Dear Readers,

Today I’m sharing my cherry wine recipe with you so that you can have a go at making it.  The great thing about this cherry wine is that it is ready much quicker than some of the wines I make and is perfect for a summer picnic.

Inspired by Booze for Free by Andy Hamilton (Eden Project Books), this is my version of the spring cherry wine in his book.

Home Brew Cherry Wine Recipe

4.5 lbs frozen or fresh cherries (I like the frozen expensive black cherries from the store)
2 lbs sugar (white, granulated)
8 oz can burgundy red grape concentrate
1/2 cup cold black tea (not flavored like Earl Grey)
2 medium sized lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
12 gallons water
1/2 teaspoon pectin enzyme
1/2 teaspoon Nutriferm Energy
Red Star Cuvée yeast

Sanitize all your equipment.

Place the cherries in the fermentation bin, crush lightly and cover with 6 pints of hot water.  Cover the container lightly and leave for 2 days, stir each day.

Boil the remaining quantity of water in a pan and add the sugar.  Stir until dissolved.

Strain liquid from the cherries into another fermentation bin through a cloth (muslin or cheesecloth work well).  Add all other ingredients except yeast, wait until the liquid is hand hot before adding the yeast.

After 2 weeks rack into a carboy (demi-john) then place somewhere cool and dark.  After 2 months rack into another clean carboy and allow to ferment out.  If the lees or sediment is more than 1/4 inch on the bottom, rack into another clean carboy.  It can take up to a year for the wine to finish fermenting; when it looks like fermentation has finished, bring the carboy into a warm dark environment, if it starts bubbling again it has not finished fermenting and should go back to the cool dark conditions.  If it does not bubble, you may bottle and cork the wine and allow it to age for at least a year.

It can be drank sooner than a year if you can’t wait…I never hold out that long and popped the last batch after 2 months.

Alcohol content is around 15-16%.  Serve room temperature or chilled, it works well either way.

If you want to change the recipe you can experiment with different red wine grape varieties like merlot, pinot noir or a mixed red grape concentrate.  The type of sugar you use will also impact the flavor, changing white granulated sugar for organic sugar will change the flavor of the wine.  The yeast will also impart different flavoring characteristics to the wine, I like Cuvée but you could use a red wine yeast or even a champagne yeast.

Happy brewing!