A few weeks ago, Jean-next-door came round with a bucket of over-ripe damsons. She is a very waste-not-want-not person. I didn't like to refuse, so they came inside and sat in the bucket for a few days, softening, while I tried to find time to deal with them. They went a bit mouldy. At last I got round to soaking them in boiling water, in a wine bucket, snapped the lid on and left it for some time.
This is not the orthodox way of making wine; it is the old 'country' way. Brian-next-door can remember that people used to do it this way and I have found a few recipes online which follow this method. Anyway, it gave me an excuse not to have to sort them out for a while. And so the mould grew.
I don't actually think I left it for long enough, as the cap of mould is supposed to be so thick that you can lift it off in one go. However, I tackled it bravely, just to get the job out of the way. Admittedly, it was very pretty. If somewhat brain-like.
It was a long-winded, ramshackle affair, straining off two gallons of soaked damson with the aid of three saucepans, a colander, a jug and a jelly-bag. The damsons had (unsurprisingly) started fermenting on their own. And it all smelled a bit...odd. I strained it all twice and returned it to the cleaned bucket, with added sugar and wine yeast.
As of now, it continues to have a life of its own. The mould has grown back and it is still fizzing. I dipped my finger in, to test it, with some trepidation and was surprised to find it has a sweet, fruity taste. It will need straining again and decanting into demi-johns. Who knows, it could be the best wine ever - or I may die of botulism.