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What Is Cranberry Wine?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 16, 2024
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As its name suggests, cranberry wine is a type of wine made from cranberries. To make this wine, cranberries are usually crushed to extract the juice. Sugar is sometimes added, along with yeast. The mixture is then allowed to set and ferment. Cranberry wine is typically best when aged for at least one year.

Wine is an alcoholic beverage usually made from grapes and other fruit. Many varieties of wine include ingredients like coffee beans, raspberries, strawberries, and dandelions. To make wine, yeast is often used to convert sugar into alcohol.

Cranberry juice is one of the main ingredients in cranberry wine. This is often extracted from the cranberries themselves. The cranberries can be crushed or chopped to accomplish this. Homemade cranberry wine can sometimes be made from commercially available cranberry juice.

When making cranberry wine, the juice is typically put into a large container. This container can either be glass or plastic. Many homemade wine makers used glass fermentation jugs for this step. Other ingredients, including other fruit juices, can also be added to the cranberry juice.

Camden tablets are also sometimes used to make cranberry wine. These are used to help ensure that harmful bacteria does not cause the wine to spoil. Sugar and yeast are also usually added as well. As with other types of wine, the yeast helps convert the sugar to alcohol. Additional sugar can be added to make sweet cranberry wine, but this will usually result in a wine with a higher alcohol content as well.

After all ingredients are mixed in the container, the cranberry wine mixture is then allowed to set for roughly a week. When enough time has passed, the fruit can be strained out. A fermentation lock will also be used to seal the container. This type of wine-making tool allows gas bubbles to leave the container, but it prevents oxygen and bacteria, which can spoil the wine, from entering the container.

Cranberry wine must usually allowed to ferment for several months. During this time, the wine must also be racked. To rack wine, a piece of long rubber tubing is used to transfer the wine from one jug to another, leaving the sediment that accumulate on the bottom of the first jug behind. The wine is finished fermenting when no more gas escapes through the fermentation lock. This can sometimes take up to a year, at which time the wine can then be bottled, corked, and stored.

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