Tax Day Wine

Wine from Welch’s grape juice

Its tax day in the US, and this year taxes made me busier and grumpier than normal. With all that behind me, I’m starting to feel like my old self. So when Welch’s concentrated grape juice went on sale the other day, I bought twelve cans to make a “Tax Day Wine.” Yep, definitely feeling better! If you’ve never made wine from frozen concentrate, it probably seems like a nutty idea. There is method in this madness, however, and good technique can transform Welch’s grape juice into a drinkable wine that costs less than $1/bottle. Think of it as the home wine maker’s version of “Two Buck Chuck,” the simple, popular table wine that Trader Joe’s sells for $2/bottle in most of the country (and a higher but still affordable $3/bottle here in Washington).

What kind of juice

There are all sorts of frozen concentrates available, and I’ve made wine from a lot of them. The white grape juice, made from Niagra grapes, is the most consistent, and that’s what I’ll be using. Others have been hit or miss, with some of the hits being really good and some of the misses being really disappointing. I suggest you start with white grape (other brands, like Old Orchard, are fine). After you make that, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect from concentrates. If you want to make more, then by all means try the blends like Dole’s Pine-Orange-Banana – just watch your acid, don’t expect the wine to taste like the juice, and have fun.

I hope to make this in the next week or so, and then I’ll do a proper writeup. Until then, Happy Tax Day!

Update 1/29/09: Better late than never! Full writeup on Welch’s wine

Boy did I ever get sidetracked! It was nine months in coming, but I finally posted a complete recipe for wine from frozen concentrate. If you’ve made Welch’s wine, let me know how it turned out. If not, maybe now’s the time to give it a try. While you’re at it, you might have a look at my Produce Department Chablis, a wine made from grocery store grapes.

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