Romanian Cherry Wine - Visinata
I'd been planning to make homemade cherry wine for a long time. But I didn't want just any cherry wine, I wanted my grandmother's recipe. I told my mother about the classic recipe - the one with ethyl alcohol. I even tried it but it seemed extremely alcoholic. My mum was surprised and told me that she didn't understand why we were complicating things - my grandmother would put cherries and sugar in a carboy and leave it under the tree. Extraordinary cherry wine would come out. I prefer it like that, a low-alcohol drink, as a result of the natural fermentation only. I tested the recipe for 1 year to see how it keeps in the fridge. I poured the cherry wine into a jar and sealed it. It kept very well over the winter and spring in the closet in our apartment. So did the one in the fridge, therefore, the thing with alcohol as a preservative is not mandatory here.
I said I would do the same, but with a small addition, a kind of fermentation sensor - an ordinary latex glove. I find this brilliant. It's funny how the glove swells and "aproves" of the whole fermentation process. Starting to flatten will be the first sign that the cherry wine will be ready soon and the fermentation will stop. Read carefully the steps and the explanations. I will talk about everything: if the glove won't swell, if it breaks, if it won't flatten back.
It's perfect as sweet wine or as syrup cake, without problems and restrictions for children.
or strawberries, currants, blueberries, raspberries etc.
Step by step
Wash the sour cherries, remove the stalks and let drain.
I recommend using 1600ml jars.
In each jar, alternate cherries with sugar. The quantities of the recipe are exactly for one 1.6l jar. I made 2 jars, so I doubled all the quantities.
If you are using larger amounts of cherries, increase the amount of sugar proportionally.
Shake the jar to distribute the sugar evenly.
Pour 250ml of water into the jar.
With a large wooden spoon, mix and squeeze the cherries in the jar for the juice to better release and for the syrup to start forming.
Make sure the jars are not too full. In the end, there should be 4-5 cm head space so that, in the fermentation process, the syrup won't boil out of the jar :)
And now it's time for the "fermentation sensor" - the magic medical latex glove!
Prick with a needle one of the fingers of the glove - only once and only a small hole.
Cover the jar mouths with the gloves and leave in a warm place, but not in the sun. Mine stayed on my balcony.
Now, let's go to the polls. In a few days, the fermentation process will begin and the gases will swell the gloves.
If the glove doesn't swell, but you notice that the cherries are fermenting, check if the latex hasn't cracked and replace with another one.
In 2-3 weeks' time, the fermentation process will stop and the gloves will flatten. If it lasts longer, don't panic - it's probably cooler and that's why it lasts longer.
Anyway, before you take the jars from the balcony, put on a new glove and check if it still swells - just making sure the fermentation has stopped and the gloves haven't cracked.
If everything is ok, we move on - let the cherries drain into a sieve.
At this step, you can add ethyl alcohol directly into the jar with the cherries still in it and leave in the pantry. You will drain little by little, drink the wine and eat the cherries.
I don't put alcohol. I drain and keep only the cherry wine.
Pour the wine into bottles / jars.
Allow a few days to clear up.
As I said in the description - I kept a tightly closed jar in the closet and it was fine, it did not ferment. Because it wasn't too much in it, I also kept a bottle in the fridge, for some cold wine at hand any time :)
Serve cold and savour. It's very aromatic and delicious, with a full cherry taste and a light aroma of wine, not of alcohol.
I will definitely try the method with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, currants, Cornelian cherries - I certainly won't ruin it!