Monday, August 1, 2016


There was a lot of backlash for my previous post. Homemade raisins? My friends and family couldn't believe I would waste precious grapes like that when instead I could have used them for more intoxicating purposes! To them I say, Fear Not! Of course, everytime I have a stockpile of grapes, the first thing I do is ferment a batch of my very special wine.  
You could say wine making is in my genes. My maternal grandmother did a professional course in food preservation, and with all the jams, jellies, pickle and marmalades, she also made vast quantities of sweet red wine. Bottles of which made an appearance even twenty years later. It is another matter though that being a teetotaller she never tasted a sip of the stuff. The rest of us, well, we were a 'happy' bunch! 
My paternal grandfather was quite the vintner as well. He was more experimental and apart from grapes, also distilled beetroot, carrot, apricot and mixed fruit wines. He was also known to brew his own beer at times. But that's a tale for another post. 
It comes as no surprise then that every year I distill a few bottles of the potent stuff for my friends and lazy sunday brunches. If you think wine making is complicated and time consuming, you are wrong. It really is the simplest. And requires very little effort on your part. After all, Nature does most of the hard work. 

Grapes       2 kg
Sugar         1 kg
Yeast          1 tsp
Water         just enough to cover the grapes
Rum           1/2 cup (optional)

 Remove the stalks of the grapes and wash them thoroughly. Put them in a large glass jar with a wide mouth. Pour the water and mash the grapes coarsely. You can use your fingers or a potato masher. Add the sugar, mix and keep in a cool, dark place. Make sure the lid is secure. The next day, add the yeast to 1/4 cup luke warm water. When it froths, mix into the grapes. Cover and return to dark place. Let it stand for 21 days, ensuring you stir it with a clean, dry spoon every two days. On the 21st day, strain through a muslin cloth and add the rum. Pour into clean, dry and sterilized glass bottles. Store in a cool, dark place and leave to mature for two months. After two months, call over your friends and uncork a bottle for some good times!