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Requested Recipe:

CHERRY WINES


"Do you have a recipe for wine made from fresh cherries?" Randy Stillwell




CHERRIES


Some of the best non-grape wines I have ever tasted were cherry wines. While freshly picked cherries of any type are preferred to those purchased at the market, if you have to purchase them, be sure you select the ripest and most blemish-free specimens you can.

Leo Zanelli claims that morello cherries make the best wine. While I cannot contest his claim, I can attest that black cherries make a wonderful wine. A friend of mine swears by sour cherries, while another always uses the bing variety. Whichever type you use, make sure you have enough. If you're going to make weak wine, you might as well not make it at all.

I have many recipes for cherry wines, but will only include four here--two dry and two sweet. These recipes offer a wide leeway in the quantity (from 4 to 8 lbs) and types of cherries required.


Cherry Wine [Dry] (1)

Stir sugar into water and put on to boil. Meanwhile, sort, destem, and wash the cherries, rejecting any that are unsould or moldy. Put the cherries in a nylon straining bag, tie, and place in primary. Without breaking the stones, crush the cherries with your hands or other means. Pour the boilling water with dissolved sugar over the crushed cherries. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature. Add all remaining ingredients except yeast. Stir well, recover, and set aside for 12 hours. Add activated yeast and recover. Stir daily. After two weeks, remove bag and drip drain (do not squeeze). Transfer to a dark secondary and fit airlock. After two weeks, rack, top up, and refit airlock. Rack again in two months and again two months later. When specific gravity registers dryness (0.990), rack into bottles and store in dark place for one year. Server slightly chilled. [Adapted from Terry Garey's The Joy of Home Winemaking]


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Cherry Wine [Sweet] (2)

Bring water to rolling boil. Destem, wash and crush the cherries in the primary without breaking any stones. Pour the boilling water over the cherries. Cover and set aside for 48 hours. Strain through nylon straining bag. Bring water to a boil and pour over sugar. Stir until dissolved and add remaining ingredients. Cover thoroughly and ferment in warm place for 14 days. Pour into dark secondary and fit airlock. When clear, rack again. After two months, stabilize, sweeten if required, wait 10 days, rack into bottles, and store in dark place. [Adapted from C.J.J. Berry's First Steps in Winemaking]



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Cherry Wine [Dry] (3)

Bring water to boil. Meanwhile, destem, wash and crush the cherries in the primary without breaking any stones. Pour sugar over cherries. Pour the boilling water over the sugar and cherries and stir well to dissolve. Cover and set aside until cool. Add remaining ingredients and ferment 5 days. Strain juice into dark secondary and discard pulp and stones. Rack after 30 days and again when wine clears. After two additional months rack into bottles and store in dark place. [Adapted from Leo Zanelli's Home Winemaking from A to Z]


Cherry Wine [Sweet] (4)

Bring water to boil. Meanwhile, destem, wash and crush the cherries in the primary without breaking any stones. Pour sugar over cherries. Pour the boilling water over the sugar and cherries and stir well to dissolve. Cover and set aside until cool. Add remaining ingredients except yeast, cover and set aside for 12 hours. Add activated yeast and ferment 5 days. Strain juice into dark secondary and discard pulp and stones. Rack after 30 days and again when wine clears. After two additional months stabilize, sweeten if required, wait 10 days, rack into bottles, and store in dark place. [Adapted from Leo Zanelli's Home Winemaking from A to Z]


My thanks to Randy Stillwell for the request.

This page was updated on November 22nd, 1999

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