How to Make Strawberry Wine
The juicy red fruit that’s most synonymous with summer makes a sweet and flavorful wine that pairs well with salads, salmon or shellfish, desserts, or as Sangria. Deeper in color than a rose yet lighter than other red wines, the bright pinkish red hue screams ‘stash me in a wicker basket and drink me on a gingham blanket.’
Some parts of the country are lucky enough to have their strawberry harvest start as early as April - while the rest of us have to wait until June. If you’d rather not wait to try your hand at this recipe, using a strawberry puree can or pouch is not only easy, but an already-sterilized and seedless option. You can also use frozen strawberries from the store or make things easiest by using a strawberry fruit wine base.
Before starting, make sure you properly sanitize your wine equipment.
Ingredients for a 1 gallon batch of Strawberry wine:
- 4lbs strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 1/2 lbs sugar
- 1 gallon spring water
- 1 tsp acid blend
- 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- 1-2 campden tablets (1 optional during stabilizing)
- 1 packet of Red Star Premier Blanc
- Optional: ½ tsp wine stabilizer of choice
- If using fresh strawberries, rinse them well. It helps to smash them up a bit (easiest in a food processor) and let them sit in the sugar. If using frozen, make sure they’ve thawed to room temperature.
- Fit a large, sanitized pot with a straining bag and fill with your strawberries and sugar. Mash with a potato masher and stir to fully blend.
- Add the water and keep stirring. Heat to a near boil, then lower to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.
- Once 30 minutes are up, stir in the acid blend, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrient (not the yeast).
- Pour the mixture into a sanitized fermentation bucket. Cover with lid and airlock.
- Once at room temperature, stir the mixture and check the gravity. You’ll need this number months from now to calculate your ABV.
- Add crushed Campden tablet and stir thoroughly before re-securing the lid and letting sit for at least 12 hours. The campden tablets will kill any wild yeast or bacteria present in the strawberry wine must.
- After at least 12 hours have passed, add the yeast into the fermenter and re-cover with the lid and airlock.
- Stir daily until gravity drops to 1.020 or below.
- Within the next couple days, you’ll notice yeast activity letting you know your fermentation is well underway. After a week, activity will slow and you can siphon the strawberry wine into a carboy and leave it undisturbed for a month.
- Siphon/rack the wine again to get it off the sediment, into another sanitized carboy, then cap with airlock to leave undisturbed for 2-3 months.
- Rack again, for another 3 months. These steps are repeated to get less and less sediment left behind in your carboy each time.
- After this, when your wine has not shown fermenting activity for about a month (no bubbles or sediment), check your final gravity and move on to bottling.
- Optional (but highly recommended): If stabilizing, add a crushed Campden tablet and potassium sorbate, then wait 2-3 days before bottling.
- Allow the strawberry wine to bottle age at least 6 months before tasting.
Not sure which you’ll be shocked by more; how easy it is to make or how good it tastes. Your strawberry wine will be well worth the wait and your only regret will be that you didn’t make a bigger batch! Making strawberry wine can serve as a favorite Spring or Summer tradition of strawberry picking and making wine to enjoy the next summer, in nearly every region.
Curious about other fruit wines? Check out our other recipes: