Cherry Wine Recipe
Summer time is the best time to make fruit wine. Most home winemakers are used to making wine from the bountiful harvest of blueberries and strawberries in June and July - but there is one type of fruit that is commonly forgotten - and it makes excellent wine.
Cherry wine! Here in the Midwest, Michigan is known for being a huge producer of both tart and sweet cherries, but a huge portion of cherries grown in the US also come from the west coast - California, Oregon, and Washington. Both sweet and tart cherries make a delicious wine, or you can mix the two types for a smooth, balanced flavor..
Cherry wine is also versatile. Not only is it delightful to drink, but it can also be used in sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and desserts. Cherry wine tends to be a bit more mellow than youd think, due to the high levels of malic acid in the fruit that balances the tartness of the cherries. Cherries produce a wine that is full bodied, with a rich and pleasing aroma. Cherry wine is sweet, smooth, and highly satisfying on a hot summer day.
Cherry Wine Recipe
Makes 1 Gallon Starting Gravity: 1.100Ingredients:
6 lbs. Mixed Cherries (Sweet and Tart) 1 Cup Red Grape Concentrate 7 Pints Water 2 ¾ lbs. Sugar ¾ tsp. Pectic Enzyme 1 tsp. Yeast Nutrient 1 Campden Tablet, Crushed 1 Packet Yeast (Lalvin 71B-1122)
1. Wash cherries. Remove any stems and leaves. Remove pits. Be careful not to add any broken pits, as this will make the wine very astringent.
2. Mash the fruit using a nylon straining bag. Squeeze the juice into a primary fermentation vessel (a one gallon bucket works best). Keep the pulp in the straining bag, tie the top, and place in the fermenter.
3. Top up your fermenter with clean water until you have one gallon.
4. Stir in: 1 cup grape concentrate, 2 ¾ lbs of sugar, ¾ tsp pectic enzyme, 1 tsp of yeast nutrient, and crushed campden tablet. Stir well. DO NOT ADD YEAST.
5. Cover fermenter.
6. After 24 hours, add yeast. Cover fermenter and attach airlock.
7. Stir daily, check specific gravity. Press the nylon bag of pulp lightly to aid in extraction.
8. When gravity reaches 1.030 (5-7 days), siphon wine off sediment into glass secondary fermenter. Attach airlock again.
9. Continue to check specific gravity. When gravity reaches 1.000, fermentation is complete (about 3 weeks).
10. If wine is still cloudy, repeat step 9 as many times as it takes until you are happy with the clarity of the wine. Otherwise, bottle and enjoy!
Easy as pie! What are you waiting for?