My formal education in wine started with the tutor asking: What is wine? Red, white, rosé, fruity, alcoholic sprang to mind.
The correct answer was that wine is the fermented juice of grapes. Anything else may be red, white, rosé, fruity and alcoholic. Enjoy it and call it what you like, but it's not wine.
But, hey, homebrew is fun and can produce a quaffable product, once you don't expect fruit concentrate to replicate grapes from specially selected soils.
Nonetheless, a tasting of a random selection of what's brewing at home under the guise of wine proved interesting.
The Ken Ridge Classic White Merlot Blush is in the fashion of sweet-tinged Californian rosés -- never my choice -- but it was pretty true to style.
The creamy, orchard fruitiness of the Cellar 7 Chardonnay was a pleasant surprise, but I'm not sure who would enjoy the medicinal flavours of the Solomon Grundy Chardonnay.
The Ken Ridge Italian Amarone certainly had the unmistakable sour cherry tang of Italy and the dried fruit character that you expect from Amarone, although too one dimensional.
The floral spice and fruitiness jumped out in the elderflower/elderberry versions. Quaffable? Some more than others, but what a lovely way to enjoy the Irish hedgerow.
Katherine Donnelly Irish Independent wine writer