This article is about cherry wine. Everyone already knows about the great health benefits of cherries. They are so full of different properties that can help your body fight off disease, that they are one of the most sought after fruits on the market. You can buy concentrated tart or black cherry juice to be used for a number of ailments, or you can eat them fresh, right off the tree for the same great benefits (or your grocer's fruit bin in most cases). But to me the most wonderful thing about cherries are not their health benefits, but their taste. I am not a health food enthusiast myself, I just eat them because they taste so great. When I found out one day how awesome they were for my health, it didn't really matter to me. I just love their flavor and versatility in cooking. However, I must admit to find out they were good for me, too, was an added plus that I have grown more to appreciate.
One day I had bought a huge amount of fresh cherries and after I had frozen a few bags and eaten cherry after cherry I still had quiet a few left. I had already made a good supply of brandied cherries which I love so much, and was trying to decide what to do with them. Then it dawned on me. Why not try my hand at little cherry wine. I had purchased a bottle a few years earlier and found it to be so very delicious.
I researched the internet for awhile and came up with a recipe that looked like it might be good, as well as easy to make. So, I got everything together the instructions called for, and in a short time, I was making cherry wine.
It only took me a little over an hour to do the job, and most of that time was spent in cleaning and pitting the cherries. Then 12 hours later I had to add a couple ingredients, including the yeast but that only took a few minutes. Then a had to wait a few weeks and let the sediments go the bottom and rack the wine. Racking the wine means to siphon as much of the clear wine out of your container as you can without getting any sediments that has settled to the bottom in it. After doing this twice, it was clear enough to suit my taste, so I bottled it up and stored it in a dark, cool place.
The directions said that the wine would be ready for tasting after 6 months, but the flavor would improve up to 18 months. I opened my first bottle after 4 ½ months. What can I say? I am not a patient person and every time I opened my cabinet my mouth would water. Well, much to my delight, even after 4 ½ months the taste was super. Only one bottle made in to 18 months. I must admit, it was even better than the ones before it.
If you would like to make a little cherry wine, I am going to give you the recipe I found and used. You can drink it for all the health benefits, or because it tastes so good. Whichever it is, you will love it.
8 pints water
8 pounds of cherries
2 ½ – 3 pounds sugar according to taste
1 tsp pectic enzyme
½ tsp citric acid
2 grams bentonite
clean, destem and remove cherry pit. Put fruit in 1 pint of water and bring to low boil and then simmer covered for 15 minutes. After cooling drain through nylon, and squeeze the nylon to extract all the juice and color. Combine sugar, pectic, and citric acid in crock or large bowl. Add remaining water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour in storage contain and cover. In 12 hours add bentonite and yeast starter. Make sure the container is air tight and store in cool, dark place. Rack every three weeks until no more sediments form. Bottle and again store in cool, dark location. The cherry wine will be ready for tasting in 6 months but the flavor will improve for 18 months.
There you have it. Enjoy, and keep eating those delicious, healthy cherries. If you will power is like mine, you might want to make a few extra bottles if you want to still have any cherry wine left at 18 months.