How To Make Fruit Wines + Strawberry Wine Recipe
My husband and father are beer home brewers. Ive watched them devote entire Saturdays to the process of brewing beer. While I loved drinking the results, I was never interested in devoting all that time to brewing beer.
For years, I just assumed that making wine required the same amount of investment in time and equipment as beer brewing. But turns outit doesnt! You can make a batch of strawberry wine with less than 15 minutes of hands-on time. And you can be sipping it on your front porch just a few weeks later. Making fruit wines is now one of my favorite hobbies, and Im so excited to share it with you!
Today, Im going to share with you a recipe for a classic Homemade Strawberry Wine, plus walk you through the entire process for making fruit wine. You can apply these same tools and processes to almost any fruit out there, so once youve nailed down Strawberry Wine , you can let your imaginationand whats in seasoninspire your next batch.
Pressing Frozen Grapes: Eiswein Or Ice Wine
The fifth of the eight types of dessert wine that we are discussing isEiswein in German or Ice Wine in English. Since Germany has thenorthernmost vineyards in Europe, it must contend with very cold weather. Insome growing seasons, it is so cold after normal harvest time that a hard frost freezes the grapes. These frozen grapes are picked before dawn , and pressed to release a deliciously sweet juicethats fermented into Eiswein. In certain years, Eiswein grapes areharvested before Christmas and after New Years so that two vintage yearsappear on the label.
Mother Nature alone makes this wine. As the frozen grapes are pressed, thewater content of the grapes is held as ice crystals. The ice doesnt passinto the pressed juice, which makes the wine quite concentrated and sweet. InGermany, Riesling grapes are used to make Eiswein, but Ice Wines in other partsof the world can be made from other varieties, such as Gewürztraminer inNew Zealand, Vidal in Niagara, Canada or New York state, and Muscat inCalifornia.
Some Niagara peninsula Ice Wines from Canada are in such demand that they cancost more than $90 per half bottle. German Eiswein, which is a world-classwonder of delight and delicacy, is a comparative bargain at less than half thatprice, and New Zealand Ice Wines are even less expensive. Like Canada, the U.S.does not allow the use of the German word Eiswein, so California wineries suchas Bonnie Doon called their wine made from frozen grapes “vinglaciere” in French.
Naturally Carbonated Cider Wine Mead
– Skip stabilizing the wine.
– Sweeten the wine slightly more than you want, as some will ferment.
– Bottle into glassware that is made to withstand pressurized conditions. Usually, well use beer bottles / caps for this, but a champagne setup is always an option as well – check with your local homebrew supply store to see what their options are.
– Allow to age at least a month or two residual yeast will ferment the added sugar, carbonating the wine.
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What Is Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Metabisulphite
Potassium sorbate is an additive used extensively in the food industry as a preservative also called E202. It is used to prevent the growth of mould and yeast which is ideal for the winemaker.
The way it works is not to kill the yeast but to stop the yeast from reproducing. This means any live yeast will continue to ferment any sugars available but wont be able to reproduce new yeast cells. This is why we need to completely finish fermentation before stabilising the wine.
Sodium Metabisulphite is more commonly known as Campden tablets to home winemakers, it works as a disinfectant, preservative and antioxidant in food. This inhibits the yeast but also prevents oxidisation in the wine which stabilises the flavour and colour of the wine
Preparing Supplies And Ingredients
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Equipment Necessary For Making Wine
There is some equipment that you will need to make your wine. We will talk about the necessary equipment and the nice to have the equipment. There are winemaking equipment kits available to get you started making wine today. In this guide on how to make wine well talk about some of the equipment you need to produce your wine.
Stopping Fermentation To Determine Sweetness
Our final and eighth type of dessert wine is made from very ripe grapes whosefermentation stops automatically when the alcohol level rises over 15 percent.At this level of alcohol, the wine yeasts die and no longer ferment any moregrape sugar, leaving the wine sweet. At what point the fermentation stops isreally determined by the winemaker, who controls the sweetness of the outcome bychilling the wine so low that fermentation stops, or by filtering out the yeastso there is no more yeast to continue fermentation. Of course, it all depends onhow sweet the grapes were to begin with. Very ripe late harvest grapes can betwice as high in natural sugar as grapes that are used to make dry wines.Thats why we must depend on Mother Nature to cooperate in the vineyard,or these great dessert wines simply cannot be made.
To do list
Learn why winemakers use specific bottle colors for certain winetypes
Learn what a wine bottles shape might reveal about itscontents
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Noble Rot Wine: How Rotten Grapes Make The Sweetest Wine
McKenzie Hagan | October 05, 2020
You might think there’s nothing noble about a rot-inducing fungus, but in the weird and wild world of wine, noble rot is one of nature’s greatest gifts.
