Fig Wine Recipe

Figs don't ripen terribly well in the UK. My father has a fig tree on the south facing side of his house, and the number of ripe figs he gets is, well, very few. However, a great deal of dried and fresh figs are sold by the nation's supermarkets. The bored winemaker may well wonder if it is worth making fig wine.

I think figs make a good medium sweet wine. The sort of wine you open up to eat with a rich cheese. Don't go lightly on the figs either. They ar not terribly acidic, so use between 1 and 2lb of dried figs for a gallon of fig wine. The upper end of the quantity range is for a nice full bodied sweet wine. I like to use a pound of minced raisins to increase the body of wine and give it some additional character.

In your gallon of must you need to increase the sugar content with white sugar until you reach about 1090 on the hydrometer. Add a scant teaspoon of mixed winemaking acid and a nice powerful yeast. Go for a champagne yeast, because these are the easiest to work with. A port yeast wouldn't be out of place. Let the wine ferment out and check the sweetness. If it is dry and then add another 150g of sugar and let the fermentation continue. Keep feeding in the sugar to have a final gravity of around 1010. Not too sweet, but certainly not dry. Add a small amount of extra acid if the wine is a bit flabby so that the acidity is very slightly on the tart side, and then mature for 12 months to smooth it out.

Too many wines have been spoilt by maturing them for a long time without enough acid present. Many homemade wines benefit from a minimum of 12 months maturing time, and you have to start the wine slightly on the tart side, otherwise you will open the bottle two years later and find a dull insipid wine in the glass.

Figs are an odd choice for wine. The taste is a bit of an acquired one, and some folks will hate it. It is certainly in that category of wines where you do not tell people what it is made of until they have tried drinking it!