Shiraz, Cabernet and Blackberry wine


My first year making wine from grapes (and only my second making wine at all), but I had a dream of a wine I tasted at the Eltham show last year. I had a go at replicating it without a recipe, because why the heck not.

  • One box each of fairly dodgy South Australian Shiraz and Cabernet grapes, 5.4kg of blackberries, 2.2kg of sugar, and 6L water to bring the OG down to 1.08. 
  • Day 1, added p-meta (that baby is cute, but the feet can't be trusted), and pectic enzyme
  • Day 2, added 1g/l tartaric acid, 1kg sugar in strong syrup, 1 pack Vintner's Harvest R56 and 1 pack VR21, both rehydrated in go-ferm. I mixed the yeast, no excuses for that one (rookie) - should have done one fermenter for each.
  • Lag of 7 hours. Pitched 14.5g Fermaid O
  • 7 days on skins and seeds before racking
  • Significant issues with sulfur; several splash rackings and some copper sorted it out
  • Put through a malolactic fermentation over winter, and bottled in the spring. Easy drinking, smooth and rich with a little residual sugar... looking forward to this in six months.


Guest hosting on Got Mead!

If you like brewing and are interested in mead, Got Mead (both the podcast and the site) are invaluable resources led by some cool people. In 2017, they came 'down under' for a month and I was lucky enough to guest host!  Here's the first episode, with Steve Kirby from Stone Dog Meadery. I ask some questions about working under Australian conditions when all the resources are from the UK and Europe, and there's a fantastic conversation about honey, fruit and terroir.

Original post over at Got Mead

Acts of Kitchen - On Baby Food

Like the real Type A I am, I really went down the rabbit hole with research on teaching babies how to like food, and what foods are (and mostly aren't!) risky during pregnancy.

In this short podcast, Alex and I talk about how babies and adults can learn to like new foods; we also talk about how marketing has shaped our preferences and our fears.