You see, noble rot scientifically known as Botrytis cinerea is a grey fungus that impacts a variety of plants, vegetables, and fruits, most notably wine grapes. But unlike rotting strawberries or veggies, rotting wine grapes aren’t always a bad thing. Au contraire, they can be a very, very good thing.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about noble rot wine, including where it originates, how it’s produced, and how it compares to other types of wine. You’ll also discover some pro tips for enjoying this wine, including ideal serving temperature, food pairings, and the type of glass to use.
How Do Wines Become Sweet
Ever wonder how that German Riesling or tawny port youre sipping got to the level of sweetness that it did? Hint: the winemakers didnt just dump spoonfuls of sugar into the base wine and give it a quick stir. Sweet wines, which have had an unnecessarily negative connotation attached to them for a while, are finally starting to make a comeback. While there is a plethora of sweet wines out there from an abundance of grapes and regions, simplifying the process of how they got that way into four simple categories will make understanding your dessert beverage a lot easier. Whether its Sauternes, Madeira or Riesling, weve got an answer as to how that special, sugary bottle obtained its flavor profile.
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Making Vin Santoitalys Sweet Holy Wine
The seventh of our eight types of dessert wine is Vin Santo. VinSanto was originally the name of the Greek dessert wine from the beautifulisland of Santorini. When the Italians from Venice controlled Greece centuriesago, they became fans of Vin Santo. When they no longer controlled Greece, theydecided to make their own supply of Vin Santo in Italy.
To this day, Vin Santo is one of Italys most famous dessert wines. Itis made in a special process where the white grapes are hung on hooks to dry onthe upper level of the wineries where it is very hot under the roof, even withthe shutters open. The drying process shrivels the grapes to raisins. Thesewhite raisins are crushed and then fermented in small oak barrels for a verylong time. They create an amber color dessert wine that tastes and smells likefruitcake.
Each area of Italy uses its own homegrown white grape variety to make itsversion of Vin Santo. Ive had wonderful examples of Vin Santo in Tuscany,particularly from the area of San Gimignano where the white Vernaccia grape isused. It was a highlight of our trip there to drink Vin Santo with excellentalmond biscotti, and to do as the Italians do, dip and soften the biscotti inVin Santo. Upscale Italian restaurants offer this as a dessert course.
Best Dessert Replacement: Chteau Guiraud Petit Guiraud Sauternes
Courtesy of Drizly
Region: Sauternes, Bordeaux, France | ABV: 13.5% | Tasting Notes: Honeycomb, ginger, vanilla cream
When seeking out great dessert wines, Chris Raftery, sommelier at Gramercy Tavern, recommends looking to second releases from top producers. Just like the dry wines of the region, many producers release a second wine at a more affordable price for earlier consumption: enter Petit Guiraud, the second wine of Château Guiraud, a top estate dating back to 1766, he says. Raftery cites decadent notes of honeycomb, ginger, and vanilla cream from the wine, describing it as everything you want from Sauternes, yet doesnt break the bank.
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What Does Blackberry Wine Taste Like
If you like fruity red wines, you will like blackberry wine. Most people describe blackberry wine as having a smooth and balanced flavor, like a Merlot or Malbec. Homemade blackberry wine tends to be complex and aromatic, sure to impress your friends.
Just like with any other wine, the flavor profile of the end product depends on the quality of the fruit you start with. Select ripe berries that are bursting with flavor for a rich wine. You cant fix a bland berry!
Did you know that your genetics contribute to your wine preferences? If you were born with high taste sensitivity, you might find dry wines or hard ciders overwhelmingly bitter. Fruits with high tannins make dry wine with a bitter flavor. Blackberries are low in tannins, leading to a sweet wine that you will love.
How To Make It
Mix 1 gal. of hot water and 46 oz. of grape concentrate in one 3-gal. container. Then mix 2 gal. of hot water with the cane sugar in the other container. Make sure to mix well.
Pour both mixtures into your 7-gal. container you should now have about 5 gal. of liquid. Keep this mixture at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees F for two to three hours, and then add the yeast. After approximately one hour, you should see your mixture begin to ferment.
Wait for two to three days, and then siphon the mixture via a clear hose into a water jug with a tap. Use the air lock to cap off the wine container, and let it sit.
After two to three weeks, move the wine to a new water jug with a tap. This process is known as racking. Wait for two to three months, and then rack again. In other words, move the wine back to the first water jug. Your wine will look clear and be ready to drink. And as an added bonus, it will have an alcohol content of at least 32 proof.
To sweeten your homemade red wine, add some raspberry juice. Experiment with different amounts of juice to adjust the sweetness to your taste. You can drink it right away, share it with friends, or bottle and cork it.
