Wine Making – Just For Fun

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in Do-It-Yourself, Recipes | 34 comments

wine making Wine making is normally considered rather a complicated affair, requiring special equipment and ingredients. But for the non-connoisseur, wine making can sometimes be easy and fun, using standard household equipment and easy to find ingredients.

The first time I tried this, it was done more for the fun of doing it than for expecting great results. As it happened, the wine turned out much better than expected. Of course, you can’t expect it to compare to the high quality wines prepared by wine producers and aged for years, but I personally think it compares favourably to some of the more inexpensive wines you can buy.

Wine Making 101:

  1. Sterilize a gallon container – glass preferred, stainless steel second choice;
  2. Gather the ingredients together;
    • 6 cups sugar
    • 1.36 L (about 1.2 quarts) bottle of Grape Juice – white or red
    • 1/3 cup raisins
    • 7 – 8 cups of cold water
    • Heel of a loaf of bread
    • 1 yeast packet
  3. Pour the grape juice into a stainless steel pan and add the sugar. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring until it becomes a light syrup;
  4. Remove from heat, pour into the prepared gallon container;
  5. Add the 7-8 cups cold water;
  6. Add the raisins;
  7. Place the bread heel on top of the liquid;
  8. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the bread heel;wine making
  9. Cover lightly, DO NOT CLOSE TIGHT;
  10. Set the jar in an out of the way, preferably dark corner, and leave it alone for a week to 10 days – you’ll see little bubbles forming along the top of the jar;
  11. Line a colander with a double layer of cheese cloth, then place the colander over a large glass dish or stainless-steel pan;

    wine making

  12. Pour the contents of the wine jar into the colander to strain;
  13. Rinse the wine jar to get rid of any sediment;
  14. Return the strained wine back to the clean wine jar1 (gallon container), cover it and refrigerate for a day; 1 You can also pour some of the strained wine into the empty grape juice container – just don’t fill it overfull – and close it with the cap.
  15. And that’s all there’s to it.

Now enjoy – CHEERS!! wine makingTalk you you again next week,



  1. I am another non-wine drinker, so let me reach for a cold pint of Heineken and raise a toast to you and your fellow vintners as you pursue your craft.

  2. Fun idea, Lenie. You can also buy wine-making kits, which my nephew did. He had a lot of fun and turned out some good-tasting wine.

  3. This looks like an easy recipe.I might need to try that.

  4. Lenie you’re like our own little MacGyver with your resources! Six cups of sugar in that little jar, I can’ imagine what this would taste like. Why would you sweetened a juice that’s already sweet? And then add bread…I may never drink wine again. No, I take that back. But, if I ever visit you I’m bringing my own bottle of red. : )

  5. I would love to give winemaking a try one of these days. I have an retired uncle who planted some vines and he makes quite a few bottles every year. As time goes on he’s gotten better, but some of the bottles are definitely better than others.

  6. This sounds like fun! I had no idea you could make your own wine, and wouldn’t have thought to use some of these ingredients. I’ll have to give this a try.

  7. My husband and I have made wine from commercial wine kits. While not particularly difficult, I think those are still more complicated than this. This recipe sounds interesting. I wouldn’t have thought to include raisins. Is the wine sweet or more dry? I know sugar is an important part to the fermenting process, but can one adjust the amount of sugar to make a sweeter or drier wine?

    • Good morning Donna, you can easily adjust the amount of sugar. This recipe makes a sweet wine – but I’ve made it with 5 cups of sugar with great success. I don’t know whether I would go with less than 5 cups but maybe if you tried it with 4 cups and let it brew a bit longer it might turn out all right too. May try that some time.

  8. My husband made wine years ago. The first one he did was apple cider wine. It was pretty good. Thanks for sharing this one.

    • Hi Sabrina, I’ll bet the apple cider wine was good – my husband made apple cider and gave a couple of jars to our neighbour who put it in her freezer. Problem – the cider kept working and spread out all over her freezer. She was not impressed. But it is fun to try these different things, isn’t it?

  9. Wow! Six cups of sugar? I assume that is not what you would call a dry wine.

    • Ken, this definitely is not a wine to make you pucker. It is sweet but you can use less sugar and still have success. It all depends on taste.

