|PHOTO BY COURTESY OF HOME FARMER MAGAZINE NEWSLETTER|
No interviews today - no deadline to meet, so scrubbing up for a day of baking (and freezing the results); also I start off a new wine, so lots of sterilising going on. It sounds odd as I will be not be using grapes (they are still on my vines and not ready until October). Today I am using a black grape concentrate which, when the laws of fermentation are properly followed, will make a tolerable alcoholic beverage. Fermentation is an interesting subject. The magical process by which water and grape or fruit juice is changed into "wine" using different yeast cultures, has always seemed to fascinate alchemists and remains a challenge to modern vinologists today. Mead, using honey, is part of this phenomenon and I have many friends who keep bees. One, in particular, was Brother Adam from Buckfast Abbey in Devon who was a good friend and encouraged my wine-making efforts.
Many years ago, I wrote a column in an Essex magazine which lasted almost two years (entitled Fascinating Fermentations) which tested out dozens of different wine recipes and it brought me other winemakers' experiences (with their permission, of course). I now make use of this material for my current column in HOME FARMER magazine - a superb journal whose readers gain benefit from growing their own fruit, vegetables, keep bees and poultry AND learning how to cook, preserve and ferment their own produce.