I just bottled a batch of cider that I've been afraid I'd screwed up badly. I started out with two gallons of unpasteurized, unsweetened apple cider, and a half gallon of unpasteurized, unsweetened "tart" apple cider. I added 2 cups XLDME and a packet of rehydrated Nottingham yeast from "that" batch. That was it-- no pectin, no campden, no nutrient, no nuthin'. It sat 4 weeks in the primary fermenter doing its thing until I accidentally froze the whole thing solid for probably two or three days. (Long story for a different day.) I allowed the primary to thaw, and several days later I racked it over to secondary. I figured I had just killed all my yeast and was looking to get the liquid off the yeast cake.
The cider sat in secondary for about 10 weeks while it cleared. Today I bottled it. The sample I tried was quite dry and smooth, with a strong apple character. It reminds me of a Chardonnay or an off-dry Pino Grigio with strong apple notes. On a lark, I added 1/2 cup table sugar (boiled, sterilized, etc.) to either back-sweeten or prime. It's bottled in green 12 oz beer bottles.
Whatever it is I've ended up with, it's really good! But what is it? Is this a cider? Is it a wine? Is there a risk of this going 'bad' and should I drink it quickly, or should I let it sit and mellow? Is there any chance there is any yeast left active and this batch will carbonate?
I also wanted to add, "Cheers" to Revy and the rest of you sages for all those threads advising us to wait our mistakes out! Otherwise I might have dumped the whole thing when it froze.