Fruit Wines: The Perfect Gift for Mother’s Day

Did you know over 60% of wine consumers are women?

Fruity wine flavors

While we’re not entirely surprised, it’s a pretty staggering number. From wine tasting groups to girl’s night out, women are finding all kinds of reasons to

 indulge in this timeless drink. 

As winemakers continue to experiment with varietals, tannins and flavors, many have started to explore other fruit based mixtures. Fruit wine is wine made from fruit other than fermented grapes or grape juice.

This fun new wine makes a great Mother’s Day gift or an exciting kick off for warmer weather!

Choosing Your Fruit

Depending on the time of year, there are plenty of fruits to choose from when buying or making your wine. Fruit seasonality and their fermentation period should be considered when selecting your fruit.

Here’s a guide to help you pick the perfect fruit wine for Mom or yourself:

SPRING FRUITS

  • Strawberries: A sweeter wine – long fermentation period.
  • Cherries: Bold flavor that can be as sweet/sour as you like – long fermentation period

SUMMER FRUITS

  • Blackberries: Bold red wine that tastes great when blended with apples. 2 years to age.
  • Blueberries: Creates a light rose wine – short fermentation period.
  • Peaches: White wine with a great aroma – short fermentation period.
  • Plums: Rich color and flavor – short fermentation period.

FALL FRUITs

  • Apples: A light white wine. Great base for blending wines – 2 years to age alone.

Now that you’ve chosen your fruit, let’s start wine making!

How to Make Fruit Wines

Gifting this to Mom or that special woman in your life? Try making fruit wine from scratch.

Similar to making regular wine, there are many recipes for any skill level. We’ve got a great general recipe to get you started.

What You’ll Need:

Ingredients:

  • Fruit of your choice
  • Wine yeast
  • Sugar

Tools:

  • 2 glass containers – 1 for primary and secondary fermentation
  • Fermentation bag
  • Wine bottle

Optional Supplies:

  • Hydrometer
  • Tartaric
  • Citric/malic acids for better balance and quality

Instructions:

Step One:

  • Mix sugar, water, and your cut up fruit into a fermentation bag, cover it with a towel and let it sit for a day.

Step Two:

  • Add the yeast, and replace the towel covering it. Squish the bag once a day, and let this sit for another 5 days.

Step Three:

  • Drain all the liquid from the fruit and place into the carboy. Cap with an airlock for proper fermentation
    • You can use a siphon tube for more accuracy, but if you don’t have one it’s fine

Step Four:

  • Store this in a cool and dark place for another month before repeating the fermentation process.

Step Five:

  • Once all the bubbles are gone, you can pour the wine into your glass bottle and seal it with a cork!

Congrats! You’ve made your first bottle of fruit wine.

Whether you’re buying or making fruit wine, it’s sure to be a fun experience for all. And if you’re giving to Mom, or even creating with Mom, it’ll be a fun way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Cheers!

How to Make Mulled Wine this Holiday Season

The holidays are here! mulled wine

That means cold weather, cozy nights, and non-stop festivities until the new year. If you’re looking for a recipe to show off and impress guests, we have the perfect wine for you.

Start the season by making a batch of mulled wine. It’ll warm your fingers, toes and the hearts of others – ‘tis the season after all.

What is Mulled Wine and How Do I Make It?

Historically, mulled wine has been used to repurpose harvest leftovers, warm the body during the cold months, and “heal” with its spices. The holiday drink we know and love today is really a product of Victorian England, with authors like Charles Dickens writing about mulled wine in “A Christmas Carol”. 

As a time-honored tradition, mulled wine will keep guests warm and satisfied throughout the holidays. It may sound complex, but it’s surprisingly easy to make, and a guaranteed crowd-pleasing cocktail. 

