All About Pomegranate Wine
Long known for its health benefits and rich, fruity taste, pomegranate wine is something you can make at home, or, if you just can’t wait, can purchase commercially.
Known throughout Europe and Asia as a symbol of royalty, fertility and hope, the pomegranate is also associated with procreation and abundance. The word pomegranate is of French origin and means “seeded apple,” most likely due to the fact that each fruit contains over 800 seeds.
In taste, pomegranate wine is similar to a cross between blush and dessert wine.
Referred to in health food and nutritionist circles as a “super food,” pomegranate juice contains potassium, vitamins B12 and C. Pomegranate wine has three times more anti-oxidants than equivalent amounts of green tea and red wine, and as such is known to lower systolic blood pressure, prevent hardening of the arteries, and reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer. It also contains ployphenols, which have anti-viral and anti-tumor properties, as well as other compounds that help maintain healthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
In tune with the current heightened interest in the health benefits of particular fruits, wineries have been reintroducing pomegranate wine to their inventory. Known for its sweetness and deep color, the juice is fermented at low heat in stainless steel tanks, which preserves the fruit’s natural health benefits, after which the juice is fermented in oaken casks.
As for the wine itself, the cheapest way to make it is to secure 10-15 fruit from someone who owns a tree or two. Buying the fruit will end up costing you more than simply purchasing a bottle ready-made.
Ingredients are as follows:
- 10-15 ripe pomegranates
- 1/2 lb. barley
- 3 lb. granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 gallon water
- Wine yeast and nutrient
First, get 10-15 fruit (3-4” in diameter). After donning some latex gloves (to protect against stained hands), peel each pomegranate and place the seeds in a container.
Place barley in boiling water.
After 5 minutes, strain the liquid onto seeds with sugar and lemon juice, all going into the first fermentation container- then stir.
After mixture cools, add nutrient and yeast, then cover the container.
Let ferment for five days, then strain the mixture into the second fermentation container and close.
Wait six months before tasting, a year for best results.
Here’s a different recipe that yields 4 liters of wine:
500g of raisins or 500ml of red grape concentrate
1 kg granulated sugar
10g of acid blend or just malic acid
5g pectin enzyme
10g yeast nutrient or diamonium phosphate
2-3g of meta-bisulphite
1 package wine yeast
3 liters water
Open pomegranates. Remove seeds, making sure none of the pith gets into the wine, or it will turn bitter and take a long time to age.
Crush fruit. Add water and all other ingredients (except yeast).
Stir well and let sit 24 hours.
Stir daily for six days, or until specific gravity is 1.050.
Strain and squeeze the juice out.
Siphon into fermentor and continue fermentation.
Make sure the FSO2 is at 50ppm.
Wine will age in one year.
As to quality, here is one wine taster’s description of pomegranate wine:
"The flavors are sweet and enjoyable, packed full of ripe red fruit and natural sweetness. It coats the tongue and holds till next sip. It is enjoyable at room temperature or with a slight chill, which tones down the slight spiciness that adds another dimension of flavor to the wine. Use in place of blush or dessert wine or as a way to unwind and help your health in one glass."
Though at present Rimon is the only pomegranate winery in the world- located in Israel’s Upper-Galilee region- there are sure to be more in the near future, owing to this wine’s newfound popularity and broad appeal.