This delicious walnut wine is traditionally made around the 24th June (St Jean’s saint day) when the walnuts are still green and soft enough to chop. The first time we made vin de noix we naively though that as the nuts were green they wouldn’t stain our hands – how wrong we were! Our skin scrubbed clean with effort but our nails were brown for a couple of weeks.
Vin de noix is traditionally made in a bonbonne (demijohn). We have a few traditional ones and a modern one. (Be careful how you ask for one – we went to the quincaillerie (hardware shop) and asked for a bonbon – the woman looked at us as if we were crazy after all we were in a quincaillerie. Then we spotted one hanging up and gleefully pointed it out to her – so with only a slight roll of the eyes she corrected our pronounciation and only when we had repeated the word several times to her satisfaction was she happy to sell it to us.
We make the recipe 5 times
24 green walnuts
5 litres of red wine
I kilo of sugar
I litre of eau de vie (distilled alcohol)
First chop the nuts into pieces that will fit into the bonbonne. Then add the wine and sugar and cork the bottle.
Leave for 40 days turning from time to time. After 40 days strain the liquid into a large bowl and add the eau de vie – stir and then bottle. Leave for 6 months – so just ready for Christmas. The wine improves with age if you can keep it long enough that is!