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Old September 25, 2012   #1
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Default tomato wine

has anyone ever made tomato wine. there is a man in canada who appears to be very successful with this..see link

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Old September 25, 2012   #2
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When I grew up in Appalachia Georgia in the 1960s, many of my class mates in the 3rd-8th grades could not afford the 2 cent glasses of milk in the lunch room. Instead, they brought pint jars of tomato wine to have for lunch with corn bread sprinkled in it. Tomato wine was the usual way to preserve tomato juice. Once I went to high school, I never heard of it since.
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Old March 1, 2013   #3
Wayne C
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Default Not sure if you'll get this...

antichevarieta not sure if you'll see this but... I just got to Tomatoville recently and just saw this post.
Yes, I am a big fan and maker of homemade Tomato tomato/hybrid wines (mixed tomato/fruit/grape) wines. I first encountered tomato wine about 34 years ago when I was an exchange student spending a summer in England. And yes, if you look at my profile that made me less than 21 at the time... I stayed with a very traditional Brit family that had (and to my good fortune MADE) their own wine and served it daily with meals. And one of those wines was... t o m a t o !!! But I digress. I immediately came to love the stuff!
Later when I started making home wines I began experimenting with making my own. One year I grew WAYYYYY more tomatoes than I could ever pickle, cook, salad, dehydrate, (you get the idea...) I threw in my first 5 gallon batch with a partial batch of homegrown grape wine I didnt have enough to top off(I grow about 25 grape vines too in a mini vineyard) and the rest was history.
Anything specific about tomato wine/winemaking that you want to know???
Wayne C.
PS: Nice to meet you...Just call me the wine

Last edited by Wayne C; March 1, 2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old March 1, 2013   #4
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Can you detail (or point to any sites that might) the process? I'm not a vintner, but I've an acquaintance who is a burgeoning one.
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Old March 1, 2013   #5
Wayne C
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Default Two sites come to mind...

These sites are two that come immediately to mind that I've used recipes from:
Ps. There's hundreds, maybe thousands... most very good.

The basic process is pretty much identical to grape and fruit wine recipes with an eye to high acid content which can be regulated by a number of different means depending on the recipe. Personally I like to make it as a mix (a sort of sangria thing) that balances things out and is still almost completely tomato flavored.

One recipe I really like is a green tea/tomato wine I've spent years tinkering with. Very unique taste.

As I posted earlier I grow my own grapes so I make what I call a hybrid wine more often than not and include a small portion of grapes from my vineyard (or the grocery store or the wine beer supply house just up the road) to make a mostly tomato fruit wine. But in reality You don't actually have to do more than tweak other fruit wine or grape recipes.

But if you are making a true ALL TOMATO WIne then you need to add tannins and unless you are using a high Brix tomato like Suncherry extra or Sunsugar hybrid you need to adjust/increase the sugar for most recipes using your handy hydrometer (used to measure sugar/potential alcohol).

NOTE: I'm growing both of these this year specifically for making wine by the way...

Is this helpful?

If at some point I have more time I'll post an entire blow by blow account of what I do. But heres something REALLY surprising... in your search engine type in three words: tomato wine recipes !!!
The number of great sites that come up is too many to count! Tomato wine is actually in some countries and among home winers (pun) quite popular and has been made forever. WHen I did it for the first time years ago I was amazed and dumbfounded.

Or try: Homemade wine recipes. Most recipes are adjustable for tomatoes. You wont believe how many great sites and 10's of thousands of recipes that come up. Recipes, HOW TO... all sorts of useful get started tomato info.

Some of the better forums?
In my humble opinion...

and my favorite...
But of course as I said there are many, and this isnt anything but a personal opinion. As I said there is just too many to list.

Hope this is helpful.

Hey, here's an idea! Maybe I'll have everyone over and break open a 5 or 10 gallon carboy and we can talk tomatoes this fall...

