"Are beet wine and beetroot wine the same thing? Can one make a
full-bodied wine from beets (or beetroots) that doesn't taste earthy? " Sammy Solis
The answer to both of Sammy's questions are yes. What Americans call beets have traditionally been called beetroots by the British. This is to distinguish them from beet tops or greens, which are served after boiling or steaming.
I have three beet wine recipes in the regular recipe section of this web site, but I recently developed another one which yields a more full-bodied wine. The earthy flavor Sammy referred to often attends young beet wines, but disappears with aging. Since beet wines should be aged at least a year before sampling and preferrably two, no earthy taste should be noted if the recipe is followed precisely. The dark secondary and bottles are specified to prevent any exposure to light from bleaching out the beautiful color of this wine.
Scrub the beetroots well and slice thinly without peeling. Place slices in large pot and add zest of lemons and 1-1/2 qt water (this water is from the 6 1/2 pints, leaving 3 1/2 pints to be added later). Bring to boil covered, reduce heat and cook at low boil an additional 20 minutes. Remove from heat and remove beets (remove the peelings before eating) with a slotted spoon. To the pot, add the white sugar, juice from the lemons and yeast nutrient and stir until sugar is completely dissolved, then add remaining water. Allow to cool to 90 degrees, transfer to a secondary, add activated yeast in a starter solution and attach an airlock. Ferment three weeks and rack. Add brown sugar and stir gently but well to dissolve, then top up. Refit airlock and ferment to dryness (30-45 days). Rack, add a finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet, top up, refit airlock and bulk age in a dark place for six months. Rack into dark bottles and store in dark place additional 12 to 18 months before tasting. [Author's recipe]
My thanks to Sammy Solis for the request.