Most of us have heard about, tasted, inebriated with the help of, or even made wine, but what exactly is peach wine? And how different is it from the Rosé or the Chardonnay that the esoteric ones among us consume?
What is Peach Wine?
Peach wine is a sub-variety of fruit wine, and as the name suggests, is made and fermented from the fruit of the peach tree. Peach is a tree that is local to most Asian deciduous forests, mainly northwest China and surrounding areas. Historically, it was brought to Europe from modern-day Iran, otherwise known as Persia. Peach is also known as “fuzzed fruit”, mainly because of a distinct fuzz on its skin—quite like the other fruits of that ilk, stuff beyond the fuzz mostly has something amazing to offer!
Biochemically, like any other wine-producing alternative, the starch stored in the peach pulp is acted upon by microbes like yeast, under optimum conditions, and this is further broken into simpler compounds, like ethanol and carbon dioxide. The ethanol is the component that produces the “alcoholic” pacifying effect that only the finest connoisseur can relate to.
Check out “Most Common Fruity Wines” for related fruit-flavored wines.
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How Do We Make Peach Wine?
One of the most quintessential aspects of winemaking is the selection of fruits, and it is observed that the wild varieties are chosen or preferred over the others, mainly because of the exponentially higher yield of acids.
The amount of acid yield is biochemically important for the desired ethanol production and extraction, and that is where peach wine is severely disadvantaged, for peaches generally contain much lower acids as compared to its counterparts, like grapes.
Storage becomes an important hurdle to overcome, thereby requiring more potent stabilizers in larger amounts, that would not hinder either the taste or quality of the wine. It is always recommended to be aware of, and invest resources in good storage equipment, especially if you are looking forward to marketing your homegrown peach wine. Check out “How to Store Wine After Opening” to make sure you are storing your wine appropriately after opening.
Assuming one has access and bypass against all the above problems, the following are the standard ingredients that are required:
- Citric acid, either in the form of fruits such as lemon or as ascorbic acid
- Wine yeast
Note that the quantities may vary according to scale of production, but a standard metric may be followed, where the peaches and sugar may be added according to a ratio of 5:2 with respect to weight, and if this is the ratio that is followed, then water may be added in a quantity of 3 liters.
The amount of acid and yeast is up to the discretion of the maker, but it should be nowhere close to the proportion of the primary ingredients.
Once the ingredients are sought, this is how one can make and relish peach wine:
Don’t Forget to Wash Your Fruit!
It is important to carefully wash the fruit under running water, in order to keep it free of any microorganisms or wild yeasts that would hamper wine production. A uniform mass or amount of pulp is collected, henceforth. We’re sure all of us have inculcated the habit of washing fruits before consuming it, why not apply it here too?
Are You Ready, Yeast?
There is an efficient bypass to making the entire process speed up a little. The yeast can be cultivated in a medium base and can be added to the peach pulp mentioned below.
In a small container, fill it half with the source of citric acid, either the lemon or, preferably, orange juice. Put it out under the sunlight for a few hours. Once you start observing bubbles, it is indicative of the acid starting to be acted on by the yeast, otherwise known as fermenting.
Pulp the Peach!
The above mass of pulp is cautiously transferred to a fermentation container along with half of the said amount of sugar, but the entirety of the water and the mixture of citric acid prepared a little earlier.
Alternatively, you can also boil a sugar solution, let it cool, and then add it to the peach pulp mixture you just made. Either way, the sugar solution becomes extremely important, as this further aids the fructose in the peach, forming a carbohydrate base for the action and further fermenting.
You’re learning about making peach wine but also check out “Best Grapes for Making Wine” for the more traditional route as well.
This mixture is stirred well, and kept in a poorly lit or a dark room for a couple of days, if not three. At this juncture, it is important to stir the contents in these for two or three days. Temperature moderation is important, wherein the contents are kept at room temperature.
Remember, steady hands, sturdy wine!
But There’s Hissing!
It is not uncommon to see foaming, or observe hissing from the fermentation container; it simply indicates that the contents need further filtration. The hissing is a significant observation, as it marks the conception of the fermentation process. Make sure that the pulp is well squeezed and filtered, use a gauze if required.
Modulation is the MO!
The aforementioned pulp that was just filtered is to be transferred to another fermentation container and filled roughly to 2/3rd of its volume. It is important to install an airlock, to avoid the high starch and acid-rich environment from contamination by external sources like bacteria, or any wild varieties for that matter.
The new container with the filtered pulp is to be kept in a dark room, modulated by room temperature varying from 17-25 degrees Celsius for 4-5 days. After keeping the container for the said duration, the other half of the batch of sugar may be added, and the ingredients are stirred.
As a general rule of thumb, remember, too much and too little of anything is bad (rule of life?).
On average, it takes 20-40 days for the peach to actively ferment. Termination of the fermenting process is marked by the lack of bubbles in the air-locked container, with a layer of sediments on the bottom. At this juncture, it is important to siphon the contents into another container, without touching the settled sediment.
The new container is to be sealed, and kept at a marginally lower temperature, possibly 10-16 degrees Celsius. The taste and texture would ameliorate depending on how long the wine was carefully stored; an optimum metric being 4-6 months. It is also important to note that the taste would be narrowly better if the above siphoning is done on the basis of every 15-20 days.
Ready to Wine and Dine?
Peach wine is made and hence, ready to be consumed. As mentioned earlier, peach wine does not last as long as its counterparts, and hence the usage of stabilizers or storage substrates become important. Ideally, its shelf life is not more than 2-3 years.
Make sure to invest in good quality preservatives!
Winemaking, like many other things in life, is like an art. One cannot be adamant and claim that there is objectively only one way to make fine wine. At the end of the day, the fermentation period and hence, the projection of its taste, texture and other attributes solely rely on how much you’re willing to go, some go an inch, while some go that extra yard (yard? Orchard? Peach palace? Bad pun? Good wine).
Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments what you think of a bottle of peach wine and let us know if you’ve tried a bottle yet. Be sure to also check out “Best Wine for Beginners” or “The Most Popular Sweet Wines” for options on your wine selection.
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