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Elderberry and damson wine

August 22, 2011

Winning recipe

I won our village horticultural society’s wine cup at the weekend.   It’s only a small village, with about three people in the wine competition, so it was a modest achievment at best, but I wanted to tell you about my winning entry.

It was a 2010 vintage, i.e. nearly a year old.  I used about 3lb elderberries and 1lb damsons, poured a kettle of boiling water over them, squashed with a potato masher, and sieved the juice into a demijohn – much easier than muslin bags.   I repeated the process in one litre lots, till I’d got a gallon of must, added a kilo of white sugar, a teaspoon of Young’s Super Wine Yeast, and fermented till it stopped.   I racked it twice, and put it in screw top wine bottles – less hassle than corks.

I entered a few other bottles as well – the same recipe from 2009, and various other permutations from elderberry, damson and blackberry, but this was clearly the best.  It really wasn’t bad.  I felt very proud.

But I failed to get anywhere in the marmalade or vegetable categories, so perhaps they were just being kind to me.

Jim Thornton

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