In a quiet, unassuming suburban street in Peterborough sits a quiet, unassuming semi detached house. Ivy clings to the wall above the front door, before tumbling down over the wrought iron archway which straddles the path leading to the back garden. And at the bottom of that garden we find a quiet, unassuming shed. But this is no ordinary shed. This shed is the private retreat of Albert, king of the home wine makers of Peterborough.
No one would ever guess that Albert’s wine came from home made wine kits bought online. Indeed, every wine maker in Peterborough had their own theory about the secret of Albert’s success, but that was because Albert was so good at covering his tracks, sowing seeds of misinformation, keeping them guessing. In the morning he might walk to town, stopping occasionally to examine the bark of a roadside tree or collect a fallen leaf. Then he would head to Peterborough library, where he used the internet facilities to order home made wine kits. But he was careful. Very careful. He would loiter in the ‘Hobbies & Crafts’ section until the library was very quiet. Then he would sidle slowly to the public access computer, checking carefully that no one was watching him. His favourite suppliers had a wide range of home made wine kits available, with same day despatch to his Peterborough address: velvety Merlots, jammy Cabernets, exuberant Shiraz and fruity Riojas, peppery Sauvignons and Albert’s favourite, the irresistible berry flavours of a good Zinfandel. With a few swift clicks of the mouse, his next batch of home made wine kits were ordered. Then it was quickly out of the centre of Peterborough and home again, to where his wife Doreen, one of the town’s most celebrated hostess, would be cooking dinner. Later, in the moonlight, Albert would head out to the local park with a pair of binoculars, and pretend to examine the stars. It was all just part of his clever ruse.
Albert’s shed was an Aladdin’s cave of wine making equipment, with jugs, thermometers, paddles, airlocks, bottles, corks, and shelves upon shelves of fermenters containing beverages at different stages of preparation. When his new home made wine kits were delivered by the Peterborough based home delivery service, they would be wrapped in anonymous brown paper and bundled into the bottom drawer of an old wooden haberdasher’s chest at the back of the shed. Baskets of fruit, packets of sugar and sachets of yeast would be piled up in front, just in case anyone were to catch a glimpse through the doorway. Garden parties would be thrown, guests would be wowed, wine would be drunk. None of the home brewing fraternity of Peterborough would ever guess the secret of Albert and his home made wine kits.
Of course, Albert of Peterborough is entirely fictional, as are his adventures. But it really is possible to wow your friends with home made wine kits, just check out www.burghley-homebrew.com.