Red Tomato Wine

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Jovimaple

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I have made 2 batches this year, using a variety of tomatoes. The first is aging after racking off the gross lees. The second just finished fermentation and has been racked.

The first batch tastes like a white wine with just a touch of flavor that nobody can figure out until I tell them it's tomato. "Oh, that's what that flavor is!" I haven't tried the second batch yet - I will sample when I rack off the gross lees.

This wine is in progress, so I don't know if I will be making more corrections or if I will backsweeten.

Here's the recipe so far (this ended up as 1 US gallon + some for topping off):

6 lbs ripe red tomatoes
5 cups sugar
Water to just under 1 1/2 gallon
1 tsp yeast nutrient
2 1/2 tsp acid blend
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp tannin
1 campden tablet, crushed

For the first batch, I put the chopped tomatoes in a mesh bag. For the second batch, I put them directly into the fermenting bucket. When I racked the second batch, my racking cane kept getting clogged. However, it was much easier to clean the tomato bits and seeds out of the fermenting bucket than cleaning the mesh bag. I haven't decided which way I will do it next time . . .

For both batches, 24 hours after putting together the ingredients, I pitched Lalvin D-47 yeast rehydrated in 1 cup of 100* F water for 15 minutes.

Note: For the second batch, I doubled the amount of tomatoes and other ingredients, and I put in a full 2 gallons of water (rather than just adding water to must to raise it to a certain amount like on the first batch). I ended up with enough to rack to a 3 gallon carboy plus a little extra to top off. I used 1/8 tsp of kmeta instead of campden tablets for this batch. I suspect I will have closer to 2 gallons when done - tomato wine has a LOT of lees.

Edited to add batch 1 S.G. started at 1.081 and ended at .990. Batch 2 started at 1.072 and so far is down to .998.

Pictures:
Batch #2, about an hour after racking from fermentation bucket:
IMG_4930.jpg

Batch #1 after racking off of gross lees:
1635888538000.jpeg

So far, I'm really intrigued by the taste of the first batch. I usually go for sweet wines but I may not end up backsweetening this at all.

I plan to bottle in 375 ml bottles just to have more. I may have to double the number of tomato plants in my garden next year . . .
 
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VinesnBines

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I used 3 lbs per gallon (frozen) for my batch. I treated them just like grapes and fermented on the skins. I didn't siphon off the pulp but pressed lightly through a sieve. If I had more I would have used my wine press. Hopefully I can do that next year. It is still dropping sediment after I transferred from primary. I'll have to check my notes, but I think I started it in mid September. My husband can taste the tomato; I can't so much. Anyway it tasted great from the start, not like the fig that although a beautiful color was gagging tart out of primary.

I'll see about posting some pictures and he recipe later.
 

Jovimaple

Kaptin Winemaker
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Yesterday, I racked batch #2 off the gross lees and ended up with two 1 gallon carboys and one 1.5 liter bottle. I added 10 slightly crushed black, green, and white peppercorns to one of the 1 gallon carboys.

As with my first batch, the taste is very interesting. I think there is more tomato flavor than in the first batch, but that may just be timing since it’s been sitting on the gross lees for almost 2 weeks; the tomato flavor may fade a bit now that it is racked off the lees.

At this point, I am undecided on whether I will backsweeten either batch. I have no idea how the taste will change throughout the process, so I suppose the taste nearer to whenever I decide to bottle will drive that final decision.

So far, I am very pleased with this experiment!
 

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