Homemade red grape wine / Kerala sweet wine / Easy wine making

Be it Thanksgiving,Christmas or a fall party, homemade wine always gets all the attention it deserves.It is definitely a matter of pride for me to make a batch of  wine successfully without any ceramic jar,gadget or wine making kit  .Grapes ,sugar and yeast are the only ingredients that go into this wine.

           This red wine has beautiful floral notes and I can say a sweet wine you are sure to fall in love.

Though I have been toying with the idea of authentic wine making for years ,finding right ceramic jars,the ritual of mixing it every night for a month hmmm..I must say all that put me off.But I have not given up ..I will make it the difficult traditional way some day ..it is in my bucket list 🙂 because I have grown up seeing the gracious elderly Christian family friends bring us everything homemade from wine,fruit cake to Christmas goodies every year.I must say they bring the best sweet wine.I have always wondered,” how do they make it?”

 This recipe is for all those impatient people like me.:)  All the work gets done in one shot then  bottle it and it is left undisturbed .That’s all don’t u think it is easy compared to a long list of must dos.
Do involve ur family while making it especially to extract the grape juice out of the pulp.My man lends me a big helping hand at this stage.

Living in California has definitely drawn me closer to wines.Visit to the wineries and all those wines that I  tasted have given me a wider picture.Now,Californian red grapes are the sweetest and I being a sweet wine lover just wanted to make a batch of wine .Sifted through so many recipes but finally I came up with my own because I did not have some ingredients ,gadgets given in it..After all everything was done manually in  the olden days to make wine, that thought kept running in my mind..  . .So since last year I have been making small batches of wine for my family,what do u say !!

A word of caution:
Let me tell u cleanliness and patience goes a long way when making wine.From hands, grapes to utensils,everything should be clean and dry or the wine will not be fermented well and chances of wine becoming inedible is very high.


Red seedless grapes -2 lb approx
I measure the  grape juice extracted- 3 cups (squeeze more grapes to make it 3 cups exact o.k!!)
Sugar- 3 cups
Water – 5 cups
Yeast-  one small sachet which is 7g (active dry yeast is fine)



1.Pull apart the grapes from stem and stalk.Wash at least 4 times to avoid traces of pesticides.Wipe it really dry with a clean cloth.
2.Boil the water to bubbling point and let it cool down to room temperature.
3.Proof the yeast and keep it ready in 1/3 glass of luke warm water from the water boiled earlier.

4.Take a clean container(A) put the grapes in it and mash and squeeze with your lovely hands .Keep doing till all the grapes are mashed up well.Squeeze out the juice into the container(B).

Pour the cooled boiled water to the pulp in container (A) one cup at a time .Mix and Mash pulp and water  then squeeze out all the juice with hands(use ur muscle power here!!) and pour to container (B).Repeat 1 cup water at a time till all the  water is used up.This is to extract maximum grape juice and color from the grapes .Discard the leftover pulp.Measure the grape juice.

5.Now you have all the grape juice in container (B) mix sugar and yeast.Mix with a wooden ladle or spoon only.
6.This mixture should be stained through a fresh clean fine muslin cloth.
7.Pour into the big bottle carefully.If u want a funnel then make  hole at the bottom of a disposable cup  keep it on top of the bottle to pour, to avoid spilling.
DO NOT CLOSE WITH CAP.But take a small cloth and put only one layer to the mouth of the bottle and secure it with a rubber band.
KEEP IT IN AN UNDISTURBED DARK PLACE FOR 14 DAYS FOR FERMENTATION .Your kitchen cabinet is fine.The wine will look almost clear and all the frothing and bubbling should be over ,if not leave it for two more days.
9.Without disturbing or shaking sediments strain it again if u want clear wine and leave it undisturbed for a few more days or u can pour directly into smaller bottle and discard the last cloudy bottom and start using. Enjoy it with a rich fruit cake.(recipe coming soon).

UPDATE  Checkout the fruit cake recipe here Christmas fruit cake / Kerala plum cake (alcohol free) / Instant fruit cake 


I have used red seedless grapes if u are looking for deep red color then use black grapes and also some caramelized sugar water.
Unlike the ceramic jar the bottle has a narrow neck so take care no pulp falls into the wine while straining.I used a 1.75 ltr bottle for fermentation.Once ready I like to store the wine in two smaller bottles .

Very important

  • The yeast should be fresh and when mixed it should dissolve quickly into the luke warm water but if it sinks to the bottom  even after mixing then the yeast should not be used.
  • I would not recommend storing the wine for long as no additives are added.
  • As the wine matures ,say a month or two later,  the sweetness is reduced.
  • I always wash everything with soap first then wash again with hot water ,hands too 🙂 I sun dry the bottles used to ensure that there is no trace of water.Use only dry containers ,wooden ladle etc.
  • This recipe can be played around with.Sweetness, it can be increased or decreased.
  • Strength of wine becomes  high if quantity of water is reduced.
  • There would be few bubble and frothing marks on the sides of the bottle  that is o.k but before consuming definitely check if there is any bacteria layer formation floating on top of the wine and check taste .It should taste sweet and have a nice grape smell .If it tastes really  really sour and smells like vinegar,sorry ! then u have gone wrong in some step.Remember the cautions I told u in the beginning.

Enjoy the moment of happiness while you serve the homemade wine.Ya… reserve some compliments for me too..and write back to me.Whichever part of the globe u live in do try this at least once and I bet u will never go back to the store bought ones.