Would that count as a TASTING????

Last edited by Wayne C; March 1, 2013 at 05:39 PM.
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Old March 1, 2013   #6
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Scott, that made me feel sad. I hope the dear kids (now adults) have fridges full of milk and every other good thing.
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Old March 1, 2013   #7
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This sounds very interesting to me. Maybe with my over abundance of tomatoes this year (fingers crossed) I will try out some of these recipes.

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Old March 3, 2013   #8
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I got a lot less excited about making tomato wine when I read that it is best when it sits for 1-2 years after making it. I'm not sure I have that much patience.
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Old March 4, 2013   #9
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Craig Lehoullier ( nctomatoman) and I oncepublished an international news letter about tomatoes and wrote many articles ourselves and solicited articles from many others.

One article was submitted by Will Weaver, who had made tomato wine using the variety Riesentraube which appeared in Philadelphia in the mid 1800's. And that variety had been used before both in Philly as well as in Europe where it existed with different names. We jsut have it with a German name, but I think it was in Hungary that it was known as Goat's T&T, for the nipple found at the blossom end.

Will sent me some of that wine and it was outstanding, like a pale sherry. And no, he didn't age it as long as mentioned above.He wrote his recipe in that article. But since many other links have been given here and it would be difficult for me to find that recipe right now, maybe I could ask Craig if he had the time, so I'll just let the rest of you play around with tomato winemaking and offer to be a taster.

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Old March 5, 2013   #10
Wayne C
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Default Tomato WInes don't do green...

It is true that most wines (even homebrew) are better when aged. BUT and it's a big but, that most tomato wines taste pretty darned good right off the first rack. If you have the patience then the outcome (after a year or three) is a fine store quality sherry-like wine. But there is something to be said for a "fresh" batch(right out of the carb) or one thats somewhat aged (like 3-6 months). New tastes VERY different than aged but unlike most grape based or grape heavy wines Tomato (In my humble opinion) is a nice sweet smooth unique experience all by itself without a long wait. Tomato wines dont have the "GREEN" taste of grapes, they just taste different then aged if srved fresh. Personally? I like "new" tomato wine. Besides, when making wine you're making quite a few bottles if you don't make a gallon jug (which has many problems and issues so I dont suggest it). What I suggest is that you make at least a three to five gallon batch and put some bottles away for 3 months, six months, a year, two, three, and drink a couple right away. Only you know what you like. Personally I've only managed to put one bottle up that went the distance!!! It's just too good.
Wayne the Wine Wizard
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Old July 16, 2014   #11
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Being an avid brewer, I might have to try this!
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Old July 16, 2014   #12
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Originally Posted by Wayne C View Post
and my favorite...
Definitely the best brewing forum I have came across!
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Old July 16, 2014   #13
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I gave my son in law a bunch of tomatoes hoping he would make some tomato wine. He decided to make tomato moonshine instead. It does not have the lengthy aging process. Since I am originally from Kentucky I have some experience with moonshine. This was quiet strong yet surprisingly smooth. It is totally clear so you would never know it was tomato based.

I had wanted to make tomato wine originally but I am too old to be waiting for at least a year to see if I have even made something worth drinking. I want to look at some of the links posted and maybe I will change my mind about trying it.
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Old July 16, 2014   #14
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Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Scott, that made me feel sad. I hope the dear kids (now adults) have fridges full of milk and every other good thing.

I haven't bought milk in 4 months.
I drink a small amount of skim milk at work because it is free; but most of my milk I buy concentrated.
Concentrated as in cheese.
Sometimes I buy buttermilk to soak chicken in before I fry it, but that is about it.

Never had tomato wine, but I used to drink elderberry wine when I was a kid.

Children should have milk or cheese growing up.

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Old July 16, 2014   #15
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Great thread! I like Wayne's idea of a tasting party, lol! I'll have to try this when my toms are finally ripe! Pete

Iron Pete

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