Wine Recipes

In this section you will find general recipes and recipes for competition wines


2 litres white grape juice

1 litre tropical fruit juice

510 g (18oz) sugar




Zest of an orange

Mix all the main ingredients and ferment out to dryness. Add a little zest of orange to your taste. Allow 4 months to mature.

Recipe from Stuart Gobeil

DRY APPLE WINE - based on a recipe by Norman Dunk

2 litres apple juice (any type)

1 litre white grape juice

680g (1.5lbs) sugar

Pectolytic enzyme


1 teaspoon citric acid

1 teaspoon yeast nutrient

Wine finings

1 Campden tablet

Put the sugar and 440 mls water (0.75pint) into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow the syrup to cool and pour into a demijohn; add the fruit juices. Add the remaining ingredients with stirring. Now add sufficient water to make up to nearly the gallon (it is important to leave some space for frothing). leave until fermentation ceases. Transfer to a cool place for a day or two until the sediment has settled well. Siphon (rack) the clear liquid into another demijohn, top up with cold water and add the finings. When it clears a second time, rack it once more. Leave for 1 month then, if there is no sign of continuing fermentation, add the crushed Campden tablet. This wine takes 6 to 8 months to mature.

Note: all apple wines are prone to oxidation (that's why the Campden tablet is added).


450g (1lb) dried apricots

1kg (2.25lb) sugar

280 ml (0.5 pint) white grape concentrate

1.5g (0.25 teaspoon) tannin

10g (2 teaspoons) pectolytic enzyme

5g (1 teaspoon) yeast nutrient

7.5g (1.5 teaspoon) tartaric acid


Wine finings

Place the fruit in a bowl and sterilise with a kettle of boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, then drain. Chop the fruit finely. drop it into 2.3 litres (4 pints) of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool overnight. Strain the liquid from the apricots into a clean bucket. Put the fruit to one side. Boil the sugar in 1.1 litres (2 pints) of water, then leave until it cools to 21 degrees C (70 F). add it to the fruit liquid and stir in all the other ingredients apart from the finings. Pour it into a demijohn and fit an airlock. Fermentation should be evident within 48 hours. After 2 weeks top up with cold water and leave until all fermentation ceases. Now rack it off (siphon into a clean sterilised demijohn) and add the finings if these are required. Add a crushed Campden tablet and sweeten to your desired taste.


2 litres cranberry and raspberry juice

1 litre red grape juice

1 litre apple juice

425g (15oz) sugar


Yeast nutrient

Mix all the juices and sugar in a demijohn until dissolved, add the yeast and nutrient. Fit an airlock and ferment to dryness (if using a hydrometer - aim for a specific gravity of 0.995). This will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks and the wine may be drink immediately. However, it is best to allow it a few more weeks to mature. It may be sweetened to your taste - but beware not to allow the fermentation to restart. If it does, DO NOT bottle it! Wait! Failure to take this precaution could result in burst bottles.


230g (8oz) dried elderberries

230g (8oz) raisins

1.4kg (3lb) sugar

1 teaspoon citric acid


Yeast nutrient

Wine finings

1 Campden tablet

4.7 litres (1 gallon) water

Chop the raisins and pour the boiling water over them. Add the elderberries and sugar - stir to dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature then add the citric acid, nutrient and yeast. Cover and place in a warm (but not hot!) place for a week; stir daily to keep the fruit immersed. Note: for a fruitier wine - ferment "on the pulp" for longer than a week. Strain into a demijohn and fit a fermentation lock. Leave until fermentation ceases. transfer to a cool place and leave it to clear - the sediment should compact nicely. Rack (siphon) into another clean sterilised demijohn, top up with cold water and add the finings. When it has cleared, rack it once more, leave for a month and, if fermentation has truly ceased, add the crushed Campden tablet. Keep at least a week before bottling. (Sweeten to taste, if required).

Note: for best results use a brown demijohn or cover a normal one with brown paper (aluminium foil is also good) because dried elderberries have a tendency to "brown" when exposed to direct sunlight.

