It may be year’s end and you might think there is nothing to forage. If you haven’t already tried it you can collect withered oak leaves and try this wine. My friend Alex gave me some last August and it is one of my favourite. The recipe is his adaptation of a Peggy Hutchinson one.

  • Oak leaf  Wine,
  • 9 litres ofwithered oak leaves, washed.
  • 4.5litres boiling water,
  • 1.5 kg sugar,
  • 14grms bruised root ginger,
  • yeast,
  • yeast nutrient (optional)
  • 2teaspoons citric acid or 2 tablespoons lemon juice,
  • tannin or cup of strong black tea.
  • Method
  • Pour the boiling water over leaves in a bucket or basin, allow to infuse 3-4 days stirring every day.
  • Strain the liquid from leaves squeezing them, and heat in sausepan, add sugar and ginger and bring to the boil, boilfor 20 mins,
  • Allow to cool and when just hot add honey and stir to dissolve,
  • Transfer to demijon, add lemonjuice or citric acid, tannin or tea, yeast and nutrient if using, air lock and leave to ferment in a warm place,
  • When rapid fermentation has ceased, about two weeks, rack wine and allow to continue fermentation,
  • After about 12 weeks, rack and bottle, ready to drink after 3months in bottle.

I hope you  enjoy this one. Do take a look in the woodland undergrowth for fresh Ground Elder shoots, very tasty and other early greens, also if you are near shore it’s a good time to check out seaweeds, 2012 may not have given much by way of berries but there was plenty to do and see, heres looking forward to lots more in 2013.

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