Lately I have been pondering pomegranate winemaking. Normally, my scope of production is larger scale for commercial markets and I know that the potential for well made pomegranate wine is huge. This is true, not only because it can taste great, has an “exotic” attraction to it but also because it is a very healthy wine too. But today I wish to look at making this wine for personal use as well because I think everyone should try some of this wonderful elixir!
The word pomegranate is derived from French “pome garnete” and means “seeded apple.” There are over 800 seeds in one pomegranate, they’re tasty but difficult to eat with all the layers between the seeds. I think the wine version can be more fun!
The history behind the pomegranate is also quite interesting. The fruit has been used throughout history as symbols of fertility, hope, and royalty. In Greek Mythology, they believe that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, planted it on the isle of Cyprus. Due to the number of seeds in each pomegranate the fruit was connected with procreation and abundance.
Pomegranate’s health benefits are almost legendary. Basically, a 100 ml of pomegranate juice has 3 times the antioxidants of 100 ml of red wine or 100 ml of green tea. Research has stated that if you eat pomegranates on a daily basis, the fruit’s antioxidants can help prevent hardening of the arteries.
Today I thought I would post a simple wine pomegranate wine recipe for all amateur winemakers and commercial producers thinking about experimenting with this wonderful fruit. In many parts of the world such as India, parts of SE Asia and Southern China, the fruit is now coming into season so, this is another reason to start thinking about trying out this wine.
Here are the ingredients needed for this basic and simple pomegranate wine recipe for 4 liters of finished wine:
– 6 pomegranates
– 500g of raisins or 500ml of red grape concentrate
– 1 kg granulated sugar
– 10g of acid blend or just malic acid
– 5g pectic enzyme
– 10g yeast nutrient or diamonium phosphate
– 2-3g of metabisulphite or 5 campden tablet (this is an approximate amount)
– 1 package wine yeast (ideally Lalvin 71B)
Split open pomegranates. Remove seeds, make sure none of the skin or pith get into the wine, or it will be bitter and will take years to age.
Crush the fruit. Add 3 liters of water and all other ingredients except the yeast. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Let sit overnight.
Specific gravity should be between 1.090 and 1.095. The acid level should be approximately 7g/L.
Adjust both the sugar or acid with more sugar, acid or water if needed. Rehydrate the yeast and add to the wine once the must is adjusted to the right level. Stir daily for five or six days, until specific gravity is 1.050.
Strain the must and squeeze the juice out lightly so not too much tannin escapes from the seeds. Siphon into secondary fermentor and continue the fermentation.
Complete the fermentation to dryness, rack a couple of times, fine with bentonite and gelatin. Make sure the wine is stable with enough SO2 and then filter if you need to after at least 4 months.
Prior to bottling, you can adjust the final sweetness to taste but in my opinion, this kind of wine is best as an “off-dry” style with a specific gravity of about 1.008-1.010 at bottling. Make sure that the FSO2 is about 50ppm and maybe add about 180ppm of sorbic acid to a sweetened wine to make sure the wine will have no chance at re-fermenting, especially if you do not have the ability to sterile filter the wine.
The wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for one full year from the date it was started.
Pomegranates come in different sizes. If you use 6 large fruit you will have a fuller-bodied wine than if you used 6 smaller fruit. The wine made with smaller fruit will not take as long to age.
Again, this is a very basic recipe but with it, it will give you a base to start something and maybe tweak it next time with what was learned.
If you need or are thinking about making larger production sizes, let me know, maybe I can help! I would love to hear from anyone else who has tried making this wine or enjoys drinking it.