COUNTRY WINE (Dried Elderflower - after CJJ Berry - Medium Sweet)

Dried elderflowers - 16g (0.5oz)

Sugar - 1.5 kg (3.5lb)

Raisins - 250g (0.5 lb)

Lemons - 3

Grape tannin - 1 teaspoon


Yeast Nutrient

Water -4.5 litres(1 gallon)

Wine finings

Boil the water and pour over the flowers, then add the sugar, chopped raisins and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature, add the yeast, tannin and nutrient. Cover and leave to ferment for 4 or 5 days in a warm place. Strain into a demijohn, fit an airlock and leave it till fermentation ceases. When clear, and when visible signs of fermentation are no longer evident, place the demijohn in a cool place to allow the sediment to become firm. Rack (siphon) into another clean and sterile demijohn and add the finings. When well clear, re-rack and top up to 1 gallon with cold water. If, after a month, all signs of fermentation are over, add a crushed Campden tablet and leave for at least a week before bottling.

COUNTRY WINE (dried elderflower - Medium Sweet) - ALTERNATIVE RECIPE

Dried elderflowers - 16g (0.5 oz)

Sugar - 1kg (3lb)

Raisins - 250 - 500g (0.5 - 1 lb)

Oranges - 2

Citric acid - 1 teaspoon

Pectolytic enzyme - 0.5 teaspoon


Yeast nutrient

Water - 4.5 litres (1 gallon)

Wine finings

Chop the raisins and put into a clean sterilised polythene bucket with the sugar, acid and juice of the oranges. Pour on boiling water, stir well and allow the sugar to dissolve. Cool to room temperature, stir in the elderflowers, enzyme, yeast and nutrient.  Make up to 1 gallon with cold water. Cover, and allow to ferment in a warm place for 4 or 5 days, stirring daily. Strain into a clean sterilised demijohn, fit an airlock and leave to ferment out. When clear, transfer to a cool place to allow the sediment to firm up. Rack (siphon) into another clean sterilised demijohn, top up with cold water and add the finings. When bright and clear, re-rack and top up once again. Leave 1 month. If certain that fermentation has ceased, add a crushed Campden tablet and keep another week before bottling.


Dried sloes - 230g (8 oz)

Raisins - 115g (4 oz)

Sugar - 1.4 kg (3 lb)

Citric acid (1 teaspoon)


Yeast nutrient

Wine finings

Water - 4.5 litres (1 gallon)

Chop the raisins, mix with the sloes and sugar in a polythene bucket. Pour boiling water over, stir well and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Cool to room temperature, then add the citric acid, nutrient and yeast. Cover, put into a warm place and, with daily stirring, ferment on the pulp for 1 week. Strain into a clean sterile demijohn, fit an airlock and leave till fermentation ceases. Transfer to a cool place to firm up the sediment. Rack (siphon) into another demijohn, top up with cold water and add the finings. When it is bright and clear, re-rack and top up again. Leave for 1 month and ensure fermentation is over. Add a crushed Campden tablet and keep the wine for at least a week before bottling.


Grape juice - 3 litres

Elderflower cordial - 250 ml (Note - cordials contain sugar and can contribute to the alcohol level in the finished wine. Suitable ones are "Bottlegreen" or "Thorntons" from Waitrose and Sainsbury's respectively. They are purchased in 500 ml bottles - so only use half a bottle for this recipe)

Sugar - 454g (1 lb)

pectolytic enzyme


Yeast nutrient

Sodium metabisulfite or Campden tablets

Wine finings

Put the sugar and 0.5 pints of boiling water into a saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature and place into a clean sterile demijohn. add the fruit juices, cordial, nutrient and enzyme. Mix well, fit an airlock and leave in a warm room for 24 hours. Pre-start the fermentation by adding the yeast to half a pint of lukewarm water containing 1 teaspoon of dissolved sugar. After 15 - 60 minutes, add it to the demijohn. Add water, allow room for frothing, and, after a week or two, as fermentation slows, add more water. Leave until fermentation ceases. If the wine is sampled at this point it should be bone-dry. Leave in a cool place to firm up the deposit. Rack (siphon) into another demijohn, top up with cold water, add the finings and, when the wine is crystal clear, re-rack into another demijohn and top up with water. Taste, and if necessary, adjust the acidity with tartaric acid (do this to taste, but 1 or 2 teaspoons per gallon might be needed). The objective is a bone-dry, lightly acidic and fruity white wine. Don't worry if it tastes a little sherry like - this means your fermentation has been successful. Leave it for 1 month, add a crushed Campden tablet (or 0.25 teaspoons sodium metabisulfite) and keep at least a week before bottling.


