A glass of home-made Country wine is a tradition of old English hospitality that stretches back centuries.
Forget grapes! Despite being universally accepted as the most reliable fruit for winemaking, grapes do not fare well in England.
Therefore the juices of fruits, vegetables and flowers found in the hedgerow and orchards of the countryside have been utilised instead, (although raisins and sultanas are often seen in country wine recipes)
More recently a surplus of fruit or vegetables from the garden has also been known to motivate people into making their own wines.
Mind you, it is one of the most rewarding of hobbies going.
The ingredients are often free, or at least very cheap, provided you are prepared to put in the effort to go and gather them for yourself!
Wine can be made from virtually anything. From potato peelings to crab apples, nettle leaves to may flowers.
If it ferments it can be used to make wine.
Every wine made will have its own distinctive personality and characteristics that can, with experience, can be tailored to the majority of tastes from dry to sweet, rich to light, smooth to flavoursome.
And because Country, or fruit wines, mature within six to eighteen months you will not have to wait very long to enjoy the results of your labours. And generally they are well worth the effort.
So, in order to propagate the art, I give here an illustrated recipe for mayflower wine taken from a ‘Country Wine’ book dating back to the early fifties.
To the best of my knowledge the equipment suppliers on this post are no longer in business but since most of the necessities are now obtainable on-line why not give it a go?
Everybody should try it at least once.