Homemade Grape Wine

Accompanying normal day-to-day meals with a glass of fine wine can give you an amazing gourmet experience every single time. At least for me, I think it is good to have a nice glass of wine with your meals once in a while. Nigel and I love doing that too. It is like our little date nights at home with some chilled homemade wine, good food and Mellow Magic playing in the background. Oh yes! Some nice fragrant candles too to make the evening even more special.

Making wine at home is an art in itself. Though the process of making wine is quite scientific, it still is an art to make a gallon of good homemade wine… There’s a science behind the process of fermentation, which simply turns the plain juice of crushed grapes into a gorgeously tasty wine…

However, for my mum-in-law making wine at home is just another one of her favourite hobbies. Another fun fact about her: she doesn’t drink any other alcoholic drinks except this homemade wine which she makes herself. However, that too she’ll drink occasionally, maybe a small tiny glass of wine sometimes with lunch…

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A glass of homemade grape wine

I’m glad I can share her grape wine-making recipe with you all here today! Thank you for stopping by.

You can check some more of her nice recipes below and make sure you have a look at #thehomemadepickleseries too. I’m sure you’ll love it.

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What is Wine?

Wine is the alcoholic drink made by fermenting the sugars found in fruits like grapes using natural yeasts. Wines maybe white, pinkish tinted-rosé and red. The alcoholic content in wines is normally between 8 percent alcohol by volume to 15%.

I think the best wine is the one made using traditional methods of production. Also, we all know that the longer the wine is left to mature, the stronger it gets and hence tastes even better.

However, a good wine should have the right balance and acidity.

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Homemade wine loved by all

WINE PRODUCTION:

Grapes are harvested differently depending on weather they are used to make red, white or rosé wine.

For making red wine, the grapes are first crushed. Traditionally it was done by bare feet but now it is carried out using machinery. Also, a destalking machine is normally used to remove stalks prior to crushing the grapes. The juice of these crushed grapes called the must is then placed in a huge gallon or container made of wood, cement or stainless steel. This is left to ferment by the action of the bacteria found in yeast. The yeast converts the must into wine by reacting on the sugars present in the must and in turn producing ethyl alcohol and carbonic gas.

It takes about 8 to 10 days for the fermentation to take place. However, this period might vary and may take even longer than 10 days. The fermented must, which is now the wine, is then taken away and kept separately. The reside of the crushed grapes is pressed further and the juices are sometimes added to the wine.

There are various factors affecting the production of a good batch of wine. Some of them include: The climatic conditions in which the grapes are grown, the variety of the grapes, the type of yeast used to ferment the wine, the time taken to ferment the wine, the environment and temperature at which the wine is fermented, the techniques used, etc.

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Homemade grape wine ready to serve

Apparantly, if the grapes receive higher levels of sunshine while growing, they have higher levels of sugar, which simply means that it will result in wines with stronger alcoholic content. These are called fuller wines.

Similarly, white wines are made from grapes grown in cooler climatic conditions. These wines are lower in their alcoholic strength, higher in acidity and are commonly called the lighter kind. This gives white white its crisp and fresh style.

HOW WINES ARE COLOURED

Wines normally get its colour from the skin of grapes. White wines are made in two ways: one being only with the juice of white grapes. This juice is generally colourless. The second type is made with a mixture of black and white grapes. The skins of the black grapes are removed soon enough before it can leave any pigment to the wine.

Red wine is made by keeping the skin in contact with the juice for a longer time. The skin also gives wine tannin which is a natural acid.

Rosé wines get its colour when the skins of the black grapes are left in the must for sometime until it imparts the necessary colour.

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Perfect glass of homemade wine

TYPES OF WINES:

There are dry wines, sweet wines, semi-sweet ones, very dry (sparkling wine), medium dry. Some wines are aged differently. There are some which depend on when the grapes were plucked. Some other wines are sherry, port wine (which we all love in Goa), Madeira, Marsala, etc.

STORING WINES:

Wines are best stored in the cellar. However, modern houses do not have a good cellar. A cellar is simply a basement or underground space where wine is stored. The temperature of a cellar should always be around 12*C and constantly cool. The cellar should also be adequately aerated. It should also have some degree of humidity as otherwise the corks will dry.

