Think wine-making is hard? It doesn’t have to be! Technically, this starts out with a bit of ready-made wine and goes from there…but don’t let that stop you from turning a so-so red wine into a delightfully sweet blackberry wine of your own making!
This recipe is super-easy and makes enough to fill two wine bottles. Add a label with the name of your own “winery” on it and give the bottles as gifts. The recipe doubles or triples nicely, too — just make sure you’ve got a glass jar large enough to accommodate the extra batches, or be ready to separate the mixture into a few jars.
Sweet Blackberry Wine
- 4 cups fresh blackberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean, cut into pieces
- 1 cup vodka
- 5 cups red wine
Mix the blackberries, granulated sugar, vanilla bean pieces, and water in a deep saucepan. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to simmer until the berries are falling apart. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool.
Stir in the vodka and red wine. Pour the entire mixture into a clean, gallon-size glass jar. Cover the jar with a lid and place in a dark place for 6-8 weeks. Every few weeks, open the jar and stir well, then recover.
When you’re ready to prepare the wine, line a large collandar or strainer with a triple-layer of cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. Strain the mixture through it, then bring up the corners of the cheesecloth to make a bag, trapping all the solid parts in the middle. Squeeze the bag to get all of the juice out, and then discard the cheesecloth bag and the contents.
Pour the wine into clean, dry bottles and cork them immediately. Dip the corks in wax for a pretty presentation, put your own label on the bottle, and offer the wine as a gift within a year, before the flavor fades. Or enjoy a bottle or two of your own!