The wine making glut of the end of summer is over and the elderberry, blackberry and elder and black wines are not well into secondary fermentation. I may return to make a few last winter wines of rose-hips and parsnips but this years work fermenting is now out the way.
Wines from earlier in the year are starting to be bottled as the early strawberry, beetroot and pomegranate & blueberry wines cleared beautifully. After they were safe in bottles with some decent corks they stood upright for a few days to allow them to swell and totally seal the bottles. One or two of the beetroot fizzed for a minute or two as some extra carbon dioxide decided to escape from the wine. After that a cap was shrunk over the cork to keep it from drying out over the next year as the wines mature. I have seen some wines use a wax top but I am more than happy with the plastic shrink caps to crown them and melting wax seems like a recipe for disaster with me.
The only thing left to do was make some labels. Each year has a different label so I can easily recognise when I made them. I am not a magnificent artist so my skills are limited but I do like to dress a bottle so it looks like a welcoming drink rather than a some horror show with a post it note. This year I lino cut a label and printed a few attempts onto card. The best was photographed on my phone with a few effects on the inbuilt editing aps to clean them up and create a few unique colours.
Printing is easy onto standard A4 blank stickers that get cut out by hand. These labels are ideal as they glue easily and most importantly are easy to remove when I eventually recycle the bottles after drinking. The best way I have sound is to fill the bottle with hot water to soften the glue then wet the actual sticker. It peals off easily with no residue left. The interior can be easily cleaned with out wasting any water.
The wine will live on its side in a rack under the stairs as it has a constant cool temperature. On its side it allows the wine to keep the cork moist so it does not dry out – probably hard if a wine sits for a year but the quince and elderberry will be there for potentially three years.