Wines should be stored properly to avoid oxidising. If the wine oxidises, it smells tired and stale.

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SERVING WINES:

White and rosé wines are normally served chilled. Red wines are served at normal room temperature. The fuller the red wine, the warmer it should be. Red wine also improves if they are kept opened for some time before serving. This is because they are generally aged longer than other wines and taste better by leaving it open for a while as this will help remove any bottle stink that has developed over time.

Recently, we got this amazing wine set from Flying Tiger Copenhagen for a friend. I think it’s just perfect.

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Wine set

It comes with a Corkscrew, Thermometer, Wine ring, Wine stopper, pourer, Foil Cutter. It is quite heavy duty too. Worth the purchase.

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Wine set from Flying Tiger Copenhagen

Choosing glasses for serving wine usually depends on ones preference over wine serving ethics or vinous considerations. Make sure all wine glasses are cleaned properly. They shouldn’t have a smell. They should be clean and clear.

The best glasses are the simplest. They are made of thin glass, it is generally narrower at the lip than the bowl. It has a long stem so that the wine does not get affected with the warmth of ones hands. Good wine glasses and especially those for red wine should be generously sized. Glasses for white wine are normally smaller than those for red wine. Glasses for sparkling wines should be tall tulip shaped. The shape doesn’t let the sparkle dissipate in the atmosphere quickly.

WINE TASTING :

You need to make use of three of your senses while tasting wine: Sight, Smell and Taste.

A wine should look bright and clear. Red wines start with a bright purple colour, then as it ages it turns ruby red in colour. Finally it turns brick red. Wines from hotter climates usually have a fuller, deeper colour than those from cooler climates as a result of the greater ripening of the grapes.

The smell of wine is also called the bouquet of wine. It is a good idea to swirl the wine around the glass, there by releasing more aromas. The smell may give indications of the particular grape variety, it also gives an idea of the alcoholic content and acidity of the wine and also its sweetness and fruity flavours.

The taste of the wine is like the final tasting element of the wine. It confirms the other two. The important elements to look in wine are sweetness, fruit flavours, acidity, alcohol content, and also tannin in red wines. The more balanced these elements are, the more complete the wine will appear.

It is important to take a good mouthful of the wine, then swirl it around your tongue, draw in some air through your teeth to maximize the potential of the wine.

Important Wine tasting tip
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Homemade Grape Wine

A sweet homemade comforting wine
Prep Time1 hr
Resting time30 d
Total Time30 d 1 hr
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Goan, World over
Keyword: grape wine, homemade grape wine, Homemade wine
Servings: 5 750ml bottles
Author: Vania Cotta

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Loose grapes green and dark purple ones
  • 1-1½ kg Sugar
  • 750 ml Distilled water 5 bottles
  • 50 gm Yeast Wine Yeast
  • 50 gm Rice grains Raw, Boiled rice (Goan field grown rice)
  • 50 gm Wheat grains

Instructions

  • Clean the grapes properly. Remove any stalks or stems.
  • In a large barrel, place the grapes, 5 bottles of distilled water, yeast, rice grains and wheat grains. Cover it well.
  • The next day, smash the grapes with clean hands.
  • Continue doing this every day for 22 days. You can continue doing this for even a month.
  • After a month or after 22 days, strain the wine using a muslin cloth. Press the reside completely dry.
  • Take a little of the must (brownish in colour Juice) and put it in a vessel. Place this vessel on a medium flame and gradually add the sugar until it caramelises. Leave it to cool down.
  • Add this to the remaining must in the barrel and stir well. This will give wine its colour. Add more sugar in the same way if you want the wine to be sweeter.
  • The wine is ready. Keep it stored in a cool place.
  • Enjoy with some deliciously cooked food.

Notes

  • Use fresh juicy grapes. Make sure to clean them well before making the wine. 
  • You can use a mixture of both the grapes, white and black or even either by itself.
  • Make sure to use distilled water. 
  • Make sure the wine is kept in a cool, dark room. In Goa, it is mostly kept in the store room undisturbed. 
  • The longer the wine is kept, the better it tastes.
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A grape wine paradise.

Please do give this recipe a try and let me know how it worked for you.

Please be kind enough to follow me on my other social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Thank you! And have a lovely Monday!

Cheers!

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