How To Make Cherry Wine

Picking fresh cherries can be a wonderful experience, especially when you intend to use those cherries to create something sweet and delicious.

Although the options are limitless, some cherry recipes often trump the others – such as cherry pie or cake. But how about trying to make something a little more unconventional? 

If you are a huge lover of wine, then you can use cherries to make a wine that is bursting with vibrancy and flavor. Not only is cherry wine a delectable alternative to the traditional grape-based recipe, but it’s also easy to make and can be enjoyed by everyone.

So if you have some cherries that are going sour, we suggest squeezing them and making a delicious wine that is perfect for hot summer days. 

Down below we have compiled a step-by-step guide that outlines the quick and easy process of making your cherry wine. By following this guide, we hope that your wine-making adventure will be simple, enjoyable and concern-free. 

Step One: Extract The Cherry Juice

When it comes to making fruit wine, the most important thing you must do is extract the juice from the fruit you are using. When it comes to extracting the juice from cherries, several methods can be used.

But which method is best? The best method comes down to your personal preference, and we have outlined the different methods down below to help you decide which one is the best for you. 

Mixing Fruit With Sugar: Sugar is a key ingredient in most fruit wines, however, it can also be used to draw the juice away from the fruit you are using. Simply take your cherries and crush them using a potato masher or similar utensil.

Make sure the cherries are crushed enough to open the skins. Then add some sugar to the mix and allow it to macerate overnight. When 24 hours have passed, you can then pour the mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth and use the resulting juice to make your wine. 

Use A Steam Juicer: For this method, you will have to purchase a steam juicer, which is a metal container that is composed of three compartments. When using a steam juicer, you can add the cherries directly into the top compartment.

Inside the steamer, the cherries will sit over a bowl of water, which you can heat by placing the juicer on the stove on medium heat. When the water begins to boil, the juicer will use the steam to break open the cherries, allowing any juice to be fully extracted. 

Use An Electric Juicer: This is arguably the fastest and most efficient way to assure your cherries have been fully juiced. Of course, there is no unique practice or method in play here, as the juicer will do all the work for you.

Just simply add the cherries to the juicer and then use the resulting liquid as the basis of your cherry wine. 

Step Two: Add The Ingredients

After you have extracted the juice from your cherries, you should have a red liquid that can be used as the base of your wine.

Once you have the juice, then you can start adding the other ingredients needed to transform it into wine. For this particular recipe, we will be using the following ingredients that we have outlined below. 

Tannin Powder: Tannin powder is a substance that can be used to add firmness and character to your homemade wine. The powder will also help to round out the flavor of the wine and give it a smooth texture that will feel good on the tongue.

When making cherry wine, we would recommend using a 1/8 teaspoon of tanning powder to ensure the correct balance. 

Wine Yeast: A primary ingredient in any wine recipe is yeast, as this is the substance that will ferment the juice – breaking down the natural sugars of the cherries and transforming them into alcohol.

Any wine yeast can be used to produce a delicious and sweet cherry wine. However, we would also recommend using a yeast nutrient as cherries are not capable of sustaining the yeast during fermentation. 

Acid Blend: Acid blend is often added to wine recipes to heighten the natural sweetness of the fruit base. The substance can also adjust the ph level of the wine, making the fermentation process more efficient and smooth.

We highly recommend using an acid blend if you are making a win with sweet cherries. If you are using sour cherries, then using an acid blend is optional. 

Sugar: Like yeast, sugar is another key ingredient that is used in the production of most wines. Sugar is added to the wine to feed the yeast during fermentation, which heightens the wine’s alcoholic content giving it that signature wine taste.

The addition of sugar also helps to give the wine a residual sweetness that can be enjoyed by the drinker. 

Step Three: Ferment The Wine

When you have added the sugar, acid and tannin to the cherry juice, you can then move the mixture into a fermentation vessel. If the mixture doesn’t fill the entirety of the vessel, then you can add some water to top it off.

Once this has been completed, then you can add the yeast to the wine and watch as the fermentation process begins to take shape. 

The cherry wine should be allowed to ferment in the vessel for one to two weeks until the more aggressive fermentation has slowed.

When the wine is calm, use a siphon to drain the liquid into a clean fermentation vessel. By doing this you can filter out the actual wine and leave behind any unwanted sediment. 

When the siphoning is done, the vessel should be closed and left to ferment for a further four to six weeks.

When the fermentation process is done, you can then pour the wine into bottles and cork it. For the best results, you should then allow the wine to age for at least a month before finally drinking. 

Cherry Wine Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5-6 lbs Cherries
  • 2 lbs Sugar
  • 1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
  • 2 tsp Acid Blend
  • ⅛ tsp Tannin Powder
  • Wine Yeast

Method

  • Juice the cherries and add sugar to the resulting liquid. Stir the mixture until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Add remaining wine additives to the mixture (this includes acid blend, tannin powder and yeast nutrient). Place the final mixture in a fermentation vessel. 
  • Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of water and allow it to bloom for 10-15 minutes. Then add yeast to the vessel. 
  • Cap the vessel and allow it to ferment for 1-2 weeks until the wine has calmed down. 
  • Drain wine mixture into a clean vessel and then cap for a further 4-6 weeks of fermentation. 
  • Bottle fermented wine and allow it to age for a further 4 weeks. 
Christina Day
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