Can You Tell Me How To Make Natural Wine?


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Steve Theunissen Profile
If you want a fine wine, obtain a pound or two of ripe purple or black grapes. They will have a whitish film on them. From the way it looks, most people think that this is insecticide. It is not. It is a natural, dormant yeast, just waiting to start fermenting the juice of the grape. It is the secret of natural wine. One may want to rinse the grapes off with water, but do not wash off or rub off this whitish powderlike or filmlike substance.

Now, pick the grapes off the stems, throwing away any that are unripe or spoiled. If a blender is available, liquefy the grapes in it by turning on the blender and immediately turning it off again; do this several times. This prevents breaking up the seeds. If a blender is not available, after washing your hands thoroughly and making sure that all the soap is rinsed off, mash the grapes in a large bowl with your hands. Do not add water, sugar or any other ingredient.

Pour the resulting mass—skins, seeds, pulp, juice and all—into a large-mouthed bottle. Place a plastic bag over the mouth of the bottle and secure it tightly around the neck of the bottle with a rubber band. Place the bottle where the temperature will stay between 60 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees and 26.6 degrees Celsius), 75 degrees (23.8 Celsius) being most favorable.

Then wait. Eventually bubbles will begin to form and will gradually work their way to the top of the mass. This gas will force its way past the rubber-band seal and waft a delightful aroma to your nostrils—in due time. The bubbles are evidence that fermentation is taking place. The juice will gradually take on its characteristic color. A whitish substance may form on top of the mass. Do not worry about it. Everything is all right.

After two weeks the formation of bubbles should have ceased. Now you can open the bottle and pour the juice through a clean cloth into a large bowl. Squeeze the rest of the liquid out of the mass through the cloth. Now put the wine into a bottle. It will still be murky and will have particles in it. However, it could be used at this time if necessary, so go ahead and taste it. Is it good? It will improve with age.

So set the well-capped bottle aside and leave it alone. The longer it sits, the more the particles will settle to the bottom. In a month the wine should have cleared up considerably. The taste will have improved, and the wine should look good. But beware, if the wine continues to ferment, the bottle may explode.

The wine is now ready to be siphoned off into another bottle, which is the easiest way not to get the settlings into the next bottle. However, one can do almost as well with careful pouring. This homemade wine, a dry wine, is best kept under refrigeration. It will continue to clear itself as it sits in the refrigerator. If refrigeration is not available, be sure that the bottle is well sealed.

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