Garlic wine: why add raisins and other Qs

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BeerRunner

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What do raisins do for it? I want to make a cooking wine with garlic and chilis. I'll be using fresh jalapenos and those dried red chilis that are often in Asian dishes. I've seen jalapeno recipes with no raisins and garlic recipes with 1 pound. Would/should a garlic and jalapeno recipe get any raisins?

I'm also adding 2 ounces of ginger.

Also, a question someone else asked in another cooking wine thread; why ferment at all? Why not just boil all the ingredients together and use the liquor as a marinade? I know, that's sorta heretical to ask around here, but I am curious. I'm guessing it has to do with aging, which might not be possible without alcohol as a preservative.

edit: I've got 14 sliced bulbs of garlic roasting in the oven right now. The smell is really strong upstairs where my computer is. It smells great. I do love roasted garlic. I'll roast 2 whole bulbs and spread the paste out on the crust when making Greek pizza. It's SO good. :)
 

Tusch

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Well raisins add flavor, body, and some tannins from the skins. I'm not saying they are required but they add some extra bit of each of those. I've used them in wines to add some complexity and body.

To the ferment it at all question, that mainly has to do with how alcohol interacts with food. Alcohol doesn't just add flavor but it enhances it but drawing the flavors out. I don't know all the details, but I remember good ole alton brown talking about it on good eats. A marinade would add flavor and with the right ingredients can tenderize the meat, but alcohol has many other effects, not just as a flavor additive. Hence why wine and liquors are used so often in good cooking.
 

McSwiggin'

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Well raisins add flavor, body, and some tannins from the skins. I'm not saying they are required but they add some extra bit of each of those. I've used them in wines to add some complexity and body.

To the ferment it at all question, that mainly has to do with how alcohol interacts with food. Alcohol doesn't just add flavor but it enhances it but drawing the flavors out. I don't know all the details, but I remember good ole alton brown talking about it on good eats. A marinade would add flavor and with the right ingredients can tenderize the meat, but alcohol has many other effects, not just as a flavor additive. Hence why wine and liquors are used so often in good cooking.
+1 on this.
Garlic wine has almost no body whatsoever so the raisins will add that to it. If you don't use them your wine will be 2-dimensional rather than 3-dimensional.

Part of what makes wine great to cook with is not just the flavor of the grape (or garlic or fruit) but also the alcohol soluable flavors in food. Tomatoes, for example, have many different flavors that are only unlocked with alcohol. Dishes that use vodka generally only want to get these flavors without emparting as much flavor as grapes would, so it all depends on what you want from your wine.
 

captianoats

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Don't you love Alton Brown and Good Eats?

Anyways.... these guys are right. There are some flavors that are either enhanced or simply "brought out" by the alcohol. I bet you could simply soak garlic and peppers in some type of liquor for awhile and let the flavors meld that way and get the same effect.

P.S. Please update and let us know how funky that airlock smells once you get this baby going :)
 
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BeerRunner

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It seems to be stuck. Just 2 or 3 bubbles a minute through a blowoff tube. I think it would work out better if I added the garlic "liquor" and chilis in secondary.

The blowoff jar smells like cheap beer spilled in a pizzeria.
 

Tusch

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First bubbles are not a sign of fermentation or a lack of fermentation. Little or no bubbling does not mean its stuck. The only way to know that is by hydrometer readings.
 

Cheeto

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It seems to be stuck. Just 2 or 3 bubbles a minute through a blowoff tube. I think it would work out better if I added the garlic "liquor" and chilis in secondary.

The blowoff jar smells like cheap beer spilled in a pizzeria.

What are you using as a base recipe for this wine ?

the concept looks good, but I am having a hard time with the wine portion of this is ?

is it a red wine, white wine?

-Jason
 
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BeerRunner

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What are you using as a base recipe for this wine ?

the concept looks good, but I am having a hard time with the wine portion of this is ?

is it a red wine, white wine?

-Jason
Holy bleep. This is in the wrong forum. It's got 3 pounds of honey. The recipe is loosely based on Garlic Wine and Jalapeno Wine recipes. They use plain sugar as a fermentable. A discussion on this site leaned towards using honey, to get a better quality end product.
 
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