This weekend, I went to my beloved local independent bookstore, seeking a copy of Drunken Botanist. But what I wound up with was even more exciting: Drink Your Garden. Home wine-making! Why didn’t I think of it before? I already can and pickle, and I have several fruit trees going in my yard. I was pleased to see that this sweet little book contains recipes for Damson plum and raspberry wine, as I typically have an abundance of both. (No plums this past year because of a late frost, alas.)
So I hit a great little gem of a home wine-making shop called Wine & Whey and got the few things I needed, including another book. This second one includes a recipe for Concord grape wine, which sold it to me– I get a good crop of those, too, and am always at a loss for what to do with them. A person can only make so much grape butter, after all.
Alas, as it is January, I have now done all that I can do, wine-wise. I’ve asked my friends to begin collecting wine and Champagne bottles for me, so now I await fruit season. Mostly I’m starting this blog as a place-holder for when things start getting interesting.
In the meantime, I’ve found the very useful blog. Most other sites I find, like Drink Your Garden, are British. I’m sure there was a lovely tradition of country wine in the U.S., but it’s clearly fallen out of favor. Prohibition? Rural diaspora? Laziness? I have no idea, but with the rise of urban homesteading, it seems like we should see a resurgence. And I plan to be there!
The next few months will be quiet, but come spring, I will begin posting the state of my fruit trees and bushes. From there, it’s on to the fun stuff, including some notes about how the finished products taste. (I’ve noticed a dearth of this kind of info. Mostly, people say the wines are “nice,” or sometimes “fruity.”) I’m inherently impatient so this will all prove challenging, as wine simply takes as long as it takes, and a person can’t hurry it.