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jfkriege 03-02-2010 05:02 AM

Red Raspberry Wine
 
I made a batch of raspberry wine last August, and pulled it out to try some tonight. It is crystal clear and a stunning color. It smells of fresh raspberry, and the aroma is great.

The taste is good, but not as smooth as I had hoped. The finish is almost a little bitter or slightly drying in the way that cranberries are drying (but not that much). Is this a normal trait for raspberries? A part of it is the alcohol (it is 16%), but there is something else.

I think the fermentation was fairly clean, and I dont think it is infected at all. I am playing with the idea (depending on what you guys think) of splitting the batch and doing a malolactic fermentation on half to see what that does.

I welcome any feedback or thoughts.

J

summersolstice 03-02-2010 11:30 AM

I've made a few batches of Raspberry wine and mead and it's always turned out somewhat less than I expected though, as you said the color and aroma were good. I just came to the conclusion I didn't really care for a pure raspberry wine. You might try adding a little sugar to a glass or two to see if sweetening improves the smoothness and takes a little of the edge off. Start with a quarter teaspoon at first. That way you'll know to back sweeten next time.

jfkriege 03-02-2010 12:22 PM

I tried to sweeten with some nice locust honey and it improved it greatly. I also threw an ice cube in it (I know it waters it down) to chill it quickly. The cooler temperature also helped take away some of what I was sensing. I just thought I would ask.

MarmotMead 03-03-2010 12:41 AM

I like my wines dry, so backsweetening is heresy to me. YMMV, but I propose an alternative: time.

I just last week opened a red raspberry I made last summer. I loved it, but there's room for improvement. My wife? Not so much. Mine sounds very similar to yours -- awesome color, clarity, strong raspberry aroma. My wife's beef with it was that it had a rough "bramble" flavor to it, by her description. I tasted the fruit...the raspberry-ness of the wine, as it were.

I've had rough edges around wine, but age has helped it. I only opened my raspberry bottle since it was my first batch of it and since someone else opened a bottle of the same batch and called me to give positive reviews. I was curious and snowbound, besides. I think some additional time would really help mine smooth the rough edges -- I am pretty opposed to opening anything on the short side of nine months and I prefer waiting at least a year.

I have made some cyser that was rough early on, but which aged really well. I chalked it up to the honey, but my general experience has been that time makes a big difference with everything I've made. This batch of the raspberry reminded me a bit of the cyser, as well as a blackberry I made last year. Rough edges, but with lots promise early on. Much, much better later.

Set aside a bottle for another 6 months/year and drink some without sweetening. I'd be interested in hearing back on how it turns out.

jfkriege 03-03-2010 01:36 AM

Bramble tasting might be a good description. I spoke with a family member who is an excellent fruit wine maker and he knew exactly what I was talking about. He too thought it was just the fruit flavor.

I think I will let it sit for another 6 months and try it again. I will certainly report back.


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