The old saying goes: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Here in Manitoba, there may not be many lemons. Come September and October, however, there is bound to be an abundance of apples, which means it is time to start making apple wine.
What is Apple Wine?
Apple wine is traditionally a German specialty and typically has an alcohol content of 4.8 to 7 per cent. Since its discovery in the 16th century, apple wine has gained in popularity due to its simple production and the wide range of flavours—from sour to sweet—that can be produced.
The idea of making your own apple wine might be intimidating, but the process is simple and relatively cheap for such a high yield. There are also many health benefits to the refreshing drink. Apple wine is a great substitute to the traditional grape variety, especially for those who are diabetic or counting calories since it is both low caloric and low glycemic. Apple wine also packs a whopping amount of calcium, which makes it one of the few alcoholic beverages that is actually good for your bones. Another benefits include suppressing asthma symptoms, curing diarrhea and easing sore throats.
Where Can I Find It?
If you’re wary about making your own apple wine, there are many options available in liquor stores across Canada. Canada has also added it’s own unique and delicious twist to the wine in the form of apple iced wine. Domain Pinnacle offers a wide selection of varieties from the 2009 Sparkling Iced Cider to the NV Selections Pinnacle, Reflet d’Hiver.
How Should I Serve It?
There are various ways to serve apple wine. Apple wine is historically “a poor man’s drink” and was thus traditionally served in a ribbed glass to prevent the glass slipping from the drinker’s greasy fingers. Today, the wine is often still served in these glasses. Alternatively, sparkling apple wine can be served in champagne glasses.
Apple wine is usually drunk pure with no mixers; however, it can also be served Sauergespritzt, with soda water, Süssgespritzt, with orange soda, or warm with cinnamon and lemon.
OK, I’m Ready to Start Making My Own.
If you’re feeling brave and want to try your hand at making your own apple wine, then there are millions of recipes online. We found the simplest one at the blog Chickens in the Road:
12 pounds apples, mixed varieties
2 pounds (not cups) granulated sugar
1 gallon water
1 teaspoon. pectic enzyme
2 teaspoon acid blend
1/2 packet of wine yeast
Quarter the apples and run them through a grinder. Bring pulp to simmer in 1 gallon of water, holding simmer for 15 minutes. Strain juice onto the sugar in primary fermentation vessel, stirring well to dissolve, then reintroduce the strained pulp and, when cool, the pectic enzyme and acid blend, stirring well. Cover, set in a warm place for 24 hours, then add yeast. Cover, and set in a warm place for four days, stirring twice daily. Strain pulp and pour liquor into secondary fermentation vessel and fit with air lock. Rack when clear and fermentation has ceased. Rack again in 30 days and again in another 30 days, then bottle.