Cherries are my favorite stone and summer fruit. They are not only nice to look at, photograph and eat, but also nutritious. We have reached peak season and that means that after eating kilo after kilo of fresh fruit we can now move on to drinking liter after liter of cherry wine.
I’ll be honest, up until a few days ago I had no idea cherry wine existed. We stumbled upon it while out for an exploratory walk around town. Being that both hubby and I love cherries and the local young wine, we had to stop for a glass.
It was no surprise that upon our first sips we both declared how wonderful it tasted. Lucky for us the wine bar also offered bottles of cherry wine for sale, we bought one.
The colour, as you can see, is dark like red wine. The smell is a sweet cherry scent with minimal hints of alcohol. Though it is a young fermented wine, the consistency is thick, when swirled in the glass it sticks and slides down slowly, like that of a good aged red wine. Much like its grape Burčak relative this wine too is slightly carbonated. It was served chilled which on a hot summer day was perfect. The taste can simply be described as a cherry lovers paradise! It tastes like you are drinking freshly pressed cherries — sweetly delicious.
I wasn’t able to find out what the alcohol content is, but I can’t imagine it’s much more than grape Burčak ; 1% to 7%. So while a glass or two won’t leave you feeling drunk or even buzzed it is easy to over drink before sneaking up on you.
Cherry wine will now be my summer alcoholic drink of choice, I only wish we had discovered it years before — so I have some catching up to do. Thankfully there is a wine bar not too far from home that also offers cherry wine. Or we could also try making our own cherry wine.
Have any of you ever made cherry wine or other fruit wines at home? I did some research and found so many recipes. Here’s one that aroused my curiosity.
- 6-8 lbs black cherries
- 2-1/2 lbs granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
- ½ tsp citric acid
- 5-1/2 pints water
- 1 crushed Campden tablet
- Wine yeast and nutrient
- Pick only ripe berries. Wash and destem cherries, discarding any that are not sound and blemish free. Chop the fruit as best you can. It is not necessary to destone the cherries, but discard any stones that crack or break open. Put in crock with water, stir in crushed Campden tablet and, 24 hours later, pectic enzyme. Cover and set aside four days. Pour through nylon sieve or jelly-bag and squeeze well to extract all possible juice. Add sugar, citric acid and nutrient and stir well to dissolve sugar. Transfer to secondary, add yeast starter, fit airlock, and set in warm place (70 degrees F.). Rack after initial fermentation subsides (14-21 days), top up with cold water, refit airlock, and ferment to dryness in cooler place (60 degrees F.). Rack again and bottle. For sweeter wine, stabilize and add ¼ to ½ cup sugar-water before bottling. Taste after 6 months or allow to age one year. Drink within 18 months. [Adapted from C.J.J. Berry's 130 New Winemaking Recipes]
Have you ever tasted cherry wine, or any other fruit wines? I’d love to read your thoughts and tips on new fruit wines to try.
Cheers to a great work week!
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