We had three things to do with our wine this weekend. First, we bottled the strawberry. I must say, it’s amazing how much of its strawberry flavor it retained. It wasn’t quite a clear as I would have liked, but strawberry is hard. The berries are so soft they leave a lot of pulp in the wine. We thought about filtering it, but the exposure to oxygen makes that too big of a risk of it going bad.
We racked our raspberry grape. This batch is one that is intended to be a sweeter, dessert wine. We will keep racking and adding sugar until it quits fermenting with the addition. Last time, we tasted it, and we decided it had a decidedly cough syrup flavor. This time, it started with the cough syrup flavor, but it ended with a delightful raspberry taste. I am confident that it will continue to get better. It is really amazing to watch the change it goes through from fresh fruit to finished product.
The second wine we racked (and stabilized) was pumpkin III. It is the exact same recipe as our first pumpkin wine that was so clear and complex in its flavor. I used the exact same measurements in both batches. This one was way different. To start, the volume of wine produced was way off. The second one had about half as much. The color was the next difference. As I said, pumpkin I was very clear. Pumpkin III is golden with a slight green tint. The smell was completely different. The first smelled like a lovely wine. The other smelled faintly of alcohol and pumpkin. Finally, the first is a delicious semi-sweet table wine and the pumpkin III even tastes like pumpkin. Weird.
It just illustrates one of the pitfalls of making small batches of wine. It’s one of the things the make if fun. Each batch of pumpkin wine was made from one pumpkin. The first was very easy to peel and grate. The second was horrible to peel, and it broke my food processor. I’m not sure we can ever get good enough to pick the pumpkin we want for a specific flavor. The blending of large numbers of raw fruits gives a more consistent outcome. I’m not sure, however, that I want to make a fifty gallon drum of pumpkin wine. Well, maybe if it turns out like the first batch!