This East Indian grape wine recipe is a mix of my aunt’s and my granny’s recipe, perfected after years of trial. Use it to make fresh currant or grape wine at home in 3 weeks whenever you have fresh grapes available.
So apart from the popular East Indian currant wine, there is also a traditional fresh grape wine that’s quite similar. We make this using green grapes, black grapes, red grapes, red currants, black currants, white currants, or any mix of the these.
Although not as strong as the black currant wine or ginger wine, this wine gives you an average of 4% to 7% alcohol strength. It’s easy to make at home too! And you’ll often find a bottle or two left to cool in the refrigerator in many East Indian homes.
Ingredients For The Black Grape Wine Or Green Grape Wine Or Red Grape Wine
1 kg fresh grapes
.75 kgs sugar
1 handful of whole wheat grains and rice grains
2 tsp active dry yeast or khameer from your local bakery
1 litre water
3 cinnamon sticks
2 orange skins – Optional
1 egg white – Optional
Half teaspoon Baking Soda – Optional
We use only 3/4 kg sugar, but you can add up to 1 kg if you prefer a sweeter wine.
The baking soda trick is not East Indian, but it’s a good thing for home winemakers to use, especially when we don’t use chemicals like others do.
How to make Fresh Grape Wine like our grannies did
This East Indian fresh grape wine isn’t that difficult to make.
Start off by washing your barni(jar) and spoons with boiling water.
Now roughly crush the grapes with a wooden spoon (or to make it easier blend in a mixer). Add the crushed grapes to the barni with the water and sugar.
Proof the yeast with warm water and about 2 tsp of sugar. Once it starts to bubble add it to the barni (ceramic jar). Also add in cinnamon sticks and wheat or rice grains. Stir well.
Cover the jar with a loosely fitted lid and leave to rest. Stir daily for 15 days.
If you don’t have more than one jar, strain the wine into a steel pot, wash the original jar, and then add the wine back to the jar.
Add in an egg white and stir well. Leave the wine alone a week. The egg white will help in coagulation of any leftover particles and clarifies the wine a bit. Strain again on the 22nd day and serve!
This wine has a somewhat reddish-brown color to it. To make it darker, we caramelize some sugar. This is then mixed with a small amount of water, and added to the wine mixture just before adding the egg to clarify it.
If you’re vegetarian, use a quarter tsp of baking soda instead of the egg white. This works really well to clarify the wine. Or you can just leave it as it is. Drinking the dregs isn’t that bad. They’ll sometimes give you the runs and clean your stomach! Haha!
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East Indian Fresh Grape Wine (Black or Green)
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- 1 kg Grapes Black or Green or Mixed
- .75 kg Sugar
- 1 tbsp Whole Wheat Grains (Wheat Berries / Wheat Kernels) If you want the wine to be gluten free, skip this and use only rice.
- 1 tbsp Rice Double this if skipping wheat.
- 2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast You can use bakery yeast / khameer if you want to, but add a little more.
- 1 l Water
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks (Dalchini)
- 2 Orange skins
- .5 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Egg White For clarifying.
- 100 g Sugar For caramel color.
- 50 ml Water For caramel color.
- Sterilize the barnis, jars, buckets or demijohns and spoons by washing with boiling water. (We use ceramic jars called barnis.)
- Warm about 100 ml of water and stir in 2 teaspoons of sugar.
- Add in the yeast and leave it aside for 10 minutes.
- After 5 to 10 minutes, the yeast will be bubbling and is ready to add to your wine bucket or ceramic jar.
- While the yeast is proofing, you can put together the rest of the wine ingredients.
- Crush the grapes in a mixer/blender or bash them roughly with a wooden spoon, and add them to the ceramic jar.
- Put 1 litres of water into the ceramic jar or barni or wine bucket.
- Add in the sugar and whole wheat or whole rice grains and stir well.
- Once the yeast has finished proofing, add it to this mixture and stir again.
- Lastly, add in the cinnamon sticks and stir. You can also add orange skins if you want them.
- Cover with a lid and leave overnight.
- For the next 15 days, stir daily every morning.
- On the 15th day, strain the wine and put it back in the jar. If you only have one demijohn or ceramic jar, strain it into a stainless steel vessel, then wash out the ceramic jar, and add the wine back to it.
- Caramelize about 100 grams of sugar. Once it's caramelized to a dark color, mix in a little water. Then add this to the wine in the jar and stir. (This step is optional and is only used to enhance the color of the wine.)
- Add an egg white to the wine and stir gently. This will help to clarify the wine. (This step is optional)
- Let the wine rest for another week.
- On the 22nd day, use a sieve or muslin cloth to strain the wine into bottles.
- And the wine is ready to serve! Cheers! Or as we East indians say, Sukhaka!
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- To make the wine gluten free, either skip the whole wheat grains or substitute with whole rice grains. (That is rice with the husk on.)
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Nutrition (Per Serving)
Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.