Plum Wild Wine
Wild East Texas plums are small and tart, but always real treat. Some may be no bigger than a marble but most get no larger than a golf ball. These small native plums are a meager offering for a snack, but their flavor explodes in a bottle of homemade wine.
The Chickasaw plum has been on the menu in the Pineywoods for hundreds of years. Native Americans regularly consumed the fresh fruits of the Chickasaw plum tree. First cultivated in 1874, the fruit was used for wine making, jam, and jelly. With billowing, white, fragrant flowers, these wild plum trees are often one of the first plants to herald the coming of spring and bear fruit.
It takes patience to make any wine, but wild plum wine takes longer than some. If you want to make wild plum wine you need about five pounds of wild plums. Wild plums alone make for a think wine with an extra sour bite. To cut the bite you can also add two pounds of over ripe bananas an about two-thirds of pound worth of minced raisins. The extra fruit tames the wild plums a bit and makes the wine more smooth.
You will also need one and half pounds of granulated sugar, seven and half pints of water, one crushed Campden tablet, one teaspoon of pectic enzyme, one teaspoon of yeast nutrient, and your favorite brand of red wine yeast.
Wash and stem the plums. Allow them to dry completely. Put the plums in a bowl and place them in refrigerator for one to two weeks. After one to two weeks the plums will turn very dark.
Once the plums have darkened you are ready to start combining your other ingredients. Put your water on to boil and start mincing your raisins and thinly slicing your bananas. Place the plums in a sterilized bucket and begin mashing them. The best tools to mash plums is either a baseball bat or a piece of hardwood such as the handle of a shovel (sterilized).
Add your sliced bananas and minced raisins to the mashed plums. Now pour your boiling water over the fruit and add the sugar. Continue stirring to ensure all sugar dissolves then cover the mixture with a clean towel to keep out unwanted objects and insects.
After the mixture has cooled to approximately 70-75 degrees, stir in the crushed Campden tablet. Then replace the towel over the bucket and let sit for at least 12 hours. After waiting 12 hours, then stir in the pectic enzyme and yeast nutrients. Then recover the bucket and set aside for at least another 12 hours. After waiting 12 more hours, add the yeast. If adding a dry yeast, simply sprinkle over the top and recover the bucket. Do not stir for 24 hours.
Allow the mixture to begin fermenting for the next three days. Punch down the pulp at least two times a day. After 10 days have lapsed strain the pulp through a nylon straining bag and squeeze to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp and return the juice to the bucket and allow another two days of fermentation.
After two more days of fermentation have passed, siphon off stones and sediments and fit airlock. When ferment dies down to a steady bubbling, top up approximately one inch from airlock. After 60 days, top up again and refit airlock. Repeat this procedure another 60 days later. After waiting another 60 days since the last procedure the wine should be clear. If the wine is not clear, repeat the previous procedure and allow another 60 days of fermentation. Otherwise, bottle the wild plum wine and put it on a rack somewhere.
Now, hurry up and wait because your wild plum wine will not be ready for tasting until three years have passed. Your wild plum wine will mature in three years, but dramatically improves with every year it ages. To keep yourself in stock one must make wild plum wine every year.
Making wild plum wine is a long process but always proves to be well worth the wait.