First things first. Make sure your pantry is stocked with these items: 

  • Your favorite wine – this is also a great time to show off your skills with your own handcrafted wine!
  • Mulling spices (details on these later)
  • A large pot or slow cooker 
  • Something to serve your drinks in
  • Optional: A snack pairing
  • Optional: Mulled wine pairs well with a partner – feel free to add extra booze. 
    • Spirits like brandy, cognac and gin will spice things up!

WARNING: Mull with caution 

  • Do NOT BOIL your mixture. This can spoil your drink. 
  • Whether you are buying or making your wine, make sure it’s not too heavily oaked to avoid bitterness.

What Type of Wine Should I Use?

As you’re getting your list together you may be wondering what type of wine is the best to use. Thankfully, almost any variety will do. The only catch is that some mulling spices pair better with certain wines than others. 

Tip: if you’re purchasing wine from a store, it’s perfectly fine (and encouraged) to use cheaper wines for mulling. More expensive, complex wines often lose their intricate notes in the mulling process.

What Spices Should I Use?

If you’ve taken a look at a few recipes, you’ve probably noticed some common spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Oranges
  • Star Anise 
  • Honey 
  • Some sort of extra liquor

All of these are staples, but they are not set in stone. Have fun with your recipes and explore adding different fruits and spices to your wine. And if you’re short on time, some retailers sell premade mulling spice mixes like this one

Mulled Red Wine 

The classic mulled wine is a dry, red variety- Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet, pick your preference. You can make mulled red wine as simple or complicated as you’d like (though we prefer simple so you have time to prep other things). 

Spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Oranges
  • Honey
  • Star Anise

Here’s an easy mulled wine recipe to get you started!

Mulled White Wine 

While using white wine isn’t as common, some lean towards a lighter taste (think Viognier, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio depending on the recipe). With this variation of mulled wine, winter fruits such as pomegranate, cranberries and oranges stand out in flavor and presentation.

Spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Oranges
  • Honey
  • Star Anise
  • Lemons
  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranates 

For an extra kick, try spicing things up with this Apple Mulled White Wine recipe.

Mulled Rosé

Forget “Rosé All Day” as the exclusive summer mantra. We believe it’s a year round affair. Rosé is no longer reserved for warm months only – it now has a special place in your holiday drink rotation. Plus, a pink drink feels fun for every festivity. 

Spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Star Anise
  • Organes
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Ginger

Dazzle your guests by serving this whimsical cocktail that’s just as easy to make as the traditional stuff.

How to Serve Mulled Wine

You’ve made your very first batch of mulled wine. Congrats! Now, let’s find something to serve it in and with.

Mugs vs Glasses

Since mulled wine is mostly served warm, many opt for serving in mugs because they keep it warmer longer. However, if you’re focused on a nice presentation use glass mugs, double-wall glasses or special mulled wine glasses. Add a little flare by topping it off with a fresh piece of fruit used in your recipe, or a cinnamon stick. Going the extra mile here will make a lasting impression on your guests and elevate your drink.

Mulled Wine Pairings

Looking for the perfect dish or appetizer to serve with your impressive creation? Here are some ideas to pair with your mulled wine.

  • Cheese board 
    • If you are pairing with something sweet, consider Roquefort, Bleu Cheese, Gorgonzola, or Comté – they’ll bring out the cinnamon and clove notes!
  • Spiced nuts
  • Fondue 
  • Mince pies  – if you’re feeling fancy!

It’s official. You are now a mulled wine connoisseur! We hope you enjoy sipping your cocktail as you share your recipe with friends and family. 

Cheers!

