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Requested Recipe:


"Could you please e-mail me a recipe for...vanilla wine?"
Martedi Wilcott


Vanilla as we usually know it is a flavor produced synthetically or extracted from the bean pods of any of several tropical American orchids of the genus , especially the Vanilla planifolia. In the recipe below, the vanilla flavor is obtained from the vanilla bean being fermented with white grape juice made from concentrate.

The same word of warning is in order as has been expressed elsewhere on this site. Welch's is a very fine company and delivers, in my opinion, a very good product. But 100% grape concentrate means you concentrate the grapes you get. Thus, the natural sugar content of one batch of juice may differ from that of another batch just as grapes vary from year to year and vineyard to vineyard. Reconstitute the juice and measure the specific gravity of your juice with a hydrometer. Then use the table on my hydrometer page to determine if the amount of sugar called for in this recipe is too much, too little, or just right for your juice. You should, in fact, do this with every recipe, as the natural sugar in all fresh fruit varies to some extent.


Bring 1 quart water to boil and dissolve the sugar in the water. Remove from heat and add frozen concentrate. Add additional water to make one gallon and pour into secondary. Add remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover with napkin fastened with rubber band and set aside 12 hours. Add activated wine yeast and recover with napkin. When active fermentation slows down (about 5 days), fit airlock. After 30 days, rack into sanitized secondary. Taste wine. If vanilla flavor is sufficient to your taste, discard the vanilla beans. If not, transfer beans to new secondary by remove after additional 30 days and rack, top up and refit airlock. Wait additional 30 days and rack again, top up and refit airlock. After additional 30 days, stabilize, sweeten if desired and rack into bottles. [Author's own recipe]

My thanks to Martedi Wilcott for requesting this recipe.

This page was updated on June 28th, 2000

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