"I'm looking for a recipe for a wine similar to commercial
Japanese Plum wine (...pale golden color, very sweet,
with a touch of almond). " Pam Robles, Wichita, Kansas
The classic Japanes Plum is the Prunus salicina. Growing to a height of 25 feet, the tree produces white flowers from which emerge pointed yellow or light red fruit. From this basic species are numerous varieties. Among them, those best suited to produce a light, pale, sweet wine are "Abundance" (medium size, dark red fruit with a purple blush and juicy, yellow flesh), "Beauty" (medium size, reddish-purple fruit, amber flesh streaked with red), "Burbank" (large size, purplish-red fruit, amber-yellow flesh), "Early Golden" (medium size, yellow fruit with red blush, freestone), "Formosa" (large size, greenish-yellow fruit overlaid with red, with sweet, juicy, pale yellow flesh), "Gaviota" (very large size, yellow fruit overlaid with dark red, richly flavored yellow flesh), "Howard Miracle" (large size, yellow fruit with red blush, yellow flesh with tart, pineapple flavor), "Romeo" (large size, red fruit with very aromatic, yellow flesh), "Roysum" (medium to large size, reddish-blue fruit with juicy, aromatic, light yellow flesh), all "Santa Rosa" varieties (large to very large size, purplish-red to dark red fruit, yellow flesh with redness near the skin, will produce a "blush" wine), "Shiro" (medium to large size, yellow fruit with pinkish blush, and juicy, translucent, yellow flesh), "Simka" (large size, purplish-red fruit, sweet yellowish-white flesh), and "Wickson" (large, heart-shaped, greenish-yellow fruit with very sweet, translucent flesh).
The following recipe makes one gallon of wine. Because this wine is racked 4 to 5 times, it is essential only the most flavorful plums are used. This wine should not be consumed until almost two years have passed since starting it. While this seems like a long time, it will pass quickly enogh if you make other wines during that period.
Put 1/2 gallon water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash, sort, destem, and destone the fruit. Chop and save all juice. Transfer fruit and any juice to nylon straining bag in primary graduated (marked) by pints to one gallon, add grape concentrate, boiling water, and ½ the sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar, cover and allow to cool to lukewarm. Add crushed Campden, recover and wait 12 hours. Crush fruit by hand by squeezing bag. Lift the bag of fruit and allow to drain about two minutes, then add water to bring liquid up to 7 pints. Return bag to liquid and lift again, once more allowing it to drain about two minutes. Repeat this dunking and draining several (4-6) times, then submerge bag, measure and note S.G. Add acid blend, tannin, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrient. Stir well, recover primary, wait 12 hours, and then add activated yeast. Squeeze bag of pulp twicw daily for 7 days. Drip drain bag of pulp 2-3 hours, squeezing gently at end to coax additional juice from bag. Add drained juice to primary and use hydrometer chart to determine how much additional sugar to add to achieve combined S.G. of 1.095 (find previously measured S.G. on hydrometer chart and determine how much sugar to add to that to achieve target S.G. of 1.095). Add sugar and stir well to dissolve. Allow to settle overnight, rack into secondary and fit airlock without topping up. After 7 days top up and refit airlock. Rack after one month, top up and refit airlock. Wait two months and put toasted almonds in jelly bag with 4 sterilized marbles (for weight). Tie bag and work into clean secondary, then rack wine into that secondary. Save any wine that will not fit in secondary, storing in refrigerator in sealed jar until needed later for topping up. Refit airlock and set aside additional two months. Rack (leaving toasted almonds behind), top up, refit airlock, and set aside for bulk aging. Check water level in airlock monthly. After 6 months, if no sediments at bottom of secondary, stabilize, sweeten to taste, wait 10 days, and rack into bottles. If sediment, rack, sweeten to taste, wait 10 days, and bottle. This wine still needs additional 12 months of aging. Serve chilled. [Author's own recipe]
My thanks to Pam Robles of Wichita, Kansas for requesting this recipe.