The Perfect Wine Recipe for Your Next Dinner Party

Are you a wine enthusiast looking to try something new? Or perhaps you’re interested in taking on a new hobby and learning how to make your own wine? Look no further because I have the perfect recipe for homemade grape wine that is both simple and delicious.

Making homemade wine may seem like an intimidating task, but with this easy-to-follow recipe, I promise that anyone can do it. What’s great about making your own wine is that you can tailor it to your taste preferences and experiment with different flavors. Plus, there’s something rewarding about being able to say that you made the wine yourself.

With just a few ingredients like grape juice, sugar, yeast, and distilled water, you can make a one-gallon batch of homemade grape wine. Not only is it cost-efficient when compared to buying wine from a store, but it’s also a fun activity that you can do by yourself or with friends.

So why not give this homemade wine recipe a try? You might surprise yourself with how easy and enjoyable the process can be. Trust me; once you taste the result, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought wine again.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Homemade Wine
Homemade Wine

If you’re a wine enthusiast, you know how expensive it can be to purchase your favorite blends. However, with this homemade wine recipe, you can make delicious grape wine right in the comfort of your home at a fraction of the cost. This recipe is so simple that even a novice winemaker can follow it and produce great-tasting results.

The best part about making homemade wine is that you can customize it to fit your taste preferences. You can choose to use fresh grapes or store-bought grape juice, and you can adjust the sugar content to get a drier or sweeter taste. This recipe also allows for substitutions and variations to make fruit wines using fruits and flowers like elderberry, blackberry, and jasmine.

Not only is making homemade wine fun and easy, but it also gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. Sharing your homemade wine with friends and family creates an experience that isn’t possible with store-bought wines. You’ll love the compliments and accolades you’ll receive every time you serve your guests a glass of your very own creation.

Lastly, not only is this recipe super easy, but it also requires minimal ingredients- 2 pounds of sugar (or less), one packet of active dry yeast, distilled water (which most households have) for cleaning and sterilizing equipment — that’s it!. With proper storage, a five-gallon batch of homemade wine can last for months or even years. So there’s plenty to enjoy all year round!

Overall, this homemade wine recipe is perfect for those looking for an inexpensive way to enjoy their favorite beverage without compromising on quality or taste. It’s so easy that anyone can do it and so tasty that everyone will love it- now