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Requested Recipe:

DATE AND RAISIN WINE


"Friends of mine in England have just got into winemaking and
have asked me to find a recipe for Date & Raisin Wine.
I have searched the web and come up with your excellent site.
I have printed out the date recipe and the raisin recipe to
send to them but wonder if you have one which combines the
two fruits?"
Jill Sneddon, Johannesburg, South Africa




DATES AND RAISINS


Dates make an acceptable wine--especially a sweet wine--but makes an even better one if raisins are used to impart flavor, body and vinous complexities. Even then the wine will need help to overcome certain deficiencies even raisins cannot correct. The first recipe below is a pure date and raisin wine. It not only ages well, it changes character completely if left to age in the dark for 4-5 years.

In truth, dates lack fermentable flavor--that is, flavor that survives fermentation with a fruity edge. The pits, believe it or not, add flavor to the wine as do the raisins. It is possible, however, to "spike" the wine's flavor profile by adding a small amount of flavor enhancers. The second recipe does just that and makes a far more interesting wine.


DATE AND RAISIN WINE

Bring 2 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Meanwhile, slice the dates lengthwise to remove strips of date pulp from the seeds. Put pulp and seeds in primary. Chop or mince raisins and add to primary. Add the zest from all four citrus fruit to the primary and pour boiling water over contents of primary. Cover primary and set aside for 12 hours. Combine remaining water and sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add to primary with juice from citrus, crushed Campden, tannin, and yeast nutrient. Recover and set aside another 12 hours. Stir in pectic enzyme and cover once again. After additional 12 hours, add activated yeast and recover. Stir twice daily for one week. Strain through nylon straining bag, squeezing pulp well to extract flavors. Transfer liquid to secondary and fit airlock. Rack after one month, top up and refit airlock. Wait two months and rack, top up and refit airlock. Set aside until wine clears and is no longer depositing new lees (2-4 months). Rack, stabilize, sweeten to taste, top up, and refit airlock. After additional 2 weeks, bottle the wine. Age 2 years before sampling--longer if required. [Author's own recipe]


DATE, RAISIN AND FRUIT WINE

Bring 2 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Meanwhile, chop or mince dates, raisins and selected dried fruit and add to primary. Pour boiling water over contents of primary. Cover primary and set aside for 12 hours. Combine remaining water and sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir into primary with juice from lemons and oranges, crushed Campden, tannin, and yeast nutrient. Recover and set aside another 12 hours. Stir in pectic enzyme and cover once again. After additional 12 hours, add activated yeast and recover. Stir twice daily for one week. Strain through nylon straining bag, squeezing pulp well to extract flavors. Transfer liquid to secondary and fit airlock. Rack only after all signs of fermentation are past, top up and refit airlock. Set aside until wine clears and then rack. Stabilize, sweeten to taste, top up, and refit airlock. After 10-14 days, bottle. Age 2 years. Continues to improve with additional ageing. [Author's own recipe]


My thanks to Jill Sneddon of Johannesburg, South Africa for requesting this recipe on behalf of her English friends.


This page was updated on August 23rd, 2000

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