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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Homemade Grape Juice & Wine

Until this year, I've never tasted a fresh, vine-ripe Concord grape.  I'm glad that changed.  Delicious! 

A friend of my mother-in-law's invited us to pick a few grapes.  I decided to make juice.

After reading the Ball Blue Book canning directions, I thought the authors must be insane.  That much work?!?

So... knowing there had to be an easier way, I turned to my faithful friend for advice.  She grows grapes, makes juice as well as wine, and if there is a shortcut to be had she will know it.

Sure enough, she had some great shortcuts (just toss 'em all in a stockpot with a bit of water, cook, run through a colander and then sugar to taste!).  Before long, the house smelled like a ripe vineyard.  The smell made our mouths water and our cheeks pucker.

I canned some jars of juice and made popsicles for the boys.  Delish.

A couple of weeks later, I received a call that there were more grapes (as well as pears) available at a nearby farm.  Free for the picking. 

I picked a binful.  Now, I mentioned earlier that my friend makes her own wine.  It's really delicious.  As my husband and I have recently decided to attempt brewing our own beer, I thought we should attempt some wine as well.  Why not?!?

So... we bought the wine kit and ingredients, washed & stemmed the grapes, and put it all into the primary fermenter.  We'll need to add the yeast and then monitor it through the winter, sieving it when necessary. With a bit of luck, we'll have some great wine next spring!

Here is my friend's blog showing her wine-making instructions.  Part 1 and Part 2.  Why not try some yourself?  You can make wine from so many things (including dandelions!).  I'm shivering with excitement here!  It's the little things, I tell ya...


  1. Grape juice is so good. You will enjoy it this winter.

  2. Ha ha, some shortcuts are good, but my "shortcut" with the canning jars didn't turn out so well!

  3. i'm so impressed with your projects! i want to learn all of it!! As of yet, i don't have enough of anything to preserve or conserve, but i'm trying ;)
    keep up the good work!