Bootleg Wine?

Couldn’t pass on this tune from Sticks McGhee reading this article -

Now – there was a Bootlegger in the BT family – made some of the finest White Lightning I ever tasted. He long ago retired. Used to like to keep a Mason Jar in the freezer

You can make wine out of almost any fruit – and even a number of flowers. I remember a neighbor who made Dandelion Wine for personal consumption, which was pretty good. Lavender is another exotic choice among the flower wines.

Guess this old guy just needed to make ends meet in these hard times…

James Edward Skinner, Elderly Virginia Bootlegger, Arrested With 600 Gallons Of Fruit Wine. Again

An elderly Virginia bootlegger has been arrested, again, for illegally making and selling fruit wine at his home.

Six-hundred gallons of the wine — made of bananas, strawberries and tomatoes, among other fruits — were stored in the 83-year-old’s garage and shed.

James Edward Skinner was arrested in Newport News last week after agents “received complaints pertaining to the illegal manufacture and sale of wine in the home,” according to a press statement released by Virginia’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Skinner’s grandson, Darrin Skinner, was also arrested. (The grandson’s age is given as 44 in the press statement; it’s given as 41 in WVEC-TV’s account of the arrest.)

The wine came “in various flavors,” per the statement, and was sold for $7 or $8 per half-gallon — that’s somewhere between $8,600 and $9,600 worth of wine seized by authorities.

“People seem to think its ‘better’ because it’s homemade,” according to Special Agent in Charge Bob Brooks, who communicated his observations to The Huffington Post by email via Virginia ABC spokesperson Maureen Haney:

There is also a certain novelty involved, as there is with moonshine. Illegal wine is not as common as the illegal corn whisky (moonshine) because it’s a more time consuming process. Wine has to be fermented after it is distilled, then strained and fermented again. There was tons of sediment in the wine they seized from the Skinner home on Friday and there is not a lot of quality control.Brooks noted that “Skinner told officers that he had learned how to make the wine from his father and was still using the same recipe. He makes the wine from all types of fruit including strawberries, bananas, apples, tomatoes, and pretty much anything that is available to him at the time.”

Mostly “older retired people” are engaged in this sort of bootlegging, Brooks said through Haney. “Because they are retired, they have the time, and it’s extra income they don’t have to claim on their taxes.” Continue reading

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