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Tomato Wines

Someone recently wrote to me asking if I had any recipes for both
red and green tomato wine. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find the
requested letter to reply personally, so I hope whomever it was will
check here for this belated reply. Jack Keller, winemaker and webmaster

The only word of caution for red tomato wine is to use only perfectly ripe fruit. They should also be freshly picked. If you have a large crop coming ripe all at once and have already canned enough for the off-seasons, then this recipe will be a God-send. It makes one gallon of wine, but multiply it out by however many 4-lb batches of tomatoes you have for the wine.


Boil water and dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, wash and cut fruit into chunks, discarding any bruised or insect-scarred parts. Pour fruit and any juice from cutting into nylon straining bag in primary. Tie bag and squash the fruit. Pour the boiling water with dissolved sugar over fruit. Cover and allow to cool one hour, then add acid blend, tannin, yeast nutrient, and crushed Campden tablet. Stir, recover and after 12 hours add pectic enzyme. Wait another 12 hours and add yeast. Stir twice a day for 7 days. Remove nylon bag and allow to drip drain, adding drained juice to primary; do not squeeze bag. Siphon liquid off sediments into secondary, top up, and fit airlock. Rack every 60 days until wine clears, then wait two weeks and rack again. Add stabilizer, wait 10 days, sweeten to taste with sugar water, then bottle. Wine will mature in one year and should be served chilled. [Adapted from Terry Garey's The Joy of Home Winemaking]


Soak the grain overnight. When ready to make wine, pour boiling water over raisins (or sultanas or currants) and let soak about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, drain grain and chop tomatoes. Mix grain, raisins, balm leaves and stalks, chopped tomatoes, and the peels of the citrus fruit (careful to remove all white pith) and pass through a mincer. Place minced ingredients in nylon straining bag in primary. Add sugar and tannin. Add 3-1/2 qts boiling water and stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover and allow to cool one hour. Add crushed Campden tablet and juice of citrus fruit. Wait 12 hours and add yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme, stirring to mix. Wait additional 12 hours and add yeast. Ferment seven days, gently squeezing bag of minced ingredients 2-3 times a day. Remove bag and allow to drip drain, then squeeze well but not too well. Pour all liquid into secondary and top up with water to within 2-1/2 inches of airlock. Rack after 3 weeks, then again every month until wine clears and no additional deposits form during two-week period. Bottle and allow to age 9-12 months. [Adapted from C.J.J. Berry's 130 New Winemaking Recipes]

My thanks to Gary Thompson for the request.

This page was updated on September 11th, 1998.

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