Oregano Wine Recipe

And you thought tomato wine sounded strange! Years ago I started an oregano bush from seed. Each year I harvest a little for cooking, but it’s huge and most of it goes to waste. What’s a winemaker to do? Use this recipe from Terry Garey’s Joy of Home Wine Making, my first winemaking book. It’s a great way to start – it’s how I got started – making your own wine.

Ingredients

4-6 cups (1-1.5 liters), packed lightly, of fresh herbs
1 gallon (3.785 liters) water
3 lb (1.4 kg) sugar or 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) honey
1 tsp (5 grams) yeast nutrient
0.125 tsp (0.3 grams) tannin
3 tsp (15 grams) acid blend
sulfite to 50 ppm (equivalent to 1 campden tablet)
wine yeast

Equipment

Initially, you will need a fermenter, hydrometer, thermometer, stirring spoon, measuring spoons, and a couple of pots. Later, we’ll use a gallon jug, a racking cane, some siphon hose, and pH papers.

Procedure

Simmering Oregano
Start by sanitizing the clean equipment by immersion in boiling water or sanitizing solution. Harvest about 6 cups (about 1.5 liters), lightly packed, of oregano. Then remove dead leaves and any other plants that have gotten mixed in. After a quick rinse in cold water, place the oregano in a 2 quart (2 liter) saucepan, add 1 quart (1 liter) water, and bring to a simmer. As soon as it started simmering, take it off the heat and let sit for 1-2 hours. In the meantime, I dissolve the sugar in boiling water.

Pouring the oregano infused water through a strainerStrain the oregano and add the sugar water. Next, I dissolve the tannin and nutrient in water and add to the fermenter. Wait until fermentation is complete before adding the acid because the pH could drop too much during fermentation and inhibit the yeast. Finally, I add 1 tsp of sulfite solution (equivalent to 1 campden tablet).

Always take a hydrometer reading before pitching the yeast. I recorded a specific gravity of 1.108 @ 82 Fahrenheit (about 28 Celsius) when I made this recipe. My hydrometer is calibrated to work at 60F (15.5C), and I adjusted for the higher temperature with a lookup table. The adjusted SG was 1.110, so the potential alcohol was 15%. I thought it might turn out to be high, but I like to follow recipes closely the first time. I’ll probably cut the sugar and aim for and SG of 1.090 (12% alcohol) the next time.

At this point, turn if over to the yeast. Once fermentation subsides, rack the wine to an airlocked glass jug. When fermentation is complete (check with a hydrometer), add the acid.



Was this helpful?

If you got something out of this article, why not spread the word? You can click any of the icons below to give this page a +1 or share it on your favorite social media. Everyone likes a pat on the back - even me!

16 thoughts on “Oregano Wine Recipe

  1. Pingback: Beetle Eyes » Oregano Wine

  2. Pingback: Washington Winemaker » Blog Archive » Oregano Wine Recipe: Daily stirring

  3. Erroll Post author

    Hello Maurene,

    I really don’t know what is available in the Philippines. If you can’t find winemaking supplies, like campden tablets, locally then you might try online retailers in other countries – maybe they ship to the Philippines. You may be interested in this Yahoo group of homebrewers in the Philippines:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homebrewers_philippines/

    Are you planning to make oregano wine?

    Erroll

  4. maurene ornon

    thank u 4 da reply that u dont know that we cant campden tablet here in the philippines its ok dont worry

  5. Betsy Parks

    Hello — Would you be interested in submitting your recipe for oregano wine to WineMaker magazine for publication?

    Betsy Parks
    Associate Editor
    WineMaker Magazine

  6. Juliet

    Hello,

    This afternoon I was staring down at a bunch of oregano I harvested from the garden and I was wondering what to do with it. Since I already make wine I came upon your blog and will be trying out your Oregano recipe. I’ve made wine from mint with excellent results but never wine from something savory.
    How did your wine turn out?

    I plan to make a sage wine next; and am gearing up for when fruit is in season and cheap!