15 Replies to “Homemade red grape wine / Kerala sweet wine / Easy wine making”

  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for the sour taste & vinegar smell caution. The shown picture is the result of caramelized sugar right ?. I heard that some people use egg-whites – do u know why ?

  2. Meena Kumar

    Caramelized sugar gives a much deeper red tone.I have not used it in this one.
    Regarding the use of egg white-it has water soluble protein which softens astringency and mellows the wine.I have never used it because if it is not done right can spoil the whole wine .Hope that helps.

    Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Ashok Nambiar

    Hi Meena . Thanks for the recipe. Would surely try making this some day. By the can you tell me what would be the alcohol content of this wine if any. Thanks Ashok

  4. hi_itsmedenu

    Dear Meena,

    I am in the process of fermenting it without straining at first place. I will strain it after 21 days. How to check whether the fermentation is going on correctly?


  5. Meena Kumar

    Hi Dennis,
    Sorry for the late reply saw this while clearing spam.
    Regarding fermentation- if it is in a clear jar/bottle u can see a lot of frothing happening on top surface.It will reduce and stop after few days.There should not be any whitish/greenish layer formation after that.
    If a ceramic jar is used and since u say u have not strained it in the beginning I guess u are going for the traditional method of 21 days of stirring and then another 21 days resting period.U may have to wait and check taste before straining in this case. Whichever method u are following I suggest not to open and disturb the process.
    Hope this helps.Do let me know how it turned out.
    Thank you so much for stopping by.

  6. Anonymous

    Hi Meena, i have a few doubts being an amateur.
    1. Why cant we boil the grapes in water (like your beetroot wine recipe) ?
    2. If you want to avoid Yeast, what can be added ? Pls give me the prepping method (like yeast) for the same. At what stage should that ingredient (replacement for yeast) be added to the recipe ?
    3. You have said that this wine should not be stored for a long period. But, What is the approximate maximum period that this wine can be stored ?
    Thanks in advance

  7. Meena Kumar

    Hi there,
    1. The natural yeast present in the grapes and the natural enzymes present in the skin which aids in fermentation which dies when boiled.
    2. Instead of yeast whole wheat kernels can be used. It is a 41 days process. Here is a recipe for that.
    Grapes – 500 gms ,Sugar -500 gms ,water(boiled and cooled)-1 ltr and wheat kernels- 1.5 tbsp. Crush the grapes very gently with potato masher Simply mix all the ingredients together and bottle by filling it to 3/ 4 th only and tightly close it.Shake the bottle every 5th day. On the 21 day the peels should be empty and should float on top if not wait few days more until it floats.strain and discard the grape peel and sediments(dont try to squeeze anything from peel). Bottle the liquid again for 20 days tight lidded this time without disturbing both times in a dark place. start using after that discarding sediments.
    3. 3-4 months if u are looking for the sweetness after that I find it getting really strong and very sharp tasting as no stabilizing agent is added.
    Hope this helps.Thank you for dropping by and do let me know how the wine turns out will you ?:)

  8. Amateur

    Hi Meena,
    I have made a very small batch of 250 gm Black Grapes with 1 litre water (approx 4.5 cups). No yeast. No wheat. Since the black grapes were very very sweet, i have added only approx 150 gms of sugar. I used my hand to mash the grapes. It was fun, and out of enthusiasm, i crushed the grapes to pulp and skin separately. Climate-wise, Winter has settled and Summer is in the initial stage here. No fungus has formed till date in the mixture. I used a glass jug with a wide mouth and a beak (but without a lid). So I closed with a cotton cloth tightly held in place with a rubberband.

    Today is the 11th day. The foaming has stopped with rare bubbles around the corner. No sediment on top. The syrup is clear with beautiful black grape colour on top upto 60 percent with the pulp sediment of 40 percent in the bottom. I tasted the wine. Till the 9th day, the wine was very very sweet. Today (11th day), it tastes slightly soury with a slight fermented foul smell.

    1. Should i strain the mixture on the 11th day instead of 21st day ?
    2. I DONT want a very sweet wine. Today, the wine tastes a bit soury (is it called “dry” ?).
    a. Is it ok if i leave it like this, or should i sweeten this ? how do i sweeten it at this stage ?
    b. At the time of drinking, if i find it dry, how do i sweeten it ?
    3. Can i use the same Glass Jug after filtering ? Can i use the glass jug without washing ?
    4. If i put the filtered syrup directly in a wine bottle, should i close it with a muslin again ? If the post-filter process requires a lid, then should i keep close it tightly or a little bit loose ? After how many days does it require a second filtering ?
    5. What do i do with the 40 percent sediment ? Can i pour water on it and see if there is still some fermentation left ?

  9. Meena Kumar

    Hi there Amateur, U are really brave to go with no yeast no wheat for wine making 🙂
    There should be some agent like yeast to convert sugar into alcohol, not to discourage you but since u have gone with just grapes and sugar I feel the mixture is simply sitting and turning into vinegar.I would suggest not to experiment more with this mixture by keeping it longer or sweetening it further.
    For all the other questions in general case:
    You may use it in place of regular vinegar in cooking and try like u would do with apple cider vinegar. Do let me know what happened if so.
    2.Dry wine to my understanding is less sweetened wine where the yeast has eaten up all the sugar and turned it dry. 3..Come on why would u get so lazy 🙂 use a clean dry container so there is no yeast residue altering the wine.4. After filtering wine could be used immediately.Use a tight lid and store in a cool dark place or refrigerate.5. Discard the sediment. Hope this helps.Wine making is a patience plus trial and error test so do not give up Amateur.

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