The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Walnut Wine – Vin de Noix

walnut wine demi johnHaving started the pickled walnuts I still had loads of nuts left over, so I looked around for other green walnut recipes. I was tempted by an Italian walnut liqueur that my last hairdresser makes every year. He buys pure alcohol in Italy and makes enough to last him until the next annual visit. He loved it and his wife hated it. Perhaps a perfect state of affairs when it comes to sharing precious grog. Some recipes suggested that it could be made with vodka but I decided to wait until we visit Italy again and can buy the alcohol.

Finally, I decided to try my hand at walnut wine. This is a speciality in France and there are endless recipes available.  The recipe that I used is here.  This recipe for vin de noix is on a fascinating site written by William Rubel. The author distils his own spirits amongst other things. An interesting site and well worth a visit.

I used a three litre box of wine, 600ml of vodka, 600g of granulated sugar and about 30 walnuts (as some of them were very small).

It will be a long time before tiny hands clap with glee at the uncorking of a bottle of walnut wine, as it is best left for several years. But time seems to rush by at a horrifying speed in the cottage so it’s worth the investment. Apparently is tastes a bit like port and the longer it matures the better it tastes.

I moved a demi john of mead this afternoon. Started in 2005. Danny was goggle eyed when I suggested that we gave it a go.
“Will we be alive then?”
Only two more years to go before a wrinkly mead lift off.

  Leave a reply


  1. William Rubel

    I’d like to thank you for your kind words about my web site and for the link to my vin de noix recipe. My site has gone through some bad times lately — I took most of it down and a rebuilding it — and finding your compliment gave me a new burst of energy this evening. I am amazed at your self-will. I rarely manage to let anything age for years. I am good at holding off for months, not not a whole lot longer. Thanks again. William

  2. pat lyon

    Hi. Do you need to prick the walnuts for wine as you do for pickled walnuts? OR DO YOU JUST PUT IT ALTOGETHER IN A DEMIJOHN?pAT

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Pat

      You just bung them in the demijohn with the wine. Thanks for reminding me that my Vin de Noix is still maturing in the barn. Must sample it soon 🙂

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Magic Cochin

    The demi johns are luxuriating on super strong shelves. I found the plastic ones that you recommended but in the end bought construct yourself wooden ones. These are individually bolted to the wall!

    Love your idea of the walnut meal!

    Hi Casalba

    The name Nocino rings a bell!

    Perhaps it’s a good thing that I plumped for the walnut wine as I™ve yet to find a woman that likes the Italian walnut liqueur!

    Hi Pat

    Nut Schnapps? Sounds great – must search for a recipe! Making homemade grog is such fun.

  4. This sounds really intriguing!!! We used to get Nuss Snapps when we visited Austria, I wonder if it will have the same flavour…..If so it is gorgeous stuff. Best of luck on your wine!!!

  5. casalba

    Ooo! Our neighbour makes the walnut liqueur. (I think it’s called Nocino.) Strangely, I don’t like it either, but other half does. The walnut wine/port, though, sounds right up my tree.

  6. magic cochin

    I hope you’ve built some super-strong shelves for these precious bottles to sit on!

    The Walnut Wine looks intriguing. A walnut themed dinner could be interesting – pickled walnuts with home cured/smoked meats; walnut, Rocquefort and pear salad; there must be some interesting stuffings to be made with walnuts to go with game; coffee and walnut sponge for pudding with walnut icecream; walnut wine and walnut liqueur…


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