Some of you may remember my posts about the wedding wine we made for our big day last June. Here’s the original post if you want to catch up with the back story.
What I didn’t tell you all after that original post was this… about a month and a half later, the corks popped out of about half of the bottles. It was so disappointing and prompted massive cleaning as the leaking wine soaked the carpet and the floor underneath. For the next month, the remaining bottles were stored in a cooler lest more corks would pop. From the other room, we would periodically hear the remaining corks burst out of the remaining bottles and smack the inside lid of the cooler. All that work for nothing.
Not one’s to be defeated, we went back to the drawing board. We learned what we did wrong — We fermented the strawberry and the gooseberry wine separately, and mixed them together at the point of bottling. We thought they were done fermenting…they were not. And when we mixed the two batches together it just kicked up the whole process. Hence the popping corks.
We revised our wine-making ways and started a new batch – this time allowing for a longer fermentation period, with both fruit batches fermenting separately and then together before bottling. Success! What we got was a strong, semi-sweet blend of raspberry-gooseberry wine and (thankfully!) the corks stayed intact.
To the point of this whole post… Our Lancaster County friends who also helped us make each batch of wine saved a bottle or two for themselves. When the New Holland Fair rolled around last week, they entered a bottle of our wedding brew into the home wine-making contest and guess what… we won Best of Show! Here’s the pic to prove it:
Our first venture into wine making wasn’t exactly the easiest but I’m glad we stuck to it, popping corks and all. Not only did we have a well-received homemade wine for our wedding, we also had an award-winning wine at the New Holland Fair!