut of free fruit, with the prospect of cheap hooch in mind. Many days were passed, with the ensembled cast of children in tow, trawling through the local countryside looking for anything that remotely looked like it could be fermented into a bottle.

And much success we had!

During the course of a mere two seasons, a great deal of wine has been produced for next to nothing. In fact, when I actually sit down and count on my fingers and toes, I realise that the good woman and myself have produced around thirty gallons of counterfeit vino!

Admittedly, two of my ventures into home brew did cost a few pennies in initial outlay. My very first attempt, which was a mead recipe, cost a few quid, as did the subsequent cherry experiment. Both of these recipes turned out just fine ( as can be read about in my hubs entitled 'mead glorious mead', 'mead part deux' and 'cherry wine'). Despite the financial outlay, both were successful stabs ay wine-making, producing palatable wine, both of which were a world away from the grape based dross that are marketed to us en masse. With the benefit of hindsight, it was money well spent.

The two gallons of elderberry has been supped dry. The six bottles of blackberry has slipped down the gullet in the most delectable fashion. And next doors peach tree supplied no end of festive (alcoholic) cheer.

But alas the thirty or so gallons is almost at an end. I stiil have seven gallons that are not quite ready for the pallette just yet. I have five demijohns of apple wine, a gallon of a fruity little number that is concocted of plums and elderberries, along with a good amount of wine derived from the much forgotten sloe.

Now I return to to the title of this piece, for my glass is indeed empty!

The winter has come, and as is predictable, the land has been stripped bare of the local fruits that are capable of bearing wine. With the exception of the un-matured seven gallons fermenting in my kitchen, I have nothing to fill my glass. If there are any readers out there that can enlighten me as to what I can harvest, within the fair isle that is known as Britain, at this bitterly cold time of year, I would be most happy to hear from you.

All however is not lost. For spring is just around the corner, and with it comes a veritable cornucopia of home-brewing oppotunites.

The turning of the season will bring with it the chance to experince the joys of making and drinking elderflower wine. Likewise gorse flower and many more spring inspired recipes. The wine that I am personally looking forward to the most making in the coming season is the relativly unknown birch wine.

Watch this space for the (unknown) outcome!


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