I decided to have a go at making a country wine with it. I had read accounts of it being done, but I couldn't find much in the way of hands-on experience, so I thought I'd record this here. I got quite a scolding from a determined robin and a couple of irritated ravens, but I left plenty (thousands?) for them. I'm not sure if I had not noticed the tree before or if was finally mature or reacting to last year's drought, but it was a bumper crop.
I used the recipe here: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/plums.asp
These are not the wild plums native to the eastern part of the U.S. that this recipe references, but it seemed as good of a place to start as any. The hardest part was deseeding. I ended up pouring some boiling water over them, putting on some rubber gloves, and squeezing the pulp off. This may inspire me to purchase a steam juicer in the near future. Still, it wasn't hard, just a bit messy. From there, pretty normal country wine process. I went with Montrachet. I racked it a couple of weeks ago and sampled a bit. Unlike my plum wine (sharp and one note) or pear wine (delicate and boring), this could be consumed fresh. It has the taste of the osoberry but without the astringency or bitterness. It is definitely a bit more complex than my plum or pear wines. I put the jug in the back of the closet and plan to forget about it for quite awhile. Total cost, something like $3 for the sugar and a packet of yeast. Affordable fun!
Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.
Collection of 14 Permaculture/Homesteading Cheat-Sheets, Worksheets, and Guides