Dried peaches - 1 kg (2.2lb)

Sugar - up to 1.6 kg (3.5 lb)

Water - 4.5 litres (1 gallon)

Yeast (high alcohol tolerance is best)

Yeast nutrient

Bentonite (a clay mineral for clearing wine - can be purchased in wine making shops)

Soak the peaches in water for 12 hours. Bring to the boil and simmer 5 or 6 minutes. Strain the liquid into a clean sterilised polythene bucket, and add 0.5 kg of the sugar. Add the bentonite by making it up into a slurry with a little water - then tipping it into the mixture. Cool to room temperature, then add the yeast and the yeast nutrient. Note - this wine benefits if you use a high-alcohol yeast (from a good wine making shop). Cover and ferment in a warm place for 4 days, stirring frequently. The remaining sugar is added gradually, as fermentation proceeds, by adding it as a sugar syrup (made by dissolving the crystals in the minimum amount of cold water and heating till it dissolves). Cool thoroughly before adding to your wine! Transfer to a clean sterile demijohn, fit an airlock and continue the fermentation until it finishes. When it is clear, rack it off and allow to settle once again. It should be stable, and crystal clear, before you bottle it.


2Kg (4.5lb) ripe dessert plums

1.6Kg (3.5lb) sugar

1 teaspoon bentonite powder

2 teaspoons pectolytic enzyme

1 teaspoon yeast nutrient

1 vitamin B tablet

Wine yeast

Rinse the fruit in a weak solution of sodium metabisulfite, strain, extract the stones and pulp the flesh. Make a syrup from 1Kg (2.25lb) of sugar boiled with 1.2litres (2pints) of water. Allow this to get completely cold.Pour it over the plum pulp. It is important not to let hot water or syrup contact the plums as the skins contain a waxy secretion that could give clarity problems later. Add 2.3litres (4 pints) of water, stir in the yeast and all the other additives apart from the Bentonite powder and surplus sugar. Cover and ferment on the pulp for 5 or 6 days stirring daily. Strain into a demijohn - do not squeeze the pulp - fine particles will cloud your wine. Also, these will decay and cause off-flavours. Ferment to dryness (that is, ferment it out completely), add the Bentonite (it is always best firstly to make this up into a runny slurry either with water or with some of your wine). Add further doses of sugar as syrup; 227g (8oz) to begin with, then subsequently 113g (4oz) until it's all gone. Stabilise, and sweeten to taste if necessary.

Note: when winemakers refer to stabilising a wine they mean ensuring that no further fermentation can occur. This means killing off the remaining yeast. You can do this either with 1 or 2 crushed Campden tablets or a substance called potassium sorbate together with the crushed Campden tablet. Potassium sorbate can be purchased at winemaking suppliers - just follow the instructions.  Do not use potassium sorbate on its own - this can lead to the wine developing a "geranium" flavour. Personally, I never stabilise my wines - it is simpler just to leave them for an extended period to ensure that yeast activity has ceased.


Ingredients: rhubarb sticks 3lb (1.4kg); sugar 2lb 4oz (1kg) as a syrup; red or rosé grape concentrate ½ pint (280 ml); wine yeast; tannin (quarter teaspoon or 1.5g); pectic enzyme (1 teaspoon or 5g).

Cut the rhubarb into small pieces and soak in cold water (4 pints) for 4 or 5 days, with a crushed Campden tablet or the equivalent amount of sodium metabisulfite, in a covered bucket. Strain into a demijohn and add all the other ingredients plus enough water to reach the shoulder of the demijohn. Fit an airlock and leave to ferment. Rack it after a couple of weeks, and top up to the shoulder once again with cold water. When fermentation ceases, and the wine has settled, rack it once more. If you wish to ensure the yeast is killed off, then add ½ teaspoon of sodium metabisulfite and a similar quantity of potassium sorbate. Personally, I never bother with these – it’s sufficient just to leave it a couple of months before bottling. Drink it chilled – like a commercial rosé. Delicious in Summer.