  10. My dad made wine for a while.I am unsure if you remember the kit that was sold in the 60’s and 70’s. It looked like a wine cask and had everything you needed for it. I remember when they opened the package, started doing everything, then realized how long it would take to ferment.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • William, I really don’t remember those wine kits but that was just when I started with our family which was all I seemed to have time for. That’s the funny thing about this wine – how can something turn into alcohol in that short period of time. I don’t question it, I just make and drink it.

  11. I had no idea you could whip up a homemade wine with this little amount of fuss. It totally sounds like a way I’ll stave of boredom during one of my upcoming snow days!

    • Rose, snow days are perfect for making this wine. You have fun making it one snow day then wait a week or snow to drink it in front of the fire the next time around. Life is what you make of it, right?

  12. Making your own wine is such a clever idea and it doesn’t seem very difficult. My aunt used to make her own raisin wine Delicious, it had a lovely tint as well. Unfortunately, I never got the recipe from her.

    • Too bad you didn’t get the recipe Michele. My husband was given a handwritten book years ago about making wine from all kinds of different ingredients – blackberry, dandelion, roses, etc. Most of them were easy but some did need the fermenting equipment which we never bothered with.

  13. Only have alcolhol a couple of times a year, so I will pass.

    Lenie, you make me think I’m in Saudi Arabia where Westerners make their own wine. As you know alcohol is forbidden in the kingdom.

    • Catarina, I learned something new from you again. I did not know that alcohol was forbidden in the Saudi Arabian kingdom. They tried that in the States with the resulting great start-up of bootlegging. I can see where westerners would make their own wine – we do seem to have a taste for it.

  14. I think I’ve seen references to making wine at home but this is the first time I’ve seen anything on how it’s actually done. I do love a good glass of wine, and while I understand your cautionary note I think this would be a great weekend project to try. Thanks for the inspiration Lenie!

    • Marquita, it really is a fun thing to try – amazing what boredom will lead to right? I’ve also made a peach brandy with only unpeeled, uncut peaches and sugar which had to be buried for three months. We dug that up a few days before Christmas, found out it wasn’t drinkable so cooked the Christmas duck in it. That was delicious.

  15. Oh my heavens Leni, this looks like a party! I would never have thought such simple ingredients could result in a reasonably tasting inexpensive relaxing tonic. I’ve copied it to my recipes, because it looks like fun and a real conversation for a casual get together. Nice to see you back!

    • Hi Jacquie – this is fun to do and surprisingly tastes pretty good. Might come in handy during your upcoming stressful moments LOL. Take care.

  16. Lenie, I have never heard of making wine like this before. What did it taste like? I did go to a wine bottling party once given by someone who just couldn’t wait til his vineyard was a few years older and we all did all the chores and then sampled the wine afterward. It was pretty tasty but I couldn’t attest to its sanitary rating!

    • Beth, it actually tastes pretty good. The first time I made it a friend came over at tryout time and she liked it well enough to have several glasses which resulted in her having to stay for supper because she was a little too happy to drive home – seriously. So try it – the whole thing costs less than $5.00 – not a great investment.

  17. Oh my gosh…it’s like going back to the days of bootlegging. I love it! This would be a great wine to use for holiday drinks like spiced wine where the quality of the wine is unimportant because what you add to it is what makes the drink.

    • Erica, I never thought of myself as a bootlegger – kinda catchy though, isn’t it. You could also use it as a cooking wine or in a fruit punch – all kinds of possibilities.

  18. Wow! Who would have realised it was so simple to make wine?

    You learn something new every day!

    • Phoenicia, sometimes when the budget is tight, it’s fun to try things that don’t cost a lot. This was done during one of those times and we did have a lot of fun doing it.

  19. Oh, how fun. I’ve been working on homemade cordials and liqueurs so it makes sense for me to give this a try. ??

    • Susan, the amount of sugar you add also has a bearing on the taste. I’ve done it with five cups of sugar instead of the six and gotten an entirely different taste. Something for you to experiment with. BTW, love your little wine glass.

  20. Not a wine drinker but you made it sound so fun here. Thanks for educating us!

    • Mahal, you could always use it as a cooking wine, or not.

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