Weird way to start out a food blog, but the today’s news definitely put me in the mood to share another peach recipe. I - somewhat recently - posted a roundup of Peach Recipes, but have been waiting to post our Fresh Peach Wine recipe.
Today started out with my friend Houston messaging the phrase “Well, slap my peach and call me papa.”, something that still has me laughing, hours later.
I decided to serve it the way I always to - cream cheese topped with the jam - and a friend later pointed out that if it was Philly cream cheese, that was just a whole other layer of appropriate. I hadn’t even considered it!
Anyway, while peaches aren’t in season, and any wine you put on now won’t even be potable for a few months... it feels like the time to share this recipe.
And hey, if you happen to have anything to celebrate, this also makes a really great sparkling wine! More on that in a bit!
How to Make Peach Wine
If you haven't attempted making wine before, don't be intimidated! Check out our primer to home brewing:
Just a small handful of entries, and you'll be good to go!
Peach Wine Ingredients
This wine recipe requires only a few ingredients to make - super simple! Here is some information about those base ingredients that you may find helpful.
You can use fresh or frozen peaches to make this wine. There are just a few differences in how to use them, and things to keep in mind:
When using fresh peaches, be sure to use very ripe, flavourful fruit only. Ideally, use something in-season, as off season fruit never seems to taste as good!
I like to macerate the peaches for several hours before I start making the wine. By that, I mean I’ll pit and chop up the peaches and put them in a large bowl or pot, and stir in the sugar.
Then, I cover and leave it for a while, to let the sugar do its thing.
The sugar draws the natural juices - and flavour! - out from the peaches. I find this gives the best base to the wine, rather than starting with chopped fruit and water.
When using frozen peaches, you can skip the maceration process. Freezing and thawing peaches - or pretty much any fruit - breaks them down in a way that ends up with a result similar to maceration.
Be sure to use a good brand of frozen peaches, and that the peaches are good and flavourful when they thaw. If your peaches don’t have much flavour, neither will your wine.
While sugar is technically optional when making wine, NOT adding any sugar will result in an INCREDIBLY dry wine.
When you’re making wine from peaches - much like with any other light coloured, non-grape fruit - you’ll want it to have at least some residual sweetness to it, or it just won’t taste like much. The sugar helps to bring out the peach flavour!
Sugar is an important part of wine making, and there are a few aspects of sugar to keep in mind:
Type of Sugar
In terms of type of sugar, we prefer to use plain white granulated sugar for this wine. Sometimes we’ll use brown sugar for part of the sugar content to give it a bit of a deeper flavour - more like a peach cobbler flavour - but generally stick to white sugar.
Feel free to use either type, raw cane sugar, or a mixture of any/all of these.
Note: If you’re going for the brown sugar for some or all of the sugar, try adding a vanilla bean and a cinnamon stick to your boiled mixture, leaving them in through fermentation!)
How to Make Peach Mead
If you’d like to make a mead rather than a wine, you can swap the sugar out for honey. We’ll usually use 4-5 lbs of honey for this.
A couple notes:
- I say “Peach Mead”, as that’s what most people would understand... but mead with fruit is technically called “melomel”.
So, swapping sugar out in favour of honey would give you a peach melomel. The more you know!
- When you’re using honey instead of sugar, you’re going to want to be careful in your choice of honey. Where white sugar is fairly neutral in flavour, honey can be aggressively flavoured.
I recommend picking something lightly coloured and lightly flavoured - a clover or orange blossom honey, for instance.
Something like a wildflower or buckwheat honey is likely to completely overwhelm the flavour from the peaches.
Aside from flavour, there’s the matter of alcohol content.
Your wine’s final ABV will vary wildly dependent on a few things: The initial sugar content of the peaches you use, how much sugar you add, and what kind of yeast you use (more on that in a bit)
Any amount of sugar will result in a higher alcohol content than making the same wine without sugar added. Sugar - both in the base wine itself, and from the added sugars - is what feeds the yeast, the yeast eats up the sugars and gives off alcohol as the byproduct of that process.
More sugar = more food = more alcohol... to a point, anyway. About that...
The type of yeast you use will impact the alcohol content of the final product.
