The Easiest Wine Recipe Ever
Here in the Midwest, we’re not exactly known for our mild, pleasant winters. Don’t get me wrong, in the summer we have fantastic fruit - cherries, peaches, blueberries, strawberries - all of which make fantastic wine. But, in the winter, however:
As you can see not the most conducive climate for sustaining fruit. So what is a Midwest home winemaker to do? Road trip to Napa in January?
The thing I like the best about Midwesterners, is that we are a resilient bunch. We don’t need your fancy grapes to make wine when it’s -20 degrees and the sun is going down at 4 PM. We just head to the supermarket and get us some Welch’s Grape Juice.
Yes, Welch’s. The stuff you buy for your kids. You can make wine out of it! I know what some of you are thinking - just because you CAN make wine out of it, does that mean you SHOULD make wine out of it?
Yes, yes you should. This is the Midwest. We’re problem solvers. When you were a kid and you got bored in the winter, you stole the lids off of trash cans and piled your friends three high and pushed them down snowy hills. If you want to make wine in the winter, get yourself to the grocery store and make it happen!
It’s also an excellent idea to try if you have a friend that wants to get into wine making. It’s cheap, easy to find all the ingredients, and a quick way to take someone through the process.
Welch’s Grape Juice Wine
Makes 1 Gallon
- x2 Half-Gallons Welch’s 100% Grape Juice (1 gallon total) NOTE: Make sure your grape juice doesn’t contain any preservatives such as potassium sorbate.
- ½ lb. Sugar (cane or table sugar is fine)
- 1 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
- 1 tsp. Acid Blend
- ¼ tsp. Tannin
- 1 packet all-purpose wine yeast (we recommend Lalvin K1V-1116 or Red Star Montrachet)
- Wine conditioner to taste (optional)
- Sanitize all of your equipment and your work space.
- Choose your grape juice. You can use red or white, whichever you prefer! Just make sure that it is free of preservatives such as potassium sorbate.
- Pour your two half-gallon jugs of Welch’s into a sanitized bucket fermenter.
- Add sugar, mix until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add Yeast Nutrient, Acid Blend, and Tannin. Stir well.
- Add yeast packet.
- Cover your bucket fermenter and apply airlock. Leave to ferment in a temperature controlled area, away from sunlight.
- Because you’re using juice that has already been through a filtration process, it is unlikely you will need to do much racking or clearing. If you’d like to siphon it from the yeast sediment layer once, that is perfectly fine.
- Once your wine has finished fermenting, it might be necessary (depending on how you like your wine) to backsweeten. Wine conditioner works wonders!