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Read Me: An Important Winemaking Caveat
Like most things in life, the craft of home winemaking falls on a wide spectrum. On one end, you have the folks who love to dive all inthey spend hundreds of dollars on special tools, they sanitize everything using synthetic chemicals, they take scientific records, they use very specific winemaking additives. On the other hand, there is what I like to call heritage winemakers. These people use barely nothing more than a clean canning jar, fruit, water, and some sugarafter all, thats the way folks have been making wine for generations. And then there are all of us who fall somewhere in between on the spectrum.
How To Stabilise And Back Sweeten A Wine
One of the issues many new winemakers face is making a wine that is simply too dry, back sweetening a wine is a simple remedy that can transform the finished wine.
Back sweetening ranges from turning a really dry wine into a semi-dry wine that isnt necessarily sweet, but suits your taste better. Or you can go all the way to creating a dessert wine that tastes sweet as dessert wines are intended to.
It is most often the case with fruit wines that rely on sugar as the primary fermentable. Plain sugar is 100% fermentable so when the yeast ferment the wine all of the sugars gets converted to alcohol leaving no residual sweetness. A wine that is too dry is fairly easy to remedy by back sweetening but youll need to make sure of a few things before just adding sugar to the wine.
Back Sweetening a wine involves adding a type of sugar or sweetener back into the already fermented wine. Before you can do this we need to make sure that the sugar we add isnt going to start a second fermentation. To do this the wine needs to be stabilised which needs to be done once fermentation is completely finished and the wine has cleared.
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How To Stabilise A Wine
Once the wine is at a point where you are ready to stabilise, of course, you will have sampled the wine and tested with a hydrometer, youll need to rack the cleared wine off any sediment into a new vessel. As we will be adding potassium sorbate and mixing any sediment will be stirred back into the wine which is not what we want.
Now with the wine in a new vessel, we can add the potassium sorbate and Campden tablet. You should pay attention to the recommended dosage instructed on the packages you have just in case they are differing strengths. The common dosage is 3/4 tsp of potassium sorbate and one Campden tablet.
Dissolve the additives in a small amount of boiled and cooled water until clear, the solution can then be added to the wine and mixed gently. Leave the wine for at least 12 hours before doing anything else.
Understanding The Role Of Sugar In Wine
Experts discuss methods for achieving varying levels of actual and perceived sweetness
Science says, dab sugar water on a babys lips and shell smile. Swap in salt water and youll elicit a more neutral reaction, while sour or bitter flavors will make her fuss and frown. In other words, more Negronis for mommy.
Some scientists point to the experiment above as proof that we are hardwired to enjoy sweet things. To the developing human body, sugara carbohydraterepresents an easy fuel source. But too much sugar brings cavities and bad skin more still can invite diabetes and obesity. The key to good health is a balanced dietone needs some broccoli to offset all those carbs. Similarly, the key to a good wine is balance.
Baby wine drinkers also often crave the sweet stuff. How many of us began our fine wine journey with a taste of Boones Farm, Liebfraumilch, or a wine cooler? Sweetness is a reliable characteristic of bottom-shelf brands, yet many of the worlds greatest wines contain some degree of residual sugar. Even so, there has been a dry wine revolution in the last few decades. Consider the rise of the VDP and Grosses Gewächs in Germany, the swelling category of non-dosé Champagne, and the increasingly sluggish sales of dessert wines.
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The Psychological Measure Of Sweetness
As noted, sweetness is not an empirical quality wedded solely to the physical amount of sugar in a wine it is relative to both the other components in that wine as well as the sensitivity of the taster. That said, certain generalizations can be made.
Per Dr. Waterhouse, there is no such thing as a completely dry wine. It is physically impossible for yeast to consume 100% of the sugars in a wine, so when we talk about a dry wine, we are generally talking about anywhere between 0.5 and 2 grams per liter of residual sugar. Though very experienced tasters might be able to detect those 2 grams, he believes the typical threshold is much higher: 4 grams per liter for expert tasters and potentially as high as 10 grams per liter for beginners. In a standard wine that has around 5 to 6 grams per liter of acid, you generally need about 1% sugar by volume before most tasters will register the wine as sweet. For comparison, dessert wines range from 5 to 15% sugar , your standard Ports are around 10% sugar , and there are really sweet wines that hit 20% sugar but those are crazy sweet.
Riesling is widely considered one of the worlds most noble grapes, and yet even its most fervent advocates admit that selling the wines can be difficult. While cumbersome German nomenclature is occasionally the culprit, more often the issue lies with consumer insecurity. People simply have a hard time predicting how sweet a Riesling will be just by looking at the label.