[NAFEX] RE: cherry wine
don.yellman at webformation.com
Fri Dec 10 18:59:17 EST 2004
Dave Griffin wrote:
> Hi Don,
> I have heard that a mix of sweets and sour cherries has a good
> acid/sugar balance for winemaking, and I would have thought straight
> tart cherries would have been too acidic. Not true? I suppose it it
> finishes sweet it can mask some acid though.
> What variety/varieties are you using?
> I have made wine with sour cherries several times over the years, and it
> is quite good. Very fruity. No need to pit the cherries for this
> product. I used nearly pure cherry juice, starting with over 5 gallons
> bulk ripe cherries, straining out skins and stones after primary
> fermentation, then topping up a 5-gallon carboy with less than one
> gallon water. Leave plenty of space in your primary fermenter as the
> cherries will foam quite a bit initially. I used ten pounds granulated
> sugar per carboy, and champagne yeast. This will produce a moderately
> sweet wine of about 13-15% alcohol. It is ready to drink or bottle at
> about 3-4 months, after it has settled out to a clear dark ruby color.
> I don't think sweet cherries would have quite the character and flavor
> to carry through in wine as do sour cherries.
> Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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I have used Montmorency, Meteor (which is practically a Montmorency clone), and Northstar for both frozen pitted cherries and wine. Northstar, which is a Morello, is slightly more tart, but produces very dark colored juice (and wine) with its red flesh. I really don't think it makes much difference which sour variety is used in winemaking from the standpoint of flavor of the final product. Of course, I used 10 lbs. sugar in each 5-gallon carboy, which can mask quite a bit of acidity. But it is surprising how much sugar there is in these tart cherries; you find that out when you dry them and notice how sticky they become during the drying process. After they are fully dry, this stickiness disappears, but one of the chores during the drying is to separate them occasionally so they don't clump up.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
Please note that my email address has changed. It is now don.yellman at webformation.com
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