I had been thinking about making red wine at home, and thought that it would be an exceptionally difficult process. The process wasn’t difficult, the waiting was. 😀
The wine has turned out good. Not the best wine, but good enough for a first time brewer. 🙂
Taste-wise it is fruity, tangy and sweet. I think I went overboard with the sugar. I am no wine-enthusiast from the point of view that I don’t like couture wines. I prefer the good ol’ port wine. I could have added a grain of sugar less. My extraordinary wine tasting skills are explained well in the comic below.
Whether it gives a good kick or not will have to be seen. I haven’t been able to drink more than just a teeny-tiny taste. Maybe that’s a good excuse for some party time! What say Mehul, Pooja, Annu and Jane?
I didn’t have any fancy bottles to store it in, so I put my old and empty wine bottles to good use.
If you have made pickle before, the process won’t be too tedious for you. The only meticulousness you must have is in the sterilization process.
Note: I can’t write this post without a thank you to Roy Ferreira, whose recipe I adapted. May your soul rest in peace, Roy! God be with you.
What you will need:
2 kgs black grapes
2 litres water
50 g whole wheat grains
1 beaten egg white (optional)
1 tbsp black raisins
1 and 1/2 kgs sugar
1 large tbsp yeast (buy from your local bakery)
Sterilize a large container with boiled water. Best to use glass pots. If you don’t have one, use food grade plastic containers. I sterilized mine by filling it with water and then placing it in the microwave for 5 minutes. Do not remove from the microwave immediately and do not microwave it with the lid. Microwave the lid with water separately or use hot water to wash the lid two to three times. Once the water in the pot has cooled, discard the water and close the lid immediately to avoid contamination. Keep it aside.
Remove the stems from the grapes and wash them twice or thrice, Dry them completely.
Crush them with a wooden spoon. It isn’t necessary to make a pulp. Just enough to injure the skins. Now add all the ingredients and half the quantity of sugar. Mix well.
Cover the container with cling film and then with the lid to make sure it is airtight.
Keep aside in a cool dry place, but one which is easy to reach.
The first week (7 days)
Stir the contents of the container twice a day with a wooden spoon.
The second and third week (7th to 21 st day)
Stir the contents of the container once a day, preferably at night. Do not swoosh it around, just a gentle swirl will do.
Strain the mixture through a fine muslin cloth. Discard the pulp. Add the remaining half sugar to the liquid, and put it back in the container. Cover with another cling film, and cover it with the lid. Place it in a cool dry place.
Do not touch for the next 21 days! Let it just sit there for the deposits to settle.
The judgement day! hahahaha! Bring the container to the countertop carefully, so as to not stir the settled deposit. With a deep spoon such as those used for serving dals, or with a cup, carefully ladle the clear wine into previously sterilized bottles. Use a funnel so that the liquid does not spill over.
Your wine is now ready. You can have it as it is, or leave it for as long as you want. They say aged wine is better wine. For me, any wine is better wine 😀
A few pointers and tips
- All containers and equipments must be sterilized. Contaminated wine is of no use and it must be thrown away.
- Cling film should be replaced every seven days for the first 21 days. For the second part of wine brewing, there is no need to replace the cling film.
- If you prefer less sweet wine, use two thirds the sugar in the first part of brewing and one third in the second part.
- The bottom part of the wine, the one which is closest to the deposit is sweetest. I plan to use it in cooking.
And one last extremely important thing to remember!
When you pour your first glass to drink, raise a toast to me and say, “Cheers!”
Let there be wine, I say!