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Cherry Port

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dcbrown73

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About a year ago, I started a Cherry wine. (Actually, a Cherry Chocolate Walnut wine) I said I wanted to convert some of it into a port with cherry brandy.

So, I went to the store and all they had were Cherry brandy that were over $20 a bottle. I asked if they had anything cheaper (cause that would break me!) They ordered one bottle for testing ($9). (Can't recall the name, but not Hiram Walker which is what I expected)

Anyhow, is 30% ABV, though I was expecting around 40% ABV as everything I read said to mix them about 40% brandy to 60% wine.

They said get the ABV somewhere between 17% and 22%. Given after topping up with cherry juice when racking, I figured the ABV of the wine was probably around 10% and figured if I mixed a 30% brandy with a 10% wine at 1 to 1 ratio, it should provide around a 20% ABV.

So, reading on the bottle, I do not believe the brandy is actually made with cherries (didn't actually read it's ingredients before I tossed the empty bottle) and I tasted the brandy and it almost tastes like a jolly rancher candy.

Anyhow, I had one bottle and decided to test it anyhow. The "port"l now has the taste of both the cherry wine, but it also tastes like a jolly rancher. A jolly rancher to the point it pretty much covered up the chocolate / walnut flavors. (the chocolate flavor didn't end up as strong as I had hoped, should have left it in the wine longer)

Anyhow, do you think the jolly rancher flavor might mellow a bit with time? It doesn't taste that bad, but it definitely tastes more artificial than the original wine does.

Can't decide if I just want to make more of the port and bottle the rest of the wine as is, it just bottle the rest as cherry wine and not make anymore port.

Thanks for any feedback.
Dave
 

wineforfun

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Well, too late for this batch but I probably would have just used regular brandy, if you already had the taste you liked. I am sure by adding the cherry brandy it is and will be cherry heavy on the flavor.
After re-reading, it sounds like you still have some of the original cherry wine left, if so, I would do as I mentioned above.
If you do that, I would definitely make sure and keep a bottle of each put back for at least 8 - 12 months and do some comparing at that time.
 

dcbrown73

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Thanks for the reply.

Actually, I had only created two bottles of it out of the six gallon batch so far. (using only a single bottle of the Cherry wine)

I brought a 375ml bottle to work the next day and had several others try it. The flavor profile changed a bit. It softened from the strong candy taste and the wine flavors came forward. Enough that I decided I was going to take 12 bottles of the wine and create 24 bottles of the port. That should leave me with somewhere around 17-18 bottles of Cherry wine to boot.

I do have one other question though. I buy this Fonseca port that comes with a taster cork. It says taster corks are not good for long term storage of wine, but since port wine is "fortified", would it be safe to use taster corks for my "port" wines while continuing to use standard corks for the cherry wine?

I just want to ensure that Fonseca isn't doing something (or using a better taster cork) than I would do buying the taster corks you get at most brew shops.

There is no way I could drink an entire bottle of port in a day or two. I would need more time and friends to enjoy it with me!
 

geek

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You just reminded me that I need to check my tart cherry wine with chocolate chunks..!!
 

wineforfun

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No experience with those taster corks. For me, I cork everything with regular #9 corks.
I have seen them used at some local wineries but again, no personal experience. I don't trust them for long term storage.
 

winemanden

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Just a thought. the best way if you want to retain the original flavour is to use vodka. If you want more cherry flavour, why not make your own cherry liqueur and top up with that.
No idea what jolly rancher tastes like, is it almondy? If it is, maybe the the brandy you got was a type of Krisch which is made from cherry stones.
 

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