Year Round Wines

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Oliver G

Full Member
Sep 15, 2012
169
69
Melbourne, Derbyshire
Good Afternoon All,

I'm sure this has probably been done to death but here we go.

Can anyone recommend what would be the best base for a wine for each month of the year? I've got a elderberry wine on the go at the moment and I thought it would be interesting to make 12 wines over 12 months.

Location wise I'm in the midlands so I do have the peaks to do some foraging and my soon to be wife is a ranger in Leicester so we have plenty of places there to go foraging.

Thanks in advance,

Ollie
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
2,795
1,893
62
Exmoor
The choice is endless realy. This month you could make parsnip or carrot or orange wine. Oak leaf wine is an early season one you need realy young leaves though or there is too much tannin in them.
Elderflower again is a favorite. But remember if you take the flowers there will be no berries so I'd only .make a small quantity.
Wild blueberries make a nice wine too.
The trouble with foraging for wine ingredients is that you usualy need quite a large quantity to make your wine so do try to keep to what is plentiful. .. no cowslips for instance!
Using sell by date fruit and veg is fine foe wine making. I've made pea pod... not great:( and potato wine was shall we say quite "interesting "
Just have a go and experiment with anything that's in season.
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
934
350
North West Somerset
As foraging is a bit thin at this time of year you could always extend your search to the sales. Look for honey and try making some mead. I think it was Nobby on here who posted a YouTube vid of his method. I’ve followed that but the result is still fermenting away Time will tell :)
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Winter time, you could make a simple version of Rice Wine.
Not the complex Japanese one that need a very special mould, just a simple one.
Raisins are good too.

One very popular wine in Sweden is made from Sugar, yeast and water.
Drink it. Or even better, run through a still and you have Brannvin!
('distilled wine is the closest name in English)

I am yet to taste a nice home made wine. Most taste like a fox peed in the demijohn. Not enough aging I guess?

Potato wine? Distill it, run through severat times of activated Carbon and you get Ahus Absolut.


When young and thirsty, me and friends made wine out of everything, Dandelions, roses, rosehips, the smegging lot.
We made several demijohns at once, but all were so 'interesting' that we made a still.
Yep, we were Fine Young Criminals! :)

Several filtrations later we could at last get drunk.

The cheapest plonk you buy in a plastic container in Spain tastes like Solaia compared to home brew.

What you could do, is to plant hops. Pick, dry, then make your own beer. Ale. Bitter.
People did that for Millennia before Carling was invented!
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
934
350
North West Somerset
Easier and safer than distilling is to freeze your wine and then remove the frozen water ice pieces. What remains after removing the ice has a higher alcoholic content, with no added risk of methanol or other nasties.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,774
1,860
S. Lanarkshire
If it's hedgerow type wines then the list is huge :)
Brambles, pears and apples (after all are perry and cider not brewed ? ) wild plums, blaeberries (though they take an awful lot of picking to get enough) blackcurrants, rasps, red and white currants all grow happily wild, wild strawberries, rosehips, cherries/geans, etc.,

Anyway, it all sounds fun, and it'll be interesting to see what you make over the year :)
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,774
1,860
S. Lanarkshire
Easier and safer than distilling is to freeze your wine and then remove the frozen water ice pieces. What remains after removing the ice has a higher alcoholic content, with no added risk of methanol or other nasties.
We used to make ice-brewed cider. Just sit the bowlful outside on the bench at the back door....it's so warm just now though that there's no hope of that working. It's the second of January, seven o'clock at night, and it's over 10˚C in my garden just now.
Suttons are selling pomegranates that they claim are hardy enough for here. If this keeps up I might be tempted :rolleyes:
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Easier and safer than distilling is to freeze your wine and then remove the frozen water ice pieces. What remains after removing the ice has a higher alcoholic content, with no added risk of methanol or other nasties.
No Methanol is produced by distilling.
You discard the first bit, collect the rest. As thios might be illegal in UK, just as in Sweden, I will not explain more.


Removing the ice is a good idea, but distilling removes a lot of unwanted ( but harmless) impurities.

If I recall, the best one we did was a mix of Dandelion flowers ( no bitter stalks!) and raisins.

Aging improves home brews, but who can wait?

For a quicker fun, flavor Vodka. You can dilute it down to 20% Alcohol, it is still nice.
Herbs, spices, flowers. Endless.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,568
1,563
McBride, BC
I made fruit and grape wines for decades. Never in batches of more that 450 liters.
Hit & Miss is so amateur. You hope for some measure of consistency, predictability.
So you can take some pride in your craftsmanship.
I say with confidence: sterilize the must. Pick and use a selected yeast variety.
 

bob_the_baker

Full Member
May 22, 2012
487
40
Swansea
For the leaner months:
Gorse flower is available all year round (if you don't mind having numb fingertips for a couple of days)
Nettles can be found most times of the year as well (I was making nettle tea at last year's wintermoot)
Bay Leaf wine is great for cooking with and available all year round
Rosehips are still available in decent numbers
I've not tried this one, but pine needle wine is a thing (?)
Birch sap will be available soon
One of my best wines is all the leftover fruits from the flavoured gin, vodka and whisky. (Sloes, damsons, rhubarb, ginger, raspberry, blackberry, rosehip, etc.) It varies each year
 
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