Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wine, and other things

More to come later, but for now, here's the wine from November 5th:

Salvaged grapes bubbling away in the jug

View of Vergisson in the background

Vergisson and the vineyards of Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne

Ok, let's talk some more about wild fruit harvests. In previous posts I have mentioned crab apple jelly, the neighbours' ornamental quinces, and Fred's gleaned grapes for wine. In addition to all the usual berries of field and forest, such as blue-, black-, straw- and rasp-, here's one you may not be familiar with:


This is a popular ornamental tree around here, and usually the yield of fruit is quite heavy.. It makes a lovely jelly that has a slightly bitter, astringent flavour, making it suitable for serving with meat, just like cranberries. Free for the taking, most times. 

A related species (Sorbus domesticus) grows in France; Fred and I found a magnificent specimen in Davayé, full of fruit.

Thr fruits are much bigger, and taste so astringent that they are inedible; however, allowing them to over-ripen (basically, to partially rot) results in a sweet, pineapple-y flavour. This process is called "bletting", and yes we did try it (what's one more rotten thing among so many?) and yes, it doestaste like pineapple. 

I would like to bring home a few seeds, as the tree is an endangered species, but this is frowned upon, alas. We'll have to stick to rowans, which are also an introduced species, dammit.

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