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California Walnut Wine

Almond wine, option one.
On June 7th my green walnuts arrived. Fresh, fresh, with a slight sheen of moisture, with the smell of whole almond fruit in a box: sharp, spicy. If you've ever been through a pecan orchard on a warm spring day, you'll know what I mean.

On June 9th, I made almond wine. Three slightly different ways, but mostly based on this recipe from Lucy's blog.

For 4 years I wanted to make walnut wine or vin de noux as it is called in France but the time was not right. Green walnuts are picked and shipped here in California around the first week of June, sometimes in mid-June if the weather is cold and you can't sit around waiting for them to "get" them.

Green fruits do not wait. They get old and wrinkles form. They develop black spots. The green skin can be soft and the center turns from the fetus to more nutty.

You don't want this to happen.

No, your green nuts have to be young and young enough to pop a pin, and these babies pass the pin test with flying colors.

Well, this year a harmonious combination of time, ingredients and nuts came together and my first attempt at making nut wine is already underway. And after I prepared the first pot, I took some liberties and made some changes. Once you understand how it works too. After I chopped the last of the nuts and put them in the jar, I thought of several other options as I was making a note to water the bottle next year.

Nut wine, no bottles. 1 and 2

The top two jars each hold 3 quarts, so I doubled the leucine ingredient list and more than doubled the amount of nuts in the jar because I had a total of 56 nuts and wanted to use them all in this effort.

Bottle no. The 3 in the middle of the photo holds 2 liters.

I made the following changes for the 3 liter jars ( see the basic recipe here ):

Bottle no. 1: 20 green walnuts, cut into four parts, 1 liter of vodka, 1 bottle of white Bordeaux wine for a full pot, 3 cloves, 2 aniseed peas and 4 Szechuan peppercorns, 3 thick cara cara oranges.

Bottle no. 2: Equal amounts of walnuts, California rare white , Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Marsan, and Semillon, 5 cloves, 1 star anise, 4 Szechuan peppers, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and 1/3 cup vanilla sugar. (homemade), just 4 slices of orange and 1/3 of a vanilla bean.

Bottle no. 3 (2 liters): 15 walnuts (yes, it should be 16, but one was damaged so I threw it away), 700 ml of vodka, 3/4 cup of coconut sugar, 1 star anise, 4 cloves. , 1/2 vanilla bean, 2 orange slices and garnish with white burgundy.

These beauties are kept in our cool house. I visit them often, pressing the sweets against the glass wall.

We cleared them around August 9th. Please check here for updates.

This year's fruit comes from Hag Farm in Esparto, California, just a few miles from where Mr. Sissy lived 20 years ago .

And for comparison, another source I hope to try next year is Clary Ridge Ranch , the green walnut harvest arrives 2 weeks after the valley walnut harvest.

Copyright © 2005-2012, Christine Cooks. all rights reserved

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