Blueberry wine is increasingly rising in popularity. In the past, many of us have only ever tried the classic beverages made of red and white wine from grapes. Even though blueberry wine is not as famous as its cousins made from the grape, it has increasingly gained popularity in recent years.
One of the primary reasons for this is because wine consumers have discovered the nutritional benefits of blueberry wine. This has resulted in a rising demand of the different varieties of blueberry wine and in fact, some wine enthusiasts just love to make this sweet drink at the comfort of their homes.
What is blueberry wine?
You cannot describe blueberry wine correctly without talking about the blueberry fruit. Blueberries, as the name suggests, are grape-sized blue fruits growing by the vineyard with plenty of polyphenols that enrich human’s health.
Blueberry wine is available in both sweet and dry varieties. It is renowned for its sickly sweet taste that is neither watered down nor syrupy. It feels just smooth and pairs nicely with cheese and fruits with cinnamon. It is also a lovely option to serve alongside barbecue by the poolside, and blueberry wine will add to the overall taste of any picnic.
Blueberry wine undergoes a fermentation process similar to that of making wine from grapes. This produces wine containing approximately 100 calories and 3-5g carbs per glass serving. Most sugary compounds are transformed to alcohol during the fermentation process requiring a lengthier digestion process and this can result in a high alcoholic content.
The fact that it has a lot of carbs gives us enough reasons not drink a lot of this wine, after all too much drinking is harmful to health. Alcohol is like a double edged sword. It is beneficial when taken responsibly but bites back in excess consumption. While taking a half-full glass is no problem, taking at least two glasses on the go is where the documented health benefits lie.
As we said earlier, the blueberry wine’s content compromises of polyphenols which are known for preventing diseases like cancer, heart disease, and dementia. People who consume blueberry wine also hardly suffer from any forms of inflammations, and the wine also has 17 vitamins which includes Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and manganese among other components.
Blueberry wine vs. red wine
Blueberry wine can be substituted for some classic red grape wines. The two wines compare well in terms of the composition of nutrients. Consumers also derive similar health benefits and enjoy almost the same level of satisfaction consuming both types, but even though both of them have some similar benefits, the two contrast sharply in color, antioxidants, and taste.
We all agree that red wine is the sweetest wine, and yes, blueberry has not beaten the red wine in terms of sweetness. However, it has a deep sited and intense flavor. Besides other substantial differences, color is the obvious differentiating factor. Blueberry wine is a far deeper purple than the traditional deep reds of grape wine.
In terms of antioxidants however, blueberry outperforms the red wine. Studies indicate that blueberry is richer in health-protective polyphenols than the red wine. Even though this concept can be argued based on the place where the fruit is grown and the batch of the fruit, blueberry outshines red wine with regards to this beneficial compound.
How is blueberry wine made?
One of the best things about blueberry wine is how simple it is to make – and how wonderful it tastes after making it!
Most fruit wines are a very delicate process – featuring a whole bunch of steps and complex ingredients, where just one mistake can absolutely destroy the taste of the wine. But with blueberry wine, even if you make some errors here and there, the final result still comes out absolutely incredible.
You’ll need a few additional ingredients after blueberries – citric acid, tannins, yest, and pectic enzymes. These are standard essentials with any fruit wine, and past this, all you need are ample blueberries.
- 1.5kg fresh blueberries – you can use store bought, but for the best results try and get some straight from a farm, or even from your garden!
- 1kg cane sugar or fructose
- 4 litres fresh water
- 2.5 tsp Citric Acid
- 0.35g (approx 1/8 tsp) Tannin
- 3g (approx 1tsp) Yeast Nutrient
- 1.5g (approx 0.5 tsp) Pectic Enzyme
- 1 Preservation and Sterilisation Tablet (eg, Campden Tablets)
- 1 sachet wine yeast
Making your blueberry wine
- Add the sugar and half of your water to a large brewing pan, and bring it gently to the boil. You should ensure that all of the sugar has dissolved, by stirring through the boiling process, and you can turn off the heat once all the sugar is dissolved.
- Put all the blueberries into a straining bag, and place the bag into the bottom of your fermenting bucket.
- Use a masher to break the blueberries into squashed pieces. You’re not aiming for a paste here, just to ensure that all the juice from the blueberries has been released
- Pour the sugar water over the blueberries, and mix well. Once mixed, you can add the second half of the fresh water.
- Add in your citric acid, yeast nutrients, and tannins, before mixing again. Leave your mixture for a couple of hours or until cooled, before adding your crushed Campden tablet and leaving the mixture again for a further 12 hours.
- Once your 12 hour are up, add in your pectic enzymes and leave for a further 24h.
- 24 hours later, and you’re ready to start the fermentation process! Add in your yeast, and you’ll kick off the process. You should leave fermentation to continue for around a week, ensuring that you stir the mixture every couple of days – this will help ensure strong blueberry flavors in your wine.
- Once you’ve finished up fermenting for around a week, remove the straining bag and allow it to drain – but avoid squeezing the mixture as this will result in a cloudy wine. You can use a hydrometer to test the specific gravity of the wine, ensuring that you’re aiming for >1.01, you can leave it longer if not.
- Move the wine into a sanitised demijohn for further ageing
- After 2 months or so, you can rack off the sediment, and you have your blueberry wine!
The sweet tasting blueberry wine is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and healthy polyphenols. For those who like drinking on occasions, it is the best substitute for red or white wine. Why not give it a try?