Grapefruit wine recipe

Grapefruits are an obvious choice for winemaking when you think about it: They have the word "grape" in the name! In this day and age, grapefruits can be purchased all year around and can be used to make a fine dry white wine. Due to the shortage of winemaking material during the colder months, grapefruits make a good winter experiment. The trick with grapefruits is getting them properly ripe.

You must always use the ripest possible fruit for winemaking, but a funny thing happens with grapefruits are they ripen. Choose the largest and softest fruit from the shop and leave them on the windowsill to ripen in the sun, but do it in the kitchen where it is quite humid. Although grapefruits ripen and get sweeter, they also dry out, concentrating their acidity, so it is tricky to get them about right.

Choose 5 or 6 grapefruits and grate the skin, taking care to avoid the white pith. Juice the fruits and chuck everything in a bucket and make up to 1 gallon about about 1075-1080 with sugar. If you like, add some grape juice concentrate, probably only 200ml at most. Use a plain Number 1 yeast and let it ferment out to dryness. The main trick with grapefruit wine is not to add any additional acid. They are quite acidic enough! If you are making the wine in the winter, make sure it is kept warm enough. If your house is cold, use one of the yeasts that work well in colder conditions such as Gervin B Wine Yeast GV9.

When the wine has fermented out, taste it to judge the acidity. If it is very tart, you can do two things. Either add more sugar and make a stronger sweeter wine, or, water it down and then add some sugar to make a more dilute wine. A well balanced dry grapefruit wine is tricky to get right due to the variable acid content of the fruit in its various stages of ripeness.

Once the wine is clear, leave it to mature for a couple of months. After this time it is perfectly drinkable. If it is still a bit tart , leave it to mature for a year to soften the wine a bit. A young grapefruit wine which has good acid serves extremely well from the coldest part of the fridge on a hot spring day.