Overly sweet medicine wine
March 10, 2015 8:40 PM   Subscribe

My beloved friend showed up last night with a bottle of shitty homemade wine. Oh wow, this stuff tastes like medicine. I've successfully brewed champagne cider jack with him in the past, he's not dangerous so much as clueless at times, but this shit is like berry flavored ass medicine. Any vintners out there who can tell me if there is any way to go beside dumping the lot into the sink?

He said that he used a LOT of sugar in the fermentation process. Should I leave the bottle out? Fridge it? Turn it to vinegar?
posted by lakersfan1222 to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also, it was bubbling a bit at the miniscus. Minor yet possibly important detail.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 8:45 PM on March 10, 2015

Usually wine gets its sugar from the grape juice, not from added sugar. I do not know what ingredients your friend used, but chances are it is not going to get any better. It sounds more like a prison wine.

If it is still bubbling, it may still be fermenting. Since you do not have an airlock on it, you should definitely keep it in the fridge if you are going to drink it. If not, pour it down the drain. If you allow fermentation to continue in a sealed container, you run the risk of the bottle exploding. The cold temperature of a refrigerator will stall an active fermentation.
posted by The Architect at 9:56 PM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

No idea whether whatever you're staring down is in any way comparable, and I'm mostly just sharing this because you mention it being "medicine-y", but my Grandma bottles her rather grotesquely sweet homemade berry "wine" into old school brown medicine bottles, and labels it "Isuzu Cough Syrup" (because, you see, she ferments it in her busted down Isuzu on blocks in her driveway). I have used it in place of grenadine in cocktails, and it was actually decent for that purpose. YMMV :)
posted by wats at 10:12 PM on March 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Having made what turned out to be utterly horrible prison wine in Saudi Arabia (!), I was surprised by how decent it was when mixed with diet Sprite and turned into something of a prison prosecco.
posted by ambient2 at 11:25 PM on March 10, 2015 [10 favorites]

Just use a dash here and there to cook with (e.g., in sauteed mushrooms, in french onion soup stock, etc) until it's gone.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 12:55 AM on March 11, 2015

Mix it with coke?

(Or just pour it down the sink, because I'm scared of homebrew)
posted by kinddieserzeit at 3:06 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mix it with lemonade or Fanta. The Spanish would call it tinto con limone and charge you for it (possibly).
posted by deadwax at 4:30 AM on March 11, 2015

It's possible he's picked up a wild yeast strain (Brettanomyces) from improper sanitation techniques. If that's the case, then he absolutely will end up with some bottle bombs. He should probably unbottle the batch and treat with campden tablets.

There's other issues that could cause medicinal off-flavors, but those aren't really going to be fixed by aging. If he's bound and determined to salvage this, he may need to blend this batch with another batch that's very acidic.
posted by nulledge at 4:33 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

mix with club soda and a squeeze of lemon
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:44 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another option, if this is in fact an unwanted secondary fermentation is that you could also turn this into a fortified wine by adding enough neutral spirits to bring up the ABV to ~20%.
posted by nulledge at 4:44 AM on March 11, 2015

I'd go with dilution, probably seltzer rather than sweetened Sprite/limon. Maybe a dash of bitters, if it's so fruity that it lacks complexity and the mix comes out tasting like berry soda.

Alternately, try a mug hot, somewhere between a mulled wine recipe (wine, sugar, spices, a bit of water) and a hot pot recipe (port, lemon, spices, and a lot of water)
posted by aimedwander at 5:44 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

No offense to all these nifty reuse ideas but it's crap wine. Unless you're absolutely committed to consuming this in some way, just dispose of it.
posted by tommasz at 5:57 AM on March 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sounds ideal for cooking - as long as it's safe to consume...
posted by Toddles at 10:20 AM on March 11, 2015

Mix it with coke?

Best drinking use of shitty wine of any variety, homemade or otherwise. It sounds so weird, but it is delicious.

There is no excuse for tossing shitty wine. It's not garbage because it needs to be consumed in a format other than drinking by itself.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:23 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dump it.
posted by Oyéah at 5:27 PM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Since it's already sweet, would it make a good sorbet?
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:10 PM on March 11, 2015

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