To make light table wine, the grapes are harvested a little unripe: the longer the fruits remain on the vines, the stronger the drink becomes. From the fruits that were left on the bushes before withering, a dessert wine is obtained.
Do you dream of learning how to make excellent homemade grape wine but you don’t know from which side to approach this responsible occupation? Take on board proven recipes and be sure to pay attention to the important subtleties. After all, even the best varieties of grapes grown in accordance with all the rules do not guarantee an excellent taste of wine, if you neglect the rules of winemaking.
Photo of grapes
Not every variety from your vineyard is suitable for creating a truly tasty and aromatic drink. Using table varieties, you are unlikely to achieve the desired taste and aftertaste, but such popular wine varieties as Isabella, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Noir, fit perfectly. Sweet wines are made from Muscat grape varieties, but they grow best in southern climates.
The grapes begin to be harvested from the end of September, until the frost began. If the weather is sunny, you can leave the fruits on the vine longer, but if it rains all day long, it is better to hurry with the harvest, otherwise the berries will begin to rot and will no longer be suitable for winemaking. An important condition for collection is dry bunches.
Video about the secrets of winemaking
The collected fruits should be sorted out, throwing away dry, rotten, spoiled, diseased grapes. Do not forget to also remove the twigs, otherwise the wine will acquire a bitter, tart taste due to the presence of tannins in the bunches. Let the whole process of sorting berries take a lot of time, but the drink will have a more pleasant taste and aftertaste. As a result, the berries should remain clean, only they do not need to be washed, since the whitish bloom on the grapes is the wine yeast necessary for fermentation.
Glass containers intended for juice fermentation must be smoked with sulfur before pouring, otherwise mold may appear on the walls of the bottles.
Photo of fermentation of wine in glass containers
It is impossible to leave sorted grapes for a long time, since in this form it will ferment earlier than necessary. So go straight to the next stage - thoroughly crushing the berries using an ordinary wooden crush or a special crusher.
Grape skins contain natural dyes, therefore, to create red wine, the pulp and juice are fermented together, and when making white wine, the juice is separated immediately.
The crushed grapes are left for 3 days at room temperature in an enamel container covered with a cloth, stirring at least three times a day. Do not be afraid that the wort will turn sour, because the carbon dioxide generated during fermentation will prevent oxygen from getting inside. After three days, the pulp will float, and it will be possible to strain the juice, squeezing out the precious drops as well. Leaving the wort unstrained for 5-6 days will add a tart taste to the drink.
If you want to get sweet wine, sugar should be added in portions to strained juice in the first ten days of fermentation, until the taste of the drink begins to resemble sweet tea or compote. The amount of added sugar can vary greatly depending on the sugar content of the grapes and the individual preferences of the winemaker. It is best to pour out a small portion of the grape juice and stir the sugar in it, then pouring it back into the bottle. After the end of fermentation, it is useless to add sugar, as it will simply preserve the wine.
Photo of adding sugar
Pour the strained grape juice with dissolved sugar into the bottle to the top and close it with a nylon cap, or with a medical glove pierced in several places, securing it with an elastic band. Carbon dioxide will escape from under a tightly closed lid and from holes in the glove, and oxygen will not be able to penetrate into the bottle.
Place the filled bottles in a dark place with a temperature of +10 degrees. The lower the temperature, the longer the fermentation process will take. While the grape juice is fermenting, it should be strained once a week so that the sediment does not spoil the taste. And when in a month or two the bubbles stop appearing, try the drink to taste: if it has acquired strength and pleasant sweetness, and sugar is not felt at the same time, then the grape wine is ready!
Amateur winemakers usually make homemade wine from Isabella grapesusing the above technology. At the same time, about three kg of sugar is consumed for five kg of grapes, and to obtain a softer taste a week after fermentation, 12 liters of water are added to the juice.
Isabella homemade wine video
But the variety of grape wines does not end there, and for those who wish to expand the range of homemade drinks, we offer several interesting recipes based on grape juice or ready-made wine:
Moselle wine in the photo
Making homemade wine from grapes is not particularly difficult, and gives a wide field for imagination. If the first time you did not succeed in achieving the desired taste, experiment - each winemaker changes the basic technology in his own way, using his own little tricks.
Making homemade grape wine seems incredibly tricky, unrealistic. Accurately observing the technique, even a person without appropriate experience, will be able to get a fragrant, pleasant drink. You don't even need any special equipment for this. With the help of simple devices and a great desire, you can make wine from grapes at home. It can rightfully take the main place on the table of any holiday.
Due to the presence of certain advantages of the variety, homemade wine from Isabella turns out to be very aromatic. The taste and color of the finished product are simply unique. Having tried it at least once, you will no longer be able to confuse the drink with another variety.
Isabella grapes are very unpretentious, therefore they can grow even in harsh climates. Along with this, the bunches retain their attractiveness, and the berries do not lose their taste. The fruits contain a lot of juice and sugar, so they are suitable for making fresh desserts. And homemade wine with an excellent aroma and slightly sour taste will become a real decoration of any table.
Ripe bunch of Isabella grapes
Even when grown in unfavorable climates, Isabella grapes are capable of producing excellent yields. At the same time, the quality of the fruit remains at a very high level, which makes it possible to get much more excellent wine. This explains the popularity of the variety among winegrowers.
Isabella has a number of advantages that allow it to be used most often when making homemade wine:
Delightful wine with a unique aroma and pleasant transparent amber color.
You will need: 10 kg of grapes (varieties Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Blanc), 3 kg of sugar.
Preparation... Crush the grapes until juice is obtained and leave at room temperature for 5 days, stirring occasionally. Then strain and lightly squeeze the settled juice through cheesecloth into a clean bottle, add sugar to taste (depending on the sweetness of the grapes and the desired finished drink). Close the bottle with a water seal (or a rubber glove) and let it ferment for 3 weeks. After the end of fermentation, gently strain the wine so as not to disturb the sediment, bottle it, cork it and place in a cool place for 4 weeks to mature.
The finished wine, prepared in compliance with the technology, turns out to be very aromatic, with a rich color and bright taste.
You will need: 5 kg of grapes (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Isabella), 1.5 kg of sugar.
Preparation... Sort the berries, remove the clusters and low-quality berries and crush. Strain the juice, pour into a saucepan and heat slightly to dissolve 750 g of sugar in it. Place the squeezed berries in a bottle, fill with sweetened juice, cover with gauze and leave in a dark, warm place for 5 days. Stir the berry mass twice a day. Then strain and squeeze the usable mass into a clean container, add the remaining sugar, stir and close with a water seal or rubber glove and place in a shaded warm place for 3 weeks. As soon as the fermentation process is over, pour the wine into a clean container, being careful not to disturb the precipitated sediment, cork it and leave it in a cool place to brew for another 4 weeks. Every 10 days, pour the wine into a clean container, removing the sediment. Then place the container with wine in the refrigerator and leave for at least 4 weeks.
The favorite drink of many winemakers is vermouth. This wine is prepared from grapes at home. Fortified drinks with the addition of bitter herbs are commonly called vermouth. They are often used as a coffee or tea additive. Also, many alcoholic cocktails are prepared on the basis of vermouth. Many people like to use such drinks as an aperitif, that is, to improve appetite before meals.
You can take absolutely any wine as a basis in the preparation of vermouth. For example, you can make a drink from one grape juice, or you can make a more complex vermouth from different berries. For this, rowan and cranberry are perfect, which, in combination, give a very beautiful rich color.
Let's take a look at one of the classic cooking options for vermouth. As the main ingredients, we need:
Let's take a look at how to make fortified homemade wine from grapes and herbal liqueurs: