Last year, we had a bumper crop of red desert gooseberries, which ordinarily would be used to make gooseberry jelly (and other preserves and chutneys made with gooseberries). I don’t know what weight in total – I don’t do record keeping other than what is legally required, but I do know that it was more than fitted into one under-the-counter freezer. But ! Thanks to the coronavirus, we’ll not be selling any preserves this year, so no point in making them. What to do with the fruit? Can you guess?
Previously, we’ve only ever made gooseberry wine with fresh fruit, and it’s been difficult to get a satisfactory result – which we’ve tentatively put down to a number of factors, including sunshine (lack of), variety, recipe, variety. However, a batch made using thawed frozen fruit seemed to work well. J thinks that it could be to do with the freezing breaking down the fruit, and to test that further he’s tried repeating the exercise, but heating the fruit up and then straining the fruit off it through a preserving bag, so as to ferment only the juice. Result? A revelation! This method seems to need much less sugar, as well.
You may notice that although the wine is a strong red colour, it is – when filtered – completely clear. In the mouth it is reminiscent of a full-flavoured pino grigio.