Plums are one of the best summer stone fruits you can eat. They are juicy, sweet, and indulgent with an unmistakable flavor.
There are lots of things that you can do with plums – plum pie, plum crumble, plum cake, and stewed plums. But perhaps the best recipe to try out is a delicious plum wine.
And you can make plum wine at home… it is an easy and fantastic drink to enjoy in the summer months, but also into the fall and winter too.
You can impress your family and friends by serving homemade plum wine at dinner parties or special gatherings, or even bottle it to give as a gift.
If you want to know how to make plum wine then you are in the right place. We have put together this useful information about plum wine and a great recipe for you to try out at home.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Plum Wine?
When we refer to plum wine we are talking about a homemade alcoholic drink made from fermented plums. It is different from the kind of wine you buy, as it has no grapes in it.
You need quite a lot of plums to make plum wine. It is best to make plum wine when the plums are in season in your local area.
If you make it out of season then you will need to buy a large quantity of plums that have been imported from another area, which will be very expensive.
Choosing The Right Plum
The plums that you use will have a big impact on the flavor, sweetness and color of the wine that you make.
You should choose a plum variety with a flavor profile that you enjoy, as this will be the main flavor in the wine.
The sweeter and juicier the plums, the nicer the wine will be. Plum wine is supposed to be sweet rather than dry, so the plums should have a high sugar content.
The juicier the plums the more wine you will be able to make.
The color of the plums will directly affect the color of the Wine. A dark variety of the plum that is almost black in color will produce a wine that is rich and dark in appearance.
A paler plum will produce a wine that has more of a blush color.
Preparing The Plums
Before you begin making your wine you will need to make sure that the plums are prepared properly. Carefully inspect the plums and do not use any that are heavily bruised or have gone bad.
Don’t throw the bruised plums away- you can use them for something else like a dessert or jam.
Wash the plums and remove the stem, but do not remove the skin. The skin of the plums is what will give the wine its color and will also contribute some of the tannin.
You will need to remove the stones before you can use the plums. Do this by cutting each plum into quarters.
Chop the plums over a mixing bowl or a jug so that you can save all of the delicious juice and add it back into the wine.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Whilst the method for making plum wine is fairly straightforward, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment or it will not turn out well.
If you are new to making wine at home then you will probably need to buy some of these items, as they are not things you tend to find in a standard kitchen:
- Fermenting bucket – This recipe makes one gallon of wine, so make sure that you have a big enough bucket
- Demijohn – This is a jug type container that is useful in the fermenting process
- Medium Pan – Part of the recipe involves heating water on a stove
- Funnel and Siphon – These are important for moving the liquid between containers without any waste
- Potato masher – This will be used to help break up the plums to release more flavor
- Straining bag – make sure you choose a fine straining bag so there is no debris left in your wine
- Airlock and bung- This is important for sealing the container
What Ingredients Do You Need?
Here are the ingredients you need to make your own plum wine:
- 1.8kg of prepared plums
- 3.9 liters of water
- 1.2kg sugar
- ¼ Teaspoon of tannin
- ¼ teaspoon of acid
- 1 teaspoon pectic enzyme
- 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
- 1 sachet of wine yeast
- 1 campden tablet
Start by sanitizing your bucket, then place the straining bag inside, Put the plums into the bag and use the potato masher to mash them up and release the juices.
Add the juices that you collected while you were preparing the plums.
The next step is to dissolve the sugar into the water. This should be done in a pan on the stove. Do it slowly so the sugar doesn’t burn, as burnt sugar will ruin the flavor of the wine.
Once the sugar is completely dissolved, pour the water over the plums. The heat from the water will continue to break down the plums.
Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature you can add the yeast nutrient, the acid, the tannin, and the campden tablet.
Mix them in with the plums and then leave the mixture for 12 hours. You can then add the pectin enzyme and mix that in.
24 hours after adding the pectin enzyme you can add the sachet of yeast, Sprinkle it on the surface of the water. Stir the mixture every day for a week while the fermentation process takes place.
After a week of fermentation you can drain the liquid by lifting the straining bag out of the bucket. Make sure you leave enough time for all of the liquid to drip back into the bucket.
Leave the liquid to settle for a few days, then transfer it into a sanitized demijohn. It should stay undisturbed in the demijohn for at least a month.
You will know when it is time to re-bottle the wine as it will become clearer and the sediment will build up at the bottom of the demijohn.
Transfer the wine into a clean demijohn and leave it for around 5 months before you drink it. You can leave it much longer if you prefer.
Making plum wine at home is very simple. Make sure you choose the right variety of plums and you are patient – don’t rush the fermentation process or the settling time.