Using a home wine making equipment kit to produce popular grape-based wines such as pinot noirs, cabernet sauvignons, chardonnays, and pinot grigios can sometimes feel like you’ve been down that road before. However, if you’re looking to make something new, there are many delicious fruit wine options at your disposal.
While it’s not necessarily recommended for a complete novice, it also isn’t as hard as you might think to create wine from fruit.
A Primer For Making Fruit Wines
The fruit wine making process requires the same time and equipment as a regular grape wine, and the recipes can be just as limitless as well. Apples, cranberries, cherries, apricots, raspberries, plums, and elderberries are just a few of the numerous options that will open your wine making kit playbook.
However, there are some things grapes possess that other fruits do not, and these things need to be taken into account in the process of making fruit wines. Grape juice naturally has the right amount of sugar and low acid density to only require fermentation to produce a quality wine. Other fruits lack natural yeast nutrients that accelerate fermentation to optimal levels. Adding nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are common, readily available solutions to these issues.
Sugars and acidity should be monitored and adjusted carefully depending on the fruit in question. The amount of fruit required per gallon also needs to be measured correctly. These tests and adjustments are easier than they sound as long as you pay careful attention to your fruit wine recipe.
There are a plethora of canned fruit wine base concentrates available, which can be a great, easy introduction to the process of making fruit wines. If you want a spin on the typical fruit wine base, there are also canned fruit purées that you can use – though there are adjustments you'll need to make with purées as well.
Making Wine From Fresh Fruit
If you're up for even more of a challenge, there's always fresh fruit.
You know how all of your wine making equipment needs to be sterilized before you start making wine? The same goes for your fruit. While you could skip this step, you run the risk of having your wine spoiled by wild yeasts or bacteria that may be present on the fruit.
What you should do is to chop your fruit very finely, discarding stems, seeds and any other parts of the fruit you wouldn’t want to taste in the finished wine. Thoroughly smash it, then cook the fruit pulp and juice together to kill any unwanted organisms. Make sure to allow the fruit to cool before adding the yeast – temperatures that are too high will kill the yeast and prevent fermentation.
The fermentation process itself will go as you would expect when using a canned wine base, but you will have to rack the must very carefully to avoid transferring any debris. Siphon off the liquids from the must, making sure to leave the sediment at the bottom of your fermentation vessel. After that, bottling should be no different than with a grape wine.
Just keep in mind that fresh fruits require a little more work. You’ll want to leave yourself plenty of time and find a good recipe (like one of these Wine Making Recipes on our site). Until you’ve become more skilled at making your own wine from fresh ingredients, follow those recipes closely!
Tips For Enjoying Fruit Wines
Fruit wines are an interesting spin on classic wines, and are often just as popular depending on the season. When serving up fruit wines, consider the type of fruits currently in season. For example, apple wines are a great, semi-sweet fall wine, while raspberries always make a great fruit wine to uncork in summer.
One of the best things about fruit wines is that they are ready to enjoy with minimal aging, much like most white wines.