Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ghent and walnut wine

According to Lonely Planet Ghent - our last home city - is one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit next year in 2011. Not bad for a small medieval city in Belgium.
This is not in the least so of course because of the famous Van Eyck painting, The Ghent Altarpiece or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (nl, de, fr, it), a masterpiece of the early 15th century and one of the most famous examples of oil panel painting.

Just in time for the end of year celebrations our first wine production is ready to drink : walnut wine in three varieties (à la Solange, Yvette and Laurence) and orange wine (à la Martine).

As you probably don't know infusing unripe green walnuts or / and walnut leaves in alcohol is popular in Italy and France.
In Italy, it's called nocino and usually has grated orange peel and cloves added to it; in France, it's called vin de noix and is a simple blend of eau de vie, red wine, and sugar.
The green walnuts are harvested around Saint John's Day, the 24th of June. Then they are still soft enough to be cut.

The resulting liqueur is thick and sweet, with a very rich and spicy flavor. It's best enjoyed during cold weather, as it's quite warming.

The first degustation was rather hopeful - but some improvements suggest themselves (e.g. less sugar).
I invented a recipe to make it a nice and refreshing cocktail à la façon Picon.
Come and taste.


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