First grapes on the Agria vine we planted in Spring 2011. As Raintree promised, it fruited early, growing luscious dark globelets. I like sour fruit, so I have been tasting the grapes for a few weeks now. Last week they reached a ‘grape’ taste with relatively little ‘sour’ left, so I figured it was time to harvest. This was confirmed by Rooroo, the ‘bad chicken’, who keeps escaping over the fence and who had plucked all of the fruit from the lower clumps shortly after this self-pronouncement.
One small basket of fruit in the end. I rinsed, plucked, and mashed the grapes, covered them with a bit of water and brought to a boil for 10 min. After pushing the mash against a mesh strainer, I ended up with 2.5 c of juice. What to do with such a small yield? I stuck it in the fridge until I could figure it out.
I could have just drank it, but I wanted to preserve it for winter when there aren’t so very many delicious things to eat. I decided I would can it in small volumes for use in mixed drinks. [Other ideas??]
I passed the particulate-y juice through a double layer of muslin (now permanently stained a lovely lavender), brought it back to a boil, poured it into 1/2 pint jars (to within 1/4″), and processed them in a boiling water bath for 5 min.
So beautiful and, after photo ops, ready for the larder. Resulta: four jars (diluting a little with water). I will open one per season – let you know how they turn out!