Nectarine wine stands out thanks to its bright yellow color (sometimes with a tincture of red) and soft, sweet taste with a hint of peach. This comes as no surprise since nectarine is a plum and peach hybrid. The technology behind making nectarine wine is very similar to that of making peach wine, but there are slight differences in the ratios since these fruits have different dry matter contents.
You can use any ripe nectarines. Make sure to sort out the fruits to remove any spoilt, tainted or moldy ones. Even a small amount of bad raw materials can spoil the whole batch of your homemade drink. Also, you should ensure that all of the vessels and tools used are sterilized with boiling hot water and wiped with a clean dry fabric. Be sure to work with the pulp with clean hands.
- Nectarines – 5 kilos
- Sugar – 1.5 kilos
- Water – 2 liters
- Citric acid – 25 grams (or juice from 6 average-sized lemons)
- Wine yeast or fermentation starter – per 7-8 liters of the mash (preferable)
Nectarines’ natural acidity is too low to maintain normal fermentation and develop well-balanced taste, thus you’ll need to increase the level of mash acidity by adding citric acid.
If you don’t have store-bought wine yeast, and you don’t want to make raisin fermentation starter, you can try to start fermentation with wild yeast, which are contained on nectarines’ surface. In this case, you shouldn’t wash the nectarines—just wipe them with a dry piece of fabric.
Nectarine Wine Recipe
Extract the stones and squash the pulp along with the peel. Put the obtained fruit puree in a non-metallic vessel (plastic or enamel) with a wide neck—a bucket or stock pot works great.
Dissolve 500 grams of sugar in water and pour the resulting syrup into the nectarine pulp. Add the citric acid or lemon juice and the wine yeast or fermentation starter (optional). Stir the mixture.
Cover the vessel with cheesecloth to prevent insects from getting in. Leave it for 3 days in a dark place with room temperature. To prevent it from going sour stir the mixture every 8-12 hours with a wooden stick, drowning the floating pulp in the juice. During the day of setting all of the ingredients, you should start noticing the signs of fermentation: foaming, hissing, and discreet fermentation smell. This means that the process is going in the right direction.
Strain the mash through 2-3 layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze the pulp dry and get rid of it afterwards. Add 500 grams of sugar to the strained juice and stir. Decant the mash into a fermentation vessel, filling it up to 65-80% to leave enough space for the foam and carbon dioxide. Attach an airlock of any design (a medical glove with a pierced finger is totally fine).
A factory-made airlock
Move the fermentation vessel to a dark place with a stable temperature of 20-27°C. Leave it there till the end of the fermentation process. The airlock should start bubbling after a few hours of fermenting (the glove will become inflated).
After 5 days from the airlock installation, add the next sugar batch (250 grams). To do this, detach the airlock, decant 0.5 liters of the fermenting mash and dissolve the sugar in it. Afterwards, pour the obtained syrup back into the mash and attach the airlock once again. Repeat the procedure after another 5 days, adding the remaining sugar (250 grams).
Depending on the yeast used and temperature the nectarine wine ferments for 35-55 days. Once you see that the airlock is no longer bubbling, there is a layer of sediment at the bottom, and the wort itself is brighter, you can be sure that the fermentation has stopped.
Warning! If the fermentation keeps going even after 50 days after the installation of the airlock, you should decant the drink, attach the airlock once again, and let it ferment at the same temperature to prevent the drink from going bitter.
Decant the fermented young nectarine wine through a tube into another container. Try it. You can sweeten it with sugar or fortify it with vodka or ethanol in the amount of 2-5% of the volume of the drink. Fortified wine is harsher and less fragrant but can be kept for a longer time.
Fill the storing vessels with the wine to the brim. If you have added sugar at the previous stage, you should keep them under airlocks for the first 7-10 days in case of refermentation.
Move the wine to a dark place with a temperature of 5-12°C and leave it for at least 4-6 months for maturation (9 months if you don’t mind waiting). Decant the wine through a tube once every 10-30 days in process of 2-4 cm sediment buildup. Once the sedimentation has stopped, your nectarine wine is ready. Bottle it and cork the bottles.
After 8 months of aging
Homemade nectarine wine can be stored for up to 3 years in a fridge or cellar. It has 10-13% ABV.