  7. John Hance

    Erroll,

    I’m curious about this recipe. I admit for the last three years, every time I have come upon this page on your site I’ve balked at the idea of an herb wine. It just seems…weird! Then, I’ve always thought that of flower wines, too, and I just recently started a honeysuckle wine (which has since suffered from stuck fermentation; I suspect it’s a PH problem, as you mention above…) which smelled great while it was in primary fermentation. I know it sounds weird, but I have gained the ability to determine whether or not a wine will taste good to me based on the smell it produces during primary fermentation. I think this honeysuckle will come out great if I can get fermentation going again…

    Anyway, I wonder, since it’s been a few years since you wrote this post. How did your oregano wine come out? Have you had a chance to try it yet? Let us know!

    – John Hance

  8. Erroll Post author

    John,

    This wine surprised me almost every time I opened a bottle. I’ve noticed wines change as they age, but this was different. One bottle had a nice flavor – different enough that it was obviously not from grapes, but no strong flavor of oregano either. Next bottle oozed oregano. And so it went with almost every bottle being different. Some I liked, some I didn’t. I do want to try it again, but next time no acid until it’s fermented out!

    Erroll

  9. santos gregorio

    may i asking, where can i buy the ingredients to make oregano wine? because i interested to know…. pls send your answer on my email thanks…

  10. Erroll Post author

    > may i asking, where can i buy the ingredients to make oregano wine?

    The most important ingredient is the oregano, and I got that from my back yard. The winemaking ingredients are available in homebrew shops. If you don’t have one near you, there are online sellers. I’ve had good experiences buying from Amazon, The Grape and Granary, Presque Isle, and others. Here are links where you can buy some of the ingredients in this recipe:

    Erroll

  11. M@T

    this seems like an… interesting wine and kinda similar to the process in making the wine i desire to make… i was looking through and this site is a grate resource for wine makers with a bunch of lovely wine variety to pick from. but the wine i wish to make is dandelion wine. the best flowers 2 use are past so i have 2 w8 till the spring so i thought it would give me time to learn as much as i could. but all the recipes i have found are no where as specific as any of the ones u have on this site. simply put a gum raper has more info on wine making than most other sites i have been on so this site was a true treat for me. anyway as i was saying the recipes i have found have been vary str8 forward… 1 gallon dandelion flowers 1 gallon purified water 3lb’s sugar lemon and orange (some say slices zest juice diced yada yada and anywhere from 1-3 of each) some call for rains some for ginger you know the “for/ to taste” part of a recipe and than it just said yeast or cake yeast never wut kind so if i went of that id think well i got yeast packs left over from the bread i made last month that should do it… so basically wut id like to ask is wut yeast should i use can i use my bread yeast? and can i use plastic jug as a cask (like the big 3gallon water jug with the spout on the side/top)? im always looking to reuse and renew old things like plastic jugs that would otherwise set for a million years in a trash mound in a land fill being one of them… or for a jimpsy hillbilly wine like this wut should i use? any help u could give would be vary helpful

    Thank U Much
    ~M@T

  12. Erroll Post author

    Hi M@T,

    Red Star’s Premier Cuvee can ferment in a wider temperature range than many other yeasts and it has a high alcohol tolerance. This makes it a good all around wine yeast. My standard advice for a long time has been, “if you don’t know what yeast to use, use Premier Cuvee.”

    Old plastic containers make me nervous. If you know for a fact that they are food grade, were never home to molds or other micro critters and were never used to store anything toxic to humans or yeast then you can use them as primary fermenters. I’d strongly recommend purpose built fermenters, like Better Bottles, sold at homebrew shops or glass carboys. Whatever you get, make sure you can clean and sanitize it well.

    Hope this helps,

    Erroll

  13. Erroll Post author

    joben, I have no idea about what’s available in the Philippines. For what it’s worth, I’ve never seen oregano wine for sale in the US – that’s why I made it myself.

    Erroll

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *