Tom Rix gave a super, all embracing talk on winemaking which included old recipe books, anecdotes, tips, a demonstration and tastings.
Firstly, Tom told us that it was his uncle
who introduced him to the delights of winemaking in 1971. Tom then demonstrated how easy it is to make a gallon of English style grape wine. He simply emptied cartons of grape juice and some elderflower cordial into a demijohn which already contained a pre-prepared
syrup solution. Chemicals were then added and the mixture shaken. After 24 hours, Tom informed us, the yeast would be added and this wine would be ready for entering into the Jock Franklin cup competition in June. Oh, so easy!
The next stage of the presentation were the tastings. Tom’s excellent winemaking skills were clearly displayed in the first 4 wines that we tasted, which were an English style grape, orange, redcurrant and fresh elderberry. All these wines had
been made between 2016 to 2018 and ranged from dry to medium sweet. Tom then gave us 5 vintage wines to sample, made between 1971 to 1977. They were an interesting collection that, despite their age, were still quite drinkable. They had lost their original
characteristics, but had taken on sherry-like qualities, which turned them into acceptable aperitifs.
Tom’s relaxed approach and spontaneous sense of humour made this a most enjoyable evening.