Wine can be made from more than just grapes. In many ways, grapes are the easiest fruit from which to make wine, but we also have a lot of expectations for wine made from grapes, a lot of ideas of how it should taste. Plus, wine made from grapes is widely available, so unless you’ve planted vines specifically to make wine, it’s worth exploring other options. Get a sense of what kinds of wine different fruits will yield with the guide below. Be sure to check out Homemade Fruit Wine to get started.
Apples make a light white wine that is best when aged at least 2 years. That helps make them a good base wine for blending.
Blackberries yield a bold red wine, best when aged 2 years. Blackberries combine beautifully with apples or pears.
Blueberries make a light rosé that is ready to drink after just 1 year.
Cherries create a delicious jewel-tone cherry wine that is great for holidays and special occasions. Let it age at least 2 years.
Grapes make for fast, clean fermentation, which at least partly explains why they’re the top fruit for winemaking. You can harness their power by blending with other fruits.
Peaches are messy to use, but peach wine delivers great aroma in a full-bodied white wine.
Pears make a wine that can taste flat on its own but is much improved when combined with raspberries.
Plums get chopped up to ferment and create a wine with excellent character and color; matures young and is ready to drink after 1 year.
Raspberries make delicious wine on their own, and they’re useful for improving the color and aroma of other wines.
Rhubarb takes longer than other fruits to age into fully developed, drinkable wine (maybe that’s because it’s technically a vegetable?)—up to 4 years—but it’s easy to make.
Strawberries make a sweetheart of a wine, but it has a long fermentation period, so don’t rush to bottle it. It’s best when aged for at least 1 year.
Inspired by Homegrown Pantry, © by Barbara Pleasant, photography by © Kip Dawkins Photography. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.