I made apple wine from 5 different trees this year. We had actually harvested from 7, but two were held for a time in the not-yet-very-cold-cellar and those apples were a mess in the crush/press stage – just wouldn’t release their juice for some reason. Of the 5 batches, 1 was outstanding, 1 was a dramatic failure, and the others came in somewhere in between. All were made in the same way with the same yeasts, so apparently I’m in the process of discovering which apples make superior wine. I have one batch on oak at the moment, but most are unoaked this year as they’re so fruit-forward – the best one of candy-like, high-toned fuzzy peach and grapefruit.
All of the carboys are well done their alcoholic fermentation, and different than last year, no malolactic fermentation seems to have taken hold. I either missed observing it, or I’m right and the cellar was so cold that the wine was cold-stabilized before it could do its thing. I’m only bottling a short-term supply and bulk aging the rest, in case the wine decides to have an MLF party in the summer when the cellar warms up a bit. It’s currently 4C – a tad cold for my liking for the long term aging of posh french reds, but certainly lovely for storing fresh flavors in apple wines.
Good quality apple wine is vastly underrated. Now that I’m set up for it, my marginal cost per bottle of wine is under $0.25. Free fruit abounds in the city. And I know, I know, crappy home-made wine isn’t even worth that, perhaps – but this stuff isn’t crappy, I assure you. Ridiculously cheap, local, tasty wine – one of the fronts to fight towards a cool regional food scene.