Yeast organisms don’t have an *unlimited* capacity to process sugar into alcohol. At some point, the environment they’re living in - the brewing wine - becomes too high in alcohol for the yeast to survive. They die off, the fermentation stops.
Different types of yeast have different tolerances for alcohol in the environment. That is, some yeast will be able to survive higher amounts of alcohol in the wine, so they’ll continue producing it longer than some other types.
Some types of yeast will bring you to something like an 8% ABV, while others will let things run wild until close to 20% ABV.
It’s good to know what you have in mind, when you choose your yeast.
If you want a sweet wine with a low-ish ABV - without having to back sweeten it (more on that in a bit) - choose a yeast with a lower tolerance for alcohol.
If you’re looking for a dry wine with a low ABV, choose a yeast with a lower tolerance for alcohol, and don’t use a ton of sugar.
If you want a sweet wine with a high ABV, use a bunch of sugar with a high-tolerance yeast... and be prepared to backsweeten it.
If you want a dry wine with a high ABV, use a fair amount of sugar and a high tolerance yeast.
Making Larger Batches of Wine
As a note, you can easily scale this wine recipe up - in fact, there's a function inside the recipe card itself to do the math for you!
One note, though: You don't need to multiply the yeast, but the software doesn't know that. We will use one pouch of yeast for anything from 1-5x batches, and then 1 pouch for every 5x batches beyond that.
As a related note: The recipe software is definitely geared towards cooking, not wine making. Therefore, you can pretty much ignore all of the info it gives you: The nutritional info is calculated on everything that goes into the wine.
It does not take into account how much sugar will be fermented out, how much volume is lost to racking, the fact that the fruit pulp is removed before the final product, etc.
Back Sweetening Your Homemade Peach Wine
Sometimes - usually, even - you’ll find that the yeast went a bit too far with their smorgasbord, and you end up with a peach wine that’s not as sweet as you’d like it.
... and that’s when you back sweeten it! You can read my How to Stabilize and Back Sweeten Wine post for information on how to back sweeten it.
How to Make Sparkling Peach Wine
As I’d mentioned earlier, peach wine is especially nice as a bubbly beverage. There are two main ways to accomplish this, both of which happen AFTER fermentation has ceased.
Note: Consult your local homebrew store for what your options are when it comes to bottling sparkling wine. As this ferments a bit in the bottle, normal wine bottles aren’t a good idea - they can explode from the extra pressure.
We’ll usually use beer bottle and caps for any sparkling wine or sparkling ciders that we make, but there are options more along the lines of champagne bottles. Selection and brands tend to vary wildly by location.
For Naturally Carbonated Sparkling Peach Wine
In a small pot, mix together 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar or brown sugar. Use a sanitized funnel to pour this into a sanitized large carboy.
Rack the wine over into this carboy, swirling it as you go.
Bottle the wine into appropriate bottles, following directions for whatever kind of cap/closure you will be using.
Allow wine to age at least a month or two – residual yeast will ferment the added sugar, carbonating the wine. Serve chilled.
For Force-Carbonated Sparkling Wine
Alternatively, you can rack the wine (without the added sugar syrup!) into a keg and force carbonate it, if you have the set up for that - That’s what we tend to do with our ciders.
More Homemade Wine Recipes
While you've got your Peach Wine fermenting away, why not consider putting a batch of something else on, to occupy your wait time?
Here are a few of my other wine, cider, and mead recipes:
Hard Apple Cider
Home Brew Hard Iced Tea
Homemade Banana Wine Recipe
Homemade Blackberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Blueberry Mead Recipe
Homemade Blueberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Cherry Recipe
Homemade Clementine Mead Recipe
Homemade Cranberry Clementine Christmas Wine Recipe
Homemade Cranberry Wine
Homemade Faux Lingonberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Mango Wine Recipe
Homemade Mango Strawberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Mint Wine Recipe
Homemade Newfoundland Partridgeberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Strawberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Watermelon Wine Recipe
Homemade Wildflower Mead Recipe
How to Make Pumpkin Mead
Maple Hard Apple Cider Recipe
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Anyway, on to that Peach Wine Recipe!