Winemaking with ingredients from Costco

This winter I’ve been experimenting with small batches of wine from ingredients I’ve found at Costco. Some of the experiments are definitely…experiments…but we’ve had some pretty good success too. Below are my winemaking notes for one gallon batches of the wines I’ve tried:

From left to right: pineapple wine, mixed berry wine, peach wine. (The peach is still cloudy because it's still so young.)

Mixed Berry Wine:

  • 3 lbs Costco frozen mixed berries
  • 3 1/2 lbs sugar
  • 1 lbs raisins
  • Bordeaux or fruit wine yeast
  • 1/2 tsp pectin enzyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 gallon water

Notes:

This is a fantastic table wine. We haven’t been able to keep a gallon of this around for more than a couple months because it tastes so good. The raisins give the wine some much-needed body, but it still has a muted, somewhat-sweet berry flavor. This would be a great table wine to serve to guests. We’ll be making a 5 gallon batch soon for this purpose. And the best part (with all these wines) is that once you have the brewing supplies, the cost of the actual ingredients comes out to $3 a bottle or less. That’s hard to beat for handcrafted, sulfite-free wine!


Strawberry Wine:

  • 3 lbs frozen strawberries, blended.
  • 3 1/2 lbs sugar
  • Bordeaux or fruit wine yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of pectin enzyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient
  • 1 gallon water

Notes:

Decent wine, but it was a little astrigent when new. (It was all gone within two months, so it didn’t have a chance to age!) I’m planning on trying it again with honey. It should balance the flavors better, I think.


Pineapple Wine:

  • 3 lbs of chopped or crushed pineapple and syrup
  • 3 lbs of sugar
  • Bordeaux or fruit wine yeast
  • 1/2 tsp pectin enzyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 gallon water

Notes:

This wine, when young, tasted akin to canadian-bacon and pineapple pizza — notes of both pineapple and yeast. However, it’s super strong (18% alc by volume). Because it didn’t taste good new, it’s had time to age. It’s become a little drier and less yeasty. I’ll bottle some up and see what it’s like in a year, but I don’t plan to make it again.


Peach Wine

  • 3 lbs canned peachesand syrup
  • 3 1/4 lbs sugar
  • Bordeaux or fruit wine yeast
  • 1/2 tsp pectin enzyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 gallon water

Notes:

This wine is still really young, but it has good potential. The peach flavor is fairly muted, and the wine is crisp and somewhat dry. I’ll let this age a few more months, but I’m optimistic of the final product.


On the to-do list:

  • Canned Pear Wine
  • Maybe some fresh fruit wines as it comes into season??
  • Blueberry Wine

 

Note:

If you don’t know how to make your own wine, go my tutorial here. Just adapt the process for these recipes.

2 Comments

  • Ben

    April 17, 2011 at 3:43 am Reply

    Hard not to read a post with a title like this one! Thanks for sharing your experiments. I’d be interested to hear how the peach one turns out with some age. With a light peach flavor, it could be a nice one.

  • craig baxter

    April 17, 2011 at 9:25 am Reply

    Eric nice job on the wine, you should try making mead as well. MY dad and I do it with all Costco Supplies aswell. You can get jugs of honey for the process and it is not too hard. You can also go to Sams to get the honey. We also add various berries that we pick or other ingredients to get different flavors.

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