sweet cherries vs tart

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Senior Member
Mar 1, 2020
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Missouri Ozarks
I have read here that tart cherries were best for wine but I never saw a reason besides the cough syrup taste of sweet cherries. I wasn't afraid of that taste cuz I kinda like it, plus I figured if ABV and sweetness was kept to a minimum it wouldn't be so bad. My mistake was to copy a successful recipe for 2 batches of tart and sweet mixed with a batch of plain sweet juice.

After reading, what I could understand anyway, this article, I realized how different the sugar and pH of these two types of cherries are. So it's back to mixing the two for me. Just started a 6 gal batch today.

This is an interesting article about cherries and other "soft fruit" that I think some of us fruit wine makers can benefit from.



Senior Member
Jan 29, 2014
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Food Industry - - Retired
pie cherry 2014 to 2020 crop years, , , , primarily malic acid
pH 3.04 to 3.64, TA 1.71 to 2.19%, gravity 1.046 to 1.066

sweet cherry examples , , , primarily citric acid
ranier 2020 4.45/ 0.17%/ 1.109
ranier 2019 4.53/ 0.52%/ 1.106
bing 2019 4.38/ 0.73%/ 1,085
,,,, yup they are very different wines


Fruit Wine Alchemist
Sep 6, 2020
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You can adjust the sugar and pH as necessary, so you can use either or both. I have made a batch of each, and I think that the tart cherries provide a much richer and more complex flavor. Some recipes blend the two, so for my tart cherry chocolate wine I used tart cherry concentrate but added 1 lb. of frozen sweet cherries.


Fruit "Wine" Maker
Aug 29, 2015
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Northwest Arkansas
I am a fan of Tart Cherry wine but I did make some "Sweet Cherry" wine. It was still a blend but in this case I basically reversed the blend to 1 bottle of Sweet Cherry Juice concentrate and 1/2 bottle of Tart Cherry concentrate (1 Gallon Batch). The resulting wine has tartness to it but much less that my typical Tart Cherry which is 3 bottles of Tart Cherry concentrate and 1 bottle of Sweet Cherry concentrate for 3 gallons of wine. As far as drilling down to the contents of specific Cherry varieties, I'm not that sophisticated with my wine making.
Sadly I only have one cherry tree and it has never performed that well in producing fruit. Birds don't bother it too much but with as few cherries as it puts out, I normally don't bother even picking them unless I happen to be out there with ladder at the right time. Our sweet cherry trees - never had more than a handfull from them because the bird stripped the as soon as they had the first hint of pink on them. Eventually I just cut them down.
Personally I like the stronger wines in terms of flavor and ABV. So my favorite batch of Tart Cherry wine was bottled with an SG of 1.014 and 14.5% ABV. Basically a dessert wine. With the solid tartness and higher ABV, you the sweetness was only there at the finish. The tartness was what got your taste buds first. I shared it at a party once along with several of my others and found the most folks were put off by the tartness except for the hostess. She loved it so I made sure my wife took her a bottle next chance. (Hostess held the party at her house for 25-30 people and her hubby had ducked out on a business trip. Figured she deserved a reward.)
So Bottom line for me is I'll try various fruit wines but eventually I just end up making what I like and if others like it too, good for them otherwise - it's there loss.

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