Blackcurrant Wine Recipe

Our allotment blackcurrant bushes have produced a wonderful crop this year. Much as I love making jam, we rarely eat it. So instead, I dug out a Blackcurrant Wine Recipe. It is bubbling away right now.

Blackcurrant wine

Whilst we've made a lot of wines, beers and ciders over the years, I haven't made blackcurrant wine before. I have a lot of old books about wine making, and have consistently read that blackcurrant wine is one of the nicest country wines.

We started ours a week or so ago and it is now 'blooping' in the demijohn. The blackcurrant wine is a stunning colour and smells delicious. So I'm very optimistic about this one...

Blackcurrants

Blackcurrant Wine Recipe

Ingredients

Equipment

If you haven't yet got any wine making equipment, you don't need to spend a lot of money.

To start with you just need a bucket, a potato masher, a tea towel and a non metallic spoon. A few days after that you'll need a demijohn (ask around the family, someone's probably got one in their garage - more about sourcing glass demijohns here), a sieve and some muslin. The only bit of proper wine making equipment you can't get away without having then is an airlock and bung, which allows air out of the demijohn when your wine is fermenting but doesn't allow air and fruit flies in.

The most important thing is that you clean and sterilise everything. Bad bacteria is your homemade wine's worst enemy.

If you prefer, you can invest in a bit of wine making equipment. We sell a Wine Making Starter Kit in the shop which is very popular, if you plan to make more wine it's probably worth getting one as you can re-use it again and again. Plus it's suitable for making beer and cider too!

Method

Sterilise everything that's coming into direct contact with your wine today, so the bucket, potato masher and non metallic spoon.

Remove the stems and leaves from the blackcurrants and rinse them well, I did it in a sieve under the tap in batches. Put them in the bucket and mash with the potato masher.

Boil the water, add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. When it's at room temperature, add the water to the blackcurrants in the bucket and stir. Mix in the pectolase (which still stop the fruit making your wine cloudy) and yeast nutrient.

Then sprinkle over the contents of the yeast sachet, and stir well. You'll notice after a few hours that the blackcurrants and yeast form a crust on the top of the liquid, this is normal and you will be dispersing it regularly by stirring.

Cover the bucket with a clean tea towel and put it somewhere relatively warm for about 5 days. Give it a stir twice a day. Rather than sterilising the spoon every day which is a bit of a faff, I boil a kettle and give the spoon a good soak under boiling water before I use it. If you're stirring more than one wine each day (I happen to have strawberry on the go at the same time), then pour boiling water over the spoon in between wines to avoid any cross contamination.

5 days later

After 5 days, sterilise your demijohn, airlock & bung, and a large funnel. Strain the blackcurrants through the muslin into the demijohn via the sieve. I attach the muslin to the sieve with pegs to keep it in place, otherwise you need about 4 pairs of hands :)

Leave about 3 cm of space at the top of the demijohn to allow for fermentation. If for some reason you don't have enough liquid to reach that far up, top up with cold boiled or spring water.

Add water to the airlock, and fit the airlock and bung to the demijohn.

Your wine will now continue to ferment and, after a few hours, you'll notice air bubbles coming out of the airlock.

Leave for about a month, by which time the fermentation will likely have stopped. If it hasn't, leave until it has.

One month later

You now need to move the wine from the sediment, known as 'racking'. If you have a second demijohn, then you can simply transfer the wine from the first to the second using a syphon, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the first demijohn. If you don't, then sterilise your original bucket, transfer the wine (minus the sediment) into that. Discard the sediment, clean and sterilise your demijohn and then transfer the wine back into it.

Crush your campden tablet, add it to the wine. Re-sterilise the airlock and bung, top up with a little boiled or spring water if necessary, fit the airlock and leave the demijohn for about 6 months, ideally in a dark place (and certainly not in direct sunlight as that will spoil the colour).

6 months later

Now you're ready to bottle your blackcurrant wine, ideally in dark glass bottles rather than clear to protect the colour. Again ensure that everything is sterilised, including the bottles themselves.

I strongly recommend that you label your wine all the way through, saying the date that you did it. I know you think you'll remember but trust me: you won't !

One thing that I have consistently read is that blackcurrant wine needs to sit for at least 6 months in the bottle, ideally longer, as this is a wine that improves with age.

So we plan to do that.

Blackcurrant Wine Recipe 

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8 comments

  • Hi Jason, absolutely you can freeze the fruit and make the wine later. I end up doing that most years when I make fruit from blackcurrants and blackberries in particular, as they all ripen at different times. If I wait until they’re all ripe at the allotment, one day I’ll walk up to pick them to find the birds have had the lot :) . When I’m foraging for blackberries, I tend to get a few at a time from all over the place. Pop them in the freezer well covered so they don’t get freezer burn, keep adding to the container as you have more and then use them when you’re ready. Good luck!

    Bev
  • Can I harvest the fruit then freeze it and make the wine at a latter date ?

    Jason Hulse
  • Hi Les, if you mean concentrated grape juice alongside your fresh blackcurrants, yes you can. Adding grape juice concentrate to any homemade fruit wine helps to give it body. If you mean can you make it from a blackcurrant cordial like Ribena, I believe you can do that too. If you search the web you will find many recipes for Ribena wine, though I haven’t tried it. Yet :)

    Bev
  • Hi can I use consantrate juice to make blackcurrant wine.

    Les john
  • Thanks for the great question Cristina. With these beautiful fruit wines, it is recommended that you store them long term in a dark place, ideally bottling them in dark glass which is why red wine doesn’t come in clear bottles.

    Bev

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