A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This red currant wine recipe is easy. It clears fast, matures quickly and tastes perfect. It's worth making as much as you can, red currant wines are thin without the red grape juice, but bright red and unmistakably fruity.

4 lb Red Currants
1 campden tablet
1 tsp Pectolase
1/2 litre of Red Aldi Rio D'Oro grape juice
2-3 Lbs of  sugar
1 lemon
6 pints of Water
TronOzymol yeast nutrient
A good quality red wine yeast

From my notes:

It was July 2010, the day after Independence Day I found myself lying under one of the hillside Red Currant bushes at a 45 degree angle between the weed fabric and the bird netting. I stripped 4 Lbs of bright ripe translucent Red Currants in a matter of minutes and froze them in single layers on baking trays in the chest feezer.

Wed 7th July 2010 7PM

I rolled the frozen berries around to dislodge the frozen stalks then poured the frosty red bullets into the bucket to warm to the next move.
Katriona was barefoot in the bathroom, standing in the fermentation bucket doing the "squish" dance - We prefer the classic Italian method to wood or hands because it's more fun. I threw in 4 pints of boiling water and a crushed Campden tablet and waited a couple of days.

Fri 9th July 2010 3PM

The red tide line had washed off Katriona's legs by the time I needed to strain the must into a new bucket.
I boiled 3.5 Lb's of sugar in 3 pints of water, and 4 hours later added some Youngs Bordeaux Yeast and a tsp of TronOzymol nutrients.

Fri 16th July 2010

Strained into a demijohn through a fine mesh and put the mush in the compost.
SG 1.060

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Monday 2nd August 2010
1st Rack - Ferment seemed to have stopped.
SG: 1.030 added some more yeast & yeast nutrient.

Monday 9th August 2010
SG: 1.030

Friday 14th August 2010
SG: 1.030

Editorial: Bugger!

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The thing with winemaking is, even if something goes wrong, you can generally save the day (if you're prepared to blend and mix different ideas)

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So with my own access to red currants gone for the year and my wish to taste a nice bright red wine next year hanging precariously at an SG sweeter than the worst table wine in the known universe I had to cast a wider net towards any local Pick Your Own farms. Luke's Fruit Farm in Devon provided me with a nice late redcurrrant crop for £2.70 per Lb.

Sunday 8th August 2010

At midday I had my 2 Lb's of red currants and was heading home, by 3 PM I was hand squishing into a 2 Gallon fermnetation bucket the blood of a 1000 berries, throwing in 2 pints of boiling water and a crushed Campden tablet.

I was late to bed, so dropped in 1 tsp of pectolase ... I wonder if I missed it out of the 1st Gallon?

Tuesday 10th August 2010

Strained must into fermentation bucket dissolved 1 Lb of sugar in 2 pints of boiling water.
When cooled, added Youngs Bordeaux yeast TronOzymol yeast nutrient.

Friday 13th August 2010
SG: 1.030

Monday 16th August 2010
SG: 0.996

Mixed with 4 pints of July 7th red currant wine to achieve a dry ferment.

Monday 16th August 2010

4 pints of Dry Red Currant SG: 0.996
4 pints of Sweet Red Currant SG: 1.030

New SG: 1.012

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1 Gallon of Red Currant wine - SG: 1.012

10th September 2010

1st Rack
Added campden tablet and topped up from reserved Sweet Blackcurrant wine.
SG: 0.994

Transferred to Brown Demijohn and garaged.
No further racking necessary

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Clearing & Maturing: 1st Feb 2011

Bottled: 30th January 2011 - 6 x bottles

Drinkable: June 2011