This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
In a neat, compact, readable little book of forty-eight pages, the author tells us much of an extremely useful character. A season when fruit of all kinds abounds is just the time to bring out a manual treating on the manufacture of wines, when, in many large gardens especially, and not a few small ones, there is often seen a lamentable waste of fruit, that might and can be made into good wholesome wines. "Considering," says the author in the introduction to this little book, "the large number of fruits from which excellent wines may be made, and their economy compared with the cheapest of foreign wines, it is remarkable that home-made wines are not more common. Probably of those whose gardens produce abundance of rich fruits, not one "goodwife " in a hundred makes a bottle of British wine, except the old-fashioned and wholesome elder that has been known and drunk for generations. Perhaps this neglect of our native fruits may be accounted for by the want of a cheap treatise giving plain directions for the manufacture of home-made wines.
To supply this want is the object of the present little work".
Mr Robert Fenn, of Woodstock, Oxon., has done good service from time to time, in various of the gardening papers, in putting the question of wine manufacture before the readers of these periodicals, and pressing it home as a matter of social economics. More than that, he has frequently illustrated what he has himself done in the way of producing good wines "that maketh glad the heart of man," from Grapes, Rhubarb, Gooseberries, etc, by submitting the same to the taste of juries at some of the leading flower-shows. We have tasted, by his hospitable fireside, wines of excellent quality, all generous beverages, far superior to many of the cheaper foreign wines of the present day, which he was enabled to manufacture and bottle at the small cost of something like fivepence three-farthings per bottle. What Mr Fenn has been able to do with his superabundance of fruit hundreds of others can do in like manner, and with results as satisfactory in every respect. That all this waste of fruit should go on from year to year without any attempts to utilise it, seems monstrous and absurd. Probably the plea of ignorance as to the rules of manufacture might have been put in; but now that this small manual brings the matter home in all its details, the plea of ignorance will have to be abandoned.
We heartily commend this book to the attention of our readers.