Making fruit wine has quickly become one of my favorite summer things. I initially got into it via dandelion wine -- my gateway home hooch. Next up was hard cider (although not a wine it's a home fermented beverage that's similar to DIY wine) and this summer I got to bottle both my first attempts at homemade cherry wine and now plum wine.
I made the plum wine with Sandor Ellix Katz's recipe (check out my abdriged version of that here) last summer with some of our sideyard plums and it's been sitting pretty in the utility room ever since. After the initial ferment in a food-grade bucket I funneled it into a three-gallon glass carboy. A few months later I racked it but other than that it's just been doing its thing. Until I bottled it this weekend that is.
***Just so you know I've been using about half the called for sugar when the fruit is good and sweet and the wine has been tasty.***
I thought it would be good but I had no idea it'd be this freaking good. It's tart, dry and tastes like a perfect plum. Except better. And alcoholic. We're not sure what kind of plums they are but they look like these cherry plums.
Everything that makes these plums not so great as fresh eating plums -- small fruit to pit ratio, very sour and slightly bitter skin, not so sweet flesh -- makes them perfect for wine. Most of the sugar and sweetness is fermented off and the sour and bitter of the skin adds character and body.
This year is the first year that our front yard Brooks Plum is significantly fruiting -- we planted it three years ago -- so I started a batch of plum wine this week out of those. I'll be sure to let you know how that is about this time next year.
All you need is a two gallons of plums to make 10-plus bottles of tasty plum wine. What are you waiting for?