Are you on the hunt for a new, delicious wine recipe? While wine is almost exclusively made from grapes, there are other fruits you can also turn into wine.
Try pear wine if you’re craving a refreshing, fruity alcoholic drink. Pear wine goes great with meat, cheeses, and other snacks and can help cool you off on a warm summer day. Read this guide by Taste of Purple to learn how to make pear wine.
What is Pear Wine?
Pear wine is a form of homemade wine made from fermented pears. You can make wine from many different fruits and plants, and pear wine, like blackberry wine or dandelion wine, is one of the top wine recipes that is easy to make and fun to sample. Pears can also be used to make mead, an alcohol that combines fermented honey with the water from fruit.
You first must acquire the right pears to make pear wine. Cooking pears are best suited for winemaking, as they are of the hardier variety. Good pears for winemaking include Bradford or Kieffer pears.
Related: What is Orange Wine?
How to Make Pear Wine
Below, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to make pear wine:
- 4 quarts (approximately five pounds) of chopped, unpeeled ripe pears
- 6 cups of cane sugar
- 1 cup of light brown sugar
- 3 cups of white raisins, chopped
- 4 quarts of water
- One packet of champagne yeast
- 1 tsp. yeast nutrient (optional)
1. Ensure your pears are ripe enough before you begin cooking. You should be able to easily pluck off the stems if they’re ripe. If you can’t, set the pears aside and wait a few more days. Pears ripen when plucked off the tree, so if you’re using your own pear tree, pluck them first and wait for them to ripen.
2. Wash, trim, and finely chop or crush your pears. It’s okay to include the skins, but keep the seeds out. Pear seeds are bitter and can negatively affect the flavor of the wine. Use a potato masher or well-washed hands to cut the pears.
3. Place pears and raisins into a crockpot.
4. In a medium stockpot, dissolve the white and brown sugar in two quarts of water over low heat. Bring the sugar water to a boil, and then set aside to cool to lukewarm.
5. Add 2 quarts of water to the fruit mash in a crockpot. Then, add the sugar water, and stir well to evenly distribute the sugar throughout the mix.
6. Sprinkle the champagne yeast and yeast nutrient over top of the mash. Stir in to mix the yeast until it’s completely dissolved and well blended.
Related: What is Marsala Wine?
Fermenting the Pear Wine
Next, you will need to ferment the pear wine, so it reaches the desired alcohol volume. Continue with these steps:
7. Cover the wine and keep it in a warm location for about three weeks. Stir it daily and mash the pears against the side of the crockpot. You can use a flour sack towel secured with an elastic headband to cover your wine. Fruit flies love fermented wine, so make sure your container is well sealed.
8. At the end of the initial three-week fermentation period, strain the mixture through a flour sack towel or jelly bag, squeezing it very dry. Return the liquid to the crockpot. Set the wine in a warm place to ferment for two more weeks. You don’t need to stir during the second fermentation process.
9. At the end of the second ferment, strain the wine through several cheesecloths or a flour sack towel. Siphon or ladle the wine into a strainer, leaving the sediment at the bottom of the crockpot. (You're aiming for a transparent liquid without any residue.)
10. Return the clear pear wine to the crockpot (or you can place it in a carboy) for two days to allow it to settle again. Take the cloudy wine from the bottom of the crockpot and put it into a two-quart jar to settle for two days. Then, draw off as much clear liquid as possible. Add to the rest of the pear wine and allow to sit for another day.
Are you wondering how long wine lasts after opening? Read this guide to find out!
Bottling the Pear Wine
After you’ve completed the fermentation process, it’s time to bottle your pear wine. Continue with these steps:
11. Once the wine has settled, you can either store it in a carboy or bottle it directly into wine bottles. There may be a little active yeast left at this point, so if you put it in bottles, place balloons over the openings so the gasses can escape. When the balloons stop inflating, cork the bottles and age them in a cool, dark location for at least 6-12 months before drinking.
12. If you use a carboy, siphon the pear wine into the carboy, keeping your siphon hose off the bottom of the crock to let the wine dregs behind. Place an airlock on it, and age the wine in a carboy for six months before bottling. When bottling, siphon the wine into the bottles, leaving the dregs in the bottom of the carboy for more transparent wine.
Using a carboy will yield a clearer wine since you leave behind the sediment one extra time.
Note: If you don’t have a crockpot, you may ferment your wine in any large, food-safe container – just don't use anything reactive, like aluminum. We recommend using a two-gallon crock pot, so there is plenty of room.
Add Extra Flavor to Your Pear Wine
If you want your pear wine to have more character, add 1/4 pound of finely chopped, candied ginger along with the raisins. You can add a dozen or so black peppercorns if you desire some heat in your wine.
You can also fortify pear wine with brandy for some additional flavor. Try using a good grade of grape brandy for some extra flavor. Add the brandy just before the two-day settling period, using about 2 cups of brandy per gallon of pear wine.
Related: How to Drink Wine Properly
While making pear wine takes a bit of leg work, it’s well worth it for the end result. Now, it’s time to gather your ingredients and equipment so you can make pear wine at home!
Check out Taste of Purple’s stemware if you’re looking for serving glasses for your pear wine!