Onion Wine: Yeah, We Tried It May 18, 2017 17:18
What can I say about onion wine that you haven’t already thought? In short, yeah, we tried it. Using the recipe below, we made a whole gallon of onion wine.
What did we expect? Can’t really say.
What did we get? Mixed reactions.
In the early stages, this wine was - shall we say - off-putting. When we bottled the finished product, it was odd. And it hasn’t changed much in two months since. The wine has a strange nose - a real “Sunday roast” quality that clouds our other perceptions. Does it taste like onions? Well, sorta. It has a surprisingly sweet onion character that is not for everyone, but is not bad. None of us personally want much of it, but that doesn’t mean you won’t or that it is not a fun experiment. At least it should be great to cook with!
TL;DR: onion wine is like any other sort of experimentation: It is not for everyone. It is worth a shot. And results are not guaranteed.
Onion Wine Recipe: To make 1 gallon
½# Onions (from Parda’s garden - you will need to find your own)
½# Potatoes (also Parda-grown - see above)
½ pint White Grape Concentrate or 1# Raisins - We used a 1-gallon Pinot Grigio wine kit
1 gallon Warm Water - We topped up to 1 gallon - read instructions!
2# Sugar (Table Sugar, Dextrose, or Other Sugar of Your Choice - add more to raise the alcohol level) - We actually didn’t take good notes, probably used half of this amount
1 tsp Acid Blend - We used half this because the wine kit is pH balanced already
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1 Campden Tab (or ½ tsp Potassium Metabisulfite)
1 pack Wine Yeast (CSF stocks several good yeasts for all types of wine)
1 muslin or nylon straining bag (or cheesecloth)
- Prepare onions and potatoes like you would any other time - just a rough chop is fine.
- Boil until tender (start with slightly more water than you need - we used about ½ gallon).
- Dump all liquid into fermenter - catch the solids in the straining bag & tie off.
- Stir in sugar, wine must/concentrate/raisins, and all other ingredients EXCEPT yeast.
- It will not hurt to take a gravity reading at this point if you have the proper equipment.
- Cover fermenter - we recommend an airlock with Star San solution in it.
- Give campden tab 24 hours to do its sanitizing, then add yeast.
- Do not stir in the yeast, just cover it back up and leave it alone.
- Let it ferment in primary for 2-3 weeks, then siphon off the potatoes and onions into secondary.
- Leave it alone for at least another month, then take a final gravity reading, rack it again, add another campden tab, and let sit for two weeks.
- Bottle it! You might want to rack it one more time for clarity.
Simple enough, right? Bottle the wine in standard wine bottles, cork them, and leave upright for at least 3 days to allow the pressure in the bottes to stabilize. For long-term storage, it is best to lay the bottles on their side in a cool area out of direct sunlight. This wine will benefit from aging for several months, but will start to turn bad after 18-24 months because you are not adding a heavy dose of preservatives.
Recipe based on Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook!