Ah, Lingonberry wine - I love it, but it can be hard to come by. Enter: Faux Lingonberry Wine!
Back home in Canada, I remember my first taste of it - though it's called Partridgeberry Wine there. Ah, beautiful. Though I'd never been a fan of red GRAPE wines, Lingonberry wine became a fast favorite for me. Not only was it great for drinking, it was a favorite ingredient for cooking wild game. It was one of 2 secret ingredients in my moose stew. Oh, yum. It's been far too long...
Anyway, I digress. For those not in the know - or not living near an IKEA - Lingonberries/partridgeberries are a small berry that grows in boreal and tundra areas of Canada, Europe, and Asia. Tiny, round, ruby-red berries, they taste like a cross between a cranberry and a blueberry. They make fantastic muffins, cheesecake, jams, etc... when you can get them. You know, aside from the preserved products at IKEA.
A couple of years ago, I was inspired by lingonberry fudge offered at a local retailer - and I went on a search for wholesale lingonberries. I found em, bought a 25 lb case, and made MAGIC. Together, my husband and I made a 5 gallon batch of the most amazing lingonberry wine I've ever tasted. Most amazing wine that either of us has had, for that matter.
Though our supply of wine was dwindling last year, we didn't end up buying a case of lingonberries, before it was too late. This year, we planned ahead... only to have those plans thwarted by mother nature. A bad crop meant NO lingonberry wine for us this year!
Luckily, we'd been notified that this may be the case, so I started a "Plan B" - I created a "faux lingonberry" wine!
Using the "like a cranberry crossed with a blueberry" flavor profile, I experimented with proportions, and came up with a VERY passable "lingonberry" wine. The color was only slightly different from the original thing, and the flavor is SO close, it'd fool most lingonberry fans. Oh, this is good stuff! While this recipe is for a 1 gallon batch, we're very much looking forward to making a larger, 5 or 6 gallon batch!
One especially nice thing about this recipe: Lingonberries can be tough to ferment. They seem to have some sort of natural preservative, and it was stressful to brew that first batch - for a couple weeks, we were worried we were going to lose the batch! This recipe? No worries. It ferments easily and beautifully!
If you haven't attempted making wine before, don't be intimidated! Check out our primer to home brewing, it starts here, with parts 2 and 3 here and here. Just a small handful of entries, and you'll be good to go!
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|With 2017 being Canada's 150th birthday, it's about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I've been planning for YEARS.
"More than Poutine" will be a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada! High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.
"More Than Poutine" is available for purchase, here.