Imperfect Herb Infused Plum Wine

I made some wine last August, which has aged a little so I just went through the process of putting it in individual bottles. Of course I had to try some even though it is not fully aged. It is very sour, but I enjoyed it and tried infusing it with herbs and citrus fruits.

Check out the taste test!

Remembering How I did it

I made this wine pre-blog and don’t remember what I did exactly, so bear with me while I try to give you some clues.

I remember that I poured boiling water over the plums and left them over night. In the morning I squished out the juice with my hands and strained the pulp and seeds. I think I added sugar at this point too and filtered water. I put it in a glass brewing carboy and inoculated it with some champagne yeast I had on hand that I bought from the brewing store.

I’m pretty sure I used this recipe to give me the basic idea: How to Make Plum Wine

  • I know I didn’t do the Campden tablet because it uses sulfites to do it’s work and I am mildly allergic to sulfites. It is a risky move because there could be some random un-tastey yeasts that would survive without the Campden tablet.
  • I did not age the wine very much (9 mos), nor did I use a cork when storing it.
Sangria is Great!

Instead I jumped right into Sangria. I had some leftover dried mandarin oranges. I soaked them in the wine. Initially this worked out pretty well. Probably more sour than most people like, but very juicy and excellent. But then when I left the rinds in too long it became bitter.

Update: The Sangria was amazing, but not universally. Judging by my girlfriend’s lack of enthusiasm for a second glass, I think it is an acquired taste.

I’m going to try putting in some stevia or sugar and see if that helps next time.

Herbs Steeped in Wine (Taste Test Alert)

I have been doing a lot of reading about herbal remedies and tinctures. I have a lot of herbs in my garden, so I tried a bunch of different ones in the plum wine.

What interesting flavors appeared after just 5 days of steeping. Here is my unprofessional taste test results:

  • Rosemary: terrible, don’t do this one
  • Sage: amazingly good, but weird
  • Orange Mint: Very minty – this process really brings out the mint flavor
  • Lemon Balm: also very bad
  • Elderberry Flowers and Lemon Zest: surprisingly funky taste
  • Lavender: tasty but weird floral flavor

Good luck with your own wine steep — it is fun. I wouldn’t waste good store bought wine in this endeavor, at least not initially, but because I had 5 gallons of home made wine on my hands, I though it would be fun to try.

Free! Plums, Herbs and Mandarin slices that would never have been used, so Great!

I did purchase the Champagne Yeast. I could have taken my chances with yeasts floating in the environment. I did that with a ginger drink once and it worked nicely. With the plum wine, though, I decided not be too risky since it was a 5 gallon (not quart sized) ferment.

Girlfriend was used to my sweeter offerings of plum liquor and did not seem to like the very sour wine. I enjoyed it once I got used to it being so sour, but for a Sangria, I will definitely add some sugar next time.

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