Fred’s Orange Wine, dry

Cathy is grateful for the following recipe supplied by Fred. She’s made it – and it is a beautiful crisp, refreshing wine that should be a real asset this coming Christmas. Ingredients and method: 6 medium (unwaxed)  oranges; 1L orange juice; 1 Kg sugar; pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient; wine yeast; 1 Campden tablet; finings (optional). Thinly zest the outer skin of the oranges. Make up a syrup with the sugar in 2 pts boiling water – allow it to cool. Halve the oranges and juice them. Sieve into a sterile container. Add the carton juice, orange zest, pectic enzyme, nutrient and yeast. Top up to half a gallon with water. When fermentation starts, add the syrup, in 2 or 3 doses, over 7 days stirring daily. Strain through a fine sieve into a sterile demijohn, add cold water to the “ears” and fit an airlock. When fermentation has ceased, rack into a clean sterile demijohn, top up with water (you can now almost fill the demijohn) and keep at room temperature. When it is clear and stable, siphon into a fresh demijohn, add the crushed Campden tablet, top up with water and leave in a cool place. When clear (fine if necessary) bottle and store in a cool place. Enjoy!


8 oz dried elderberries

¼ pt red grape concentrate

2½ lb sugar

1 teasp citric acid

1 gallon water

Yeast (preferably Bordeaux or Pommard)

1 teasp nutrient

Pectic enzyme

Finings (if required)

Campden tablet 


Stir the grape concentrate into the boiling water, with elderberries and the sugar.  Stir well to dissolve sugar.  Allow to cool, add acid, enzyme, nutrient and yeast.  Keep covered in a warm place and stir daily for a week, pushing the fruit down regularly.  Strain into fermenting jar, ferment, rack when clear, and bottle.  

NB  For a sweet wine increase the sugar to 3 lb and use a Burgundy yeast.  

CJJ Berry, First Steps in Winemaking

Cranberry Wine (from berries)

Cranberries 1 lb

Water to 1 Gallon

Sultanas (minced) 1.5 lb

Sugar 2 lb

Pectic enzyme


Yeast Nutrient

Citric Acid 0.5 tsp



Place the minced sultanas in a fermenting bin and cover in 2 litres of boiling water. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the acid and allow to cool. Cover the cranberries with boiling water and crush all of the berries. Pour into the fermenting bin and allow to cool. Once cooled, add the pectic enzyme and stir well. Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours. Add the yeast and nutrient and stir well and then cover and move to a warm place to ferment. After 10 days, strain off into a demi-john and fit a bung and airlock and then leave in a warm place to ferment out. Clear and bottle the wine as usual once fermentation has completed.


(If preferred use a carton of grape juice instead of the sultanas).


Cranberry Wine (from cranberry juice)

2 Litres Cranberry juice (Ocean Spray cranberry classic)

1 Litre grape juice

sugar to s.g. 1.080 (about 20oz. or 550g)

pectic enzyme


yeast nutrient



Put all the ingredients into a demijohn and ferment out as usual. See other, similar, recipes above.






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P. Donworth | Reply 25.04.2014 12:50

simple to follow recipes for making very acceptable wines. All ingredients easily to hand, or obtainable from a homebrew shop or via internet.

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31.03 | 15:44

Hello, We have some demijohns and fermenting buckets, they are free of charge.If anyone would be interested please contact me.
Thank you

09.11 | 20:18

Thank you for your kind offer of the wine rack. Unfortunately Rainham is rather a long way to travel, as many of us live in Tonbridge.
Best wishes,

09.11 | 19:34

Hello I was a wine maker many years ago and have a 90 bottle wine rack for FREE if anyone can collect from Rainham Kent

09.09 | 18:31

Looks yummy! You list garlic in the ingredients list, but I don’t see where you add it to the recipe. I would guess that you add it to the partially sautéed oni

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