As a kid I loved pretending that I was part of a party and raising to toast to someone or something. Clinking those pretty long stemmed delicate glasses was something that seemed out of my reach(because as a kid I’m known to have butter fingers around glassware) In this case I’d like to raise a toast to Easter, to Sachin’s Bday and Godzilla’s Bday.
Amma always makes wine at home without the yeast and we never really manage to wait long enough for the juice to ferment to wine. I usually worry her silly till she pours me some in a thimble and we go clink clinking after a sip of her absolutely delicious wine.
Having stayed away from home for almost 3 years now(with long vacations ofcourse) I keep yearning for many of her dishes. I’d like to happily say that its her experimentation with ingredients that I enjoy and have hopefully inherited. I can go on and on about my Mom but I’ll probably tear up missing having her around so I’ll just get right down to the post.
What you will need:
And please feel free to absolutely experiment with the spices as per taste.
Red grapes - 1 Lb (Seedless and separated from the stalk and rinsed twice or thrice under cold running water)
Green grapes - 1 Lb (Ditto as above)
Sugar - 1 Cup packed (I used brown Sugar)
Active dry yeast - 1 Tsp (I checked online if yeast was vegan and found that it was)
Water - 2 Cups (Warm)
Wide mouthed coloured bottle
Masher - I used my potato masher
Cheese cloth - Enough to cover(double layered) the mouth of the bottle/vase. The cheese cloth lets the fermentation happen.
Rubber band/String - To tie the cheese cloth to the bottle
Coolest/untouched place in your kitchen
First please make sure all the tools you are using are sparkling clean and dry. This is an important step. You will need a wide mouthed bowl to do the mashing and mixing or you can use the same coloured bottle you are going to use for the fermentation process. Let me let you in on a secret. I had this wide mouthed red flower vase(absolutely new) and since I needed a coloured bottle I decided to go with it.
Place the washed and patted dry grapes in the bowl to mash or directly in the vase(like I did). Add the sugar to the mixture. Use the masher to gently mash the grapes. I honestly don’t think that using your hand should be a problem because the original process of making wines actually involves mashing the grapes with your legs! But since we are all about being clean let’s skip that, no? We are done with mashing the grapes.
Now, on the side to 1 Cup warm water add the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes to make sure its alive and good to go. If it bubbles and froths up you are OK.
Add the yeast mixture to the mashed grapes. Add the remaining warm water too. Cover the bowl vase with the cheesecloth(folded twice) and use a string to make sure it stays in place. Place this ideally in the coolest and darkest part of your kitchen. My pantry corner works best for me. I let this stay for exactly 21 days bringing it out once a week to mix it up.
You can let it stay longer if you like your wine less sweet. I like mine to taste almost like soooper sweet grape juice. Now then I strained the juice into a pretty bottle I had and used aluminium foil to seal it(since my bottle had no stopper). The mashed grapes were discarded and the vase cleaned. The colour as you can see is absolutely beautiful and I really wish I had some guests home to share it with.
Later, on an impulse I added some dried cranberries to my wine and let it stay for upto a week. The wine absorbed the flavour and colour and tasted great. I’m going to try adding cinnamon sticks next time and other spices to tweak this recipe.
Try different varieties of grapes, maybe other fruits too(I am honestly not sure which) and spices to make it more interesting. The quantity yielded wasn’t much(1/4 Litre at the most)
It lasted 2 weeks, as i treated myself to a little everynight. (R)oomie says my cheeks are glowing because of it ;)
I found this video on youtube about wine making. I’d thought you might find it interesting.