3 Refreshing Wine Cooler Recipes that Will Get You Excited for Summer

Summer is right around the corner and there is nothing sweeter, or more refreshing, than a nice homemade wine cooler during the scorching months of the year. Here is a recipe that is quick and tasteful for any wine lover. This recipe can also be interchangeable with any of our wine recipes  to add more flavor to your cooler.
Whether its laying by the pool or enjoying a drink with some friends in the evening- here are three wine cooler recipes that will have your taste buds thanking you:
Tropical Pineapple Twist Cooler
Ingredients:

Directions:
Combine the wine, juice, and club soda. Fill a tall glass with ice and a lime wedge and then pour the contents of your drink and enjoy. The serving size is for a single glass but can be modified with a higher quantity of ingredients for a larger serving size.
This recipe is simple and takes little to no time unless you decide to chill the finished product for a few hours. Club soda will add a nice carbonated fizz to your cooler and our pineapple wine recipe will enhance the fruit flavor and give a more distinct taste. Other wine suggestions include a dry Riesling or pinot grigio. If you decide to use the pineapple wine recipe, cranberry juice can offset the pineapple but boost the citrus taste.
Strawberry Banana Refresher
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 750 ml. bottle of wine (Recommended- banana wine recipe or sauvignon blanc)
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Directions:
Mix together the strawberries and sugar and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. In a blender, puree the strawberries until smooth and add the bottle of wine. Once the mixture is smooth and well blended pour contents into a large glass and serve chilled over ice. You can also add cut up strawberries or blueberries to enrich the flavor and the appearance. These ingredients make up to 4 servings.
Adding the banana wine recipe to this Strawberry Banana Refresher adds to the bare strawberry puree and combines the flavors to have you going back for more. Strawberry Banana is a classic combo and trying out this homemade recipe will have you feeling rejuvenated and confident to test out new recipes on your own.
Ginger Lime Cooler
Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. wine (Recommend Ginger Root Wine or White Wine)
  • 1-part lemon-lime soda
  • 1-part Ginger ale

Directions:
Mix all three ingredients and let chill in refrigerator. Once mixture is cool, serve over ice and enjoy. Ingredients yield 1 serving.
This quick fixture is a take on the modern Moscow Mule (without the vodka, obviously). Our ginger root wine recipe adds tang to the creation and is balanced with the combination of ginger ale and sprite. This option is not as sweet as the Tropical Pineapple or Strawberry Banana, so it aids as a nice refreshing drink for those who enjoy a less fruity cocktail.
These fresh wine cooler recipes are great cocktails to serve when friends and family are over and will save you from the summer heat. If you are new to wine making or want to branch out from the recipes provided, check out our homemade wine options for a larger variety to include in your wine coolers.
Are there any wine cooler recipes that you recommend? Please share in the comments below!

Springtime Wines

Image Courtesy of https://www.toledo.com/


Springtime is finally in full gear, and before we know it summer will be right around the corner. With the season warming up, we thought it was appropriate to share some of our favorite springtime wines (and food pairings!). So pull out the wine making kits, sit back, and relax as we spill our best-kept springtime secrets for wine.
 
Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc and other Sauvignon blends make the perfect springtime wine. Sauvignon blends have become exceedingly popular due to their extensive variety and unmatched quality for an unbeatable price. Sauvignon blends generally give off a hint of citrus, lime, and crisp fruits, while always providing a fresh taste. Pairs well with light springtime meals including: seafood dishes, asparagus, and goat cheese.
 
Prosecco: Often a summertime favorite, Prosecco is a soft wine loved by many. Similar in taste to champagne, but with less of an edge, Prosecco is a charming and sparkling alternative. Drink poolside and mix with an assortment of fresh berries and fruits!
 
Pinot Grigio: Quality Pinot Grigio is a must-have for summer. This minerally white wine is light but not too thin. We suggest pairing this crisp wine with an Italian meal, preferably light pastas or with tomato-based sauces.
 
Grüner Veltliner:This white wine has an unmatched crisp-ness that is toned down with fruit flavors such as nectarine and grapefruit. Some versions are light-bodied, while others produce a more concentrated richness. This wine matches best with foods with an Asian influence, such as noodles, salad dishes, and spring rolls.
 
Spring is a great time of the year to pull out the wine making equipment, and create a seasonal favorite of your own. Mix and match to find your very own perfect wine pairing. Trouble figuring out what to do for a springtime recipe? Check out our recipe page to get started. Happy wine making!