Tomato Wine

Yes indeeeedy, you did read the title of the post correctly! Today we’re talking about making wine from tomatoes. Turns out that you can ferment pretty much anything. My tomato wine adventure actually took place last year, but now that I’ve had a chance to try it I’m ready to share. Last year when I had so so many tomatoes in late summer/early fall (over 300 pounds from my little garden!) I was looking for ideas on what else to do with them. I made so much sauce and salsa and wanted to try some new ideas. Of course I thought to myself, “I bet I could make wine out of these.” Turns out there is a guy that commercially makes it (as I found on this blog), and I also found a smattering of recipes online on how to make it. So here’s what I ended up trying based on a few things I saw, and based on my experiences with fruit wines. It turned out pretty nicely!

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4-5 pounds of tomatoes – the sweeter the variety the better
3 lbs dextrose
2 tsp acid blend
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp diammonium phosphate
1 tsp yeast nutrient
2 campden tablets
Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast    

For full and complete procedures, see my post on making fruit wine. But here is the short version of what I did to make it.

Combine all ingredients except the yeast in a sanitized primary fermenter. Mash up the tomatoes a little bit. Put on the lid and wait a day.

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After 24 hours add the yeast. You only need about half the package. Put the lid back on and let it ferment away. Punch the cap daily with a sanitized spoon, and after about 5-7 days when the cap is broken up a lot and fermentation is starting to slow, strain off the solids, and move to secondary fermentation. Allow the wine to sit until all solids settle out and it becomes clear, and fermentation ceases. Bottle, age a few months, and enjoy!

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Again, this is the super short version of how to do this, so if you want to try another fruit or get more details, click here. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does it taste? Will I like it? Well, it’s actually a really interesting flavour. I’ve only had one bottle so far, but basically it tastes like white wine when it first hits your tongue, then you get the tomato flavour after that. Its faint, but is definitely there and tastes mildly like tomato juice. It’s also a bit more acidic than white wine, or at least mine seems that way. The blogger I cited above said she would have just thought it was a white grape wine, but I can’t say I fully agree with that. However, the flavour would also vary depending on what variety of tomato you used, and that wine maker was a professional. It’s not the kind of wine where you would probably want to drink a few big glasses of it, or maybe it will be, but it’s a nice compliment to a tomato based meal, and could also be used in cooking in place of white wine. 

Are you going to try it?


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Can it forward day. A giveaway!

Happy international can it forward day! I hope that you all canned something today and/or ate something that you had canned to celebrate. To me, can it forward day is basically everyday, as I love to get others on to the canning train. I didn’t actually can today, because I just got home from a conference late last night, but zucchini relish and tomato sauce are on the roster for tomorrow. But anyways that brings me to the reason for this post. A can it forward day giveaway!! Pictured below are my giveaway items. I’ve decide to include 4 canned goodies, the zesty zucchini relish and tomato sauce are the two pint size jars, and you will get the fresh stuff I make tomorrow. The half pints are strawberry jam and Victorian barbecue sauce. Yum yum yum. The other exciting thing is that I will be giving away a copy of So Easy to Preserve, which is written by the University of Georgia extension service. This book is an amazing resource with many scientifically tested and trusted recipes. The one caveat, however, is that they are coming out with a new edition at the end of the month so I don’t yet have this book in my possession. What that means is I will likely ship (or give to in person depending who wins) the winner the other prizes first, followed by the book when it comes out. But what this does mean is you’ll be getting the most up to date awesome recipes!


OK here is how to enter. There are going to actually be multiple ways that you can enter this contest. First you will receive one entry for commenting on this page and telling us who first introduced you to canning. Was it a parent or grandparent, a friend, or something you just started doing on your own? I love to hear how people got started, so that will earn you an entry. You can also earn an entry by liking the babbling botanist Facebook page and inviting others to do so. In the spirit of canning it forward I’d like to be able to reach more people and Facebook is a great way to do so. This is going to get complicated for me to tally up, but this is my plan. Anyone you invite gets an entry, but it also earns you an entry if they post the name of the person that invited them like my page on my Facebook wall. I hope this doesn’t get too confusing for everyone involved, but I’m going to give it a shot! The contest will close on the one year anniversary of me starting this blog, August 22 2014 at 9pm Pacific time.

Happy canning! And sorry, but I can ship to Canada and USA only.

Thanks y’all, this giveaway is now CLOSED.