You would never guess that a parsnip could make a wine akin to a good Chardonnay. The sugars in parsnips need to be cooked out of them and with a few additions, a fantastic white wine is made.
Great for drinking on its own or great with chicken, fish and salads. Serve chilled.
Scroll down to watch Davin show you how to make Parsnip wine on our YouTube video...
Give the parsnips a good scrub instead of peeling as the skin has lots of flavour.
Try and pick your parsnips after a good frost - Best time is January / February.
If you havent got your own veg patch, then find a good green grocer and ask to buy up his sagging parsnips and pop them in the freezer overnight.
If the parsnips are very sweet, you may want to check the Specific Gravity of the Parsnip juice before adding the sugar and amend the quantity of sugar to get the finished wine to the desired %ABV
For the Raisin Juice, 24 hours before you start the wine pour 3/4 pint boiling water over 1/2 lb of raisins. Cover and leave to cool. The raisins will soak up the water and swell. When cool, mash up with a pototo masher and then strain through muslin squeezing to extract all the juice.
Now, lets get down to making the wine...
Give the Parsnips a good scrub to remove any mud / soil and investigate any holes to make sure there are no slugs.
Remove any stalks and cut off the top so as not to get any mud / soil.
Cut your parsnips into 1/4 inch thick slices and place in the preserving pan with 1 gallon of cold water.
Bring the pan to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until the parsnips become soft, but not mushy.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Prepare a fermenting bucket by stretching the muslin bag over the top. I find using clothes pegs every few inches around the top of the bucket holds the muslin in place and stops it dropping into the bucket - leave a little gap of a few pegs to allow you to pour in the Parsnip infusion.
Carefully pour in the parsnips, being careful not to splash it everywhere.
Once you have poured it all in, leave the parsnips in the muslin for a little while to allow any remaining liquid to drip into the bucket.
Remove the muslin bag and squeeze to help any remaining juice out.
Optional - Take a sample to use in a trial jar (if you are testing the specific gravity of the must to determine how much more sugar to add) and pop this in the fridge to cool to 20°C.
Return the juice to the preserving pan and put back on the stove and simmer for another 30 -45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and pour into a fermenting bucket.
Add the sugar and stir until it is fully disolved, now add the raisin juice, the 1 tsp of citric acid and oak chips (if you choose to use them) and stir.
Now leave to cool to room temperature - approx 20°C.
When cool add the pectolase, yeast nutrient and stir.
Take the Specific Gravity with a hydrometer and keep a note of it.
Stir in the yeast.
Put the lid on loosly and transfer to somewhere warm (approx 20°C) for 7 days.
Syphon the liquid from the bucket into a demi-john to the top of the shoulder being carful not to disturb the sediment in the bucket.
Fit a bung and airlock (half filled with sterilising solution) and transfer to a cool corner in the house, ideally between 16°C and 20°C to allow for the the fermentation to complete. This can take up to 4 weeks.
Once the fermentation has completed, rack the wine off the sediment into a clean, sterilised demi-john. Add 1 crushed Campden tablet and stir. Refit the airlock, put in a cool corner of the house and leave to clear. This can take a few weeks.
You may need to rack this wine a couple more times until it is completely clear.
Once clear, take the final hydrometer reading. This will tell you the proof of your finished wine.
Bottle and ideally leave for 6 months for its full flavour potential to be reached.
Fantastic with chicken and game birds.