From Emma Christensen's "True Brews" book, I'm trying her Sparkling Sour Cherry Wine recipe. For a 1 gallon batch:
14 cups water
2 1/4 cups white granulated sugar
4 lbs sour cherries (pitted & chopped, immersed in mesh bag inside the sugar water - pits may be included for nuttier flavor, but do include trace amounts of arsenic)
1 Campden tablet - crush & use to sterilize the cherry sugar water mixture.
24 hrs later, add champagne yeast starter, plus 1 tsp yeast nutrient, 1/2 tsp acid blend, 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme, 1/8 tsp tannin.
Cover, air lock, & ferment for 1 wk, rack (remove & squeeze mesh bag) & ferment somewhere cool & dark for 1 month. Add 3Tbsp corn sugar dissolved in 1/2 boiling water, mix & bottle.
Predicted ABV 10%. Use less sugar for lower alcohol content.
I am currently trying this but using 1/2 c sour cherry juice concentrate instead of fruit, as i have not been able to find sour cherries in Houston, and Montrachet Dry Wine Yeast. Will post preliminary results in about a month.
As mentioned above, I tried Emma Christensen's recipe last August. It might have been fine if I hadn't screwed with it. I used the concentrate and that left me guessing at the proper juice equivalent for the fruit. But I trusted my math at first (1/2 c for a 1 gallon batch) even though I thought my must tasted too cherry-like. A week later the cherry flavor was far too subdued. So... I doubled up on the cherry concentrate to amp up the cherry flavor. Big mistake. Now it tastes like an alcoholic cough drop, and a very acidic one at that, though the unpleasantly acid aspect finally seems to be mellowing out now, 5 months later. It'll be awhile before I try this again, and when I do it won't be a straight cherry recipe as the concentrate just didn't provide any real complexity. Perhaps cherry-apple or cherry-lime, to add a bit more interest to the flavor profile.
The treetop brand apple-cherry FJC, makes a very cherry flavored cider, and it is quite tart w/o additives. I do not add the apple-cherry FJC after the fermentation has started, I start with three 12 oz cans of apple-cherry FJC, 112 oz of boiled-cooled water, add Pasteur Red Non-Champagne yeast, then add 1/2 tsp of Fermaid-K, and 1/4 tsp of DAP. I like Pasteur Red yeast for two reasons: 1) it doesn't seem to strip away the flavor of the ciders' fruit, 2) it is very temperature forgiving.