Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet Grape Wine

This is quite a common drink made in Catholic Houses in Kerala especially for festivities like Christmas and Easter, or any family functions. It is best had with rich plum cake.
The kerala christian variety is a typical wine recipe, but the fermentation is less ( before all the sugar turns into alcohol) and grapes and sugar are in equal quantity, becuase of which there is a sweet taste.
Wine Making is practiced as quite an extensive affair in many parts of the world. It is actually a lot of fun and can be made into a whole family fun activity. Since it is usually made for festivals or functions like wedding and needs to be made well in advance, it is something that everyone looks forward to.
There are many varieties of wine, depending on levels of fermentation, color, ingredients and so on. The most common amongst which is grape wine, but varieties like gooseberry, ginger, rose apple, apple, pineapple , cranberry, plum etc are also getting popular. A friend of mine was saying that her mother makes it from shoeflower petals too ! There is even a branch of science called enology that deals with techniques of wine making

• 1 kg dark blue or purple or black, seedless grapes
• 1 kg sugar

• 1 Egg White, beaten
• 2tsp Yeast ( active dry yeast)
• 500 gm wheat kernels (Godhambu)
• 4 Liters water, boiled and cooled completely
• Cinnamom bark powdered ( 1 Tbsp)
• Cloves ( 3 or 4 )

Take a Glass/Ceramic jar with a tight lid ( should contain atleast 4 KG ), mash the grapes well with your hand or a wooden spatula till the juice is well extracted and add all the other ingredients. Keep the jar in a dark, humid place ( cellars, kitchen cupboards). After adding all the ingredients, there should be sufficient space for fermentation.
Stir the mixture every day or alternate day. As a reminder I had kept a Post-It on my fridge. This is quite important as the jar may break and mess up your kitchen.
Initially the grapes would be floating on top, after about 2 weeks they settle down over the wheat kernels.
After 21 days, strain the mixture in a muslin cloth. Keep the strained mixture for another 2 days, till the sediments settle.. Strain again and store in glass bottles.
Best served slightly chilled either in long/short stemmed wide mouthed wine glasses as  apertiff.

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