Historically speaking, the best fruit for fruit wine is plucked fresh from the field, vine, or tree. Rub the dirt off & get yours from a nearby farmer or grow it in your own backyard. This ensures the fruit you use is in season & well ripened. Plus, you get the added benefit of experiencing the native terroir of your geographic region & buying or selling locally sourced fruit also supports your community.
Buying Fruit For Fruit Wine
Fruit from supermarkets isn’t always ideal for making fruit wine. They are often picked days before ripening to avoid rotting or decomposition during transport. This process gives the fruit a longer shelf life. Unfortunately, that means the fruit has less than half of its potential sugar content and consequently contains hardly any of the flavor.
If you have to buy from a grocery store, use frozen fruit. It’s usually harvested much closer to ripeness and frozen immediately after to maximize freshness. This process ensures a more natural and mature flavor to develop within the fruit. Buying frozen fruit also gives you more diversity to select from and can provide you with fruit that isn’t available in your region. The best frozen fruits for fruit wine are blueberries, raspberries, peaches, mangoes, & pineapples.
Fruit Wine Recipes
There is no set standard to creating a successful fruit wine recipe. To achieve a heavy bodied sweet wine simply add more fruit. To create lighter wines with a more delicate flavor just add less fruit. You'll want to get between 3 to 6 pounds of fruit per gallon of wine. When using this measurement scale keep in mind the strength of flavor within the fruit. Water rich fruits like pears or watermelons would be at the top of this scale, while something really intense, like elderberries will be much lower.
If you don’t live in a region where you can grow your own fruit or buy from a local farmer we highly recommend fruit purees when making fruit wine.