I always wanted to try my hand at wine making. My mum used to make some great tasting wine with gooseberries. I don’t remember seeing her making it. I made my first wine with red grapes in July last year. I looked for recipes, all of them had the same ingredients in different measurements and complicated equipment that is hard to find here. So I just did my own stuff. It was my experimental batch, so I just used basic ingredients and equipments, I opened the fermentation vessel as few times as possible because I feared contaminating it.
- Red/Black Grapes-2kg
- Warm water-1cup(yeast activation)
- For stirring: Long wooden spoon
- Fermentation Vessel: Bharani (Ceramic/Clay jars)
- Mixing vessel: Any large plastic or steel vessel would suffice
- For straining: Muslin Cloth
- Bleaching powder for sterilization
- Funnel for bottling
- Glass bottles
- Boil the water and allow it to cool completely.
- Wash all the equipment except the spoon with bleach solution and thoroughly with hot water, making sure no trace of bleach solution remains, as it might result in off odors and taste in the wine.
- Wash and dry the grapes. Mash them into the mixing vessel.
- Add sugar and half of the water and stir till the sugar dissolves completely.
- Pour the above mixture into the fermentation vessel (bharani) and use the remaining water to wash off the mixing vessel and pour it into the vessel.
- To ensure the container is air-tight, place a plastic cover or film and then put the lid over it.
- Now keep this aside in a cool dark place for 7days.
- Strain this mixture with a muslin cloth.
- Add the yeast to warm water and let it stand for 5mins to get activated.
- Add the grape juice-sugar-water solution back into the Bharani.
- Add the yeast solution, mix well with the long wooden spoon.
- Keep this airtight Bharani in a cool dark place for 21days for fermentation.
- Strain it with a muslin cloth.
- Wash the Bharani with running hot water.
- Pour the mixture back in and keep it aside for another 21days. (patience is the key)
Bottle the wine, preferably glass bottles.
It turned out to be of high alcohol content, which is why my husband totally loved it. I was not quite happy with the taste as I expected something more sweeter and milder.
Some of it was still left out, so I tried to give it a deeper color by adding caramelized sugar. Since I had never caramelized sugar before after trial and errors, I really don’t have the count of how much sugar I used. There wasn’t much of the difference in color, as I was careful that the sugar doesn’t taste bitter so maybe I didn’t caramelize completely. But this time the wine tasted much better than before, its not just the aging as we tasted both before and after caramelize. The picture shows the two, the right hand one is caramelized.