Home winemaking can be a lot of fun, at least thats what I thought 8 months ago when I started. Me and Mrs H. along with her sister Camella (cause when she yawns she sounds like a camel) decided that the cost of our drinking was spiralling out of control, so we decided to reduce the price of our usual household Asda booze ration by replacing some of it with home made hooch. A good friend of ours got us loads of equipment cheap from car boot sales (thanks Cider Dave) and we started winemaking in earnest -naming the endeavour Project Blotto.
So far we have wine in various stages from completion to primary fermentation made from grapefruits, Seville oranges, rhubarb, blackberries, pumpkins, satsumas and swedes. Its a lot of work and can be a bit of a pain but it all became worthwhile this week when the first batch of wine (grapefruit) became mature enough to drink.
2 gallons of the stuff reached its absolute minimum maturation date yesterday, so along with winemakers all over the world we decided not to leave it any longer to condition but to drink it as soon as we possibly could. The blessed uncorking ceremony was held last night and we carefully polished and shined 4 wine glasses and set them on the table ready, saying prayers to invoke blessings from Bacchus, the Roman God of wine and intoxication. Camellas husband Boss Hogg (you really dont want to know why hes called this), who used to be a cocktail barman, wrapped a napkin around the bottle and inserted the corkscrew. With one sharp pull the cork was out and the smell of lovingly crafted grapefruit wine filled the room.
Contrary to our initial expectations, it actually tasted pretty good, a bit acidic and dry as Mother Theresas underwear but that was only to be expected from wine made from grapefruits. The first bottle disappeared in 5 minutes and then Boss Hogg swiftly opened another and off we jolly well went!
Six bottles later we stopped to take a breather and I decided that I needed to go to the loo. There was one problem with this, I couldnt stand up properly! All four of us were gibbered, inebriated, intoxicated, under the influence, sloshed, stewed, well oiled, plastered i.e. drunk! This wine really had a kick. We decided not to open any more as we really didnt need it. Four people drunk on six bottles of wine cost effective or what
This morning theres only a mild hangover as well, what a great result! Weve another six or so bottles of grapefruit to go and in a few weeks the 2 gallons of Seville orange wine will be ready to sample. Next week myself and Camella have the task of starting another batch of wine to keep up the impetus of Project Blotto – we thought a couple of gallons of banana as theyre pretty cheap at the moment.
To keep the costs low (Project Blotto was started as an economic project remember) we always use the cheapest ingredients we can, so for instance the pumpkin wine was started just after Halloween using leftover pumpkins from the supermarket when they could no longer be sold. The sugar and yeast etc. are also cheap which makes the cost per gallon incredibly low. The question is, have we achieved a potentially cheap method of getting drunk at home
For a lot of winemakers, the answer is a resounding yes! For us err no! We forgot one thing we needed bottles to put our wine in, so to obtain them we bought wine from the shop and drunk it to get the empty bottles! Of course we can re-use them from now on, but we still had to buy 65 bottles of wine to get us started average price 5 ish, so its cost us 325 just to get bottles!
From now on its cheap cheap cheap all the way as all bottles will be recycled, so this blog may get a little blurred from now on as my liver gets pounded. Home winemaking Lovely! I heartily recommend it.
Heres a couple of my favourite Homer Simpson quotes about alcohol:
“Here’s to alcohol, the cause ofand solution to all life’s problems.”
“How is education supposed to make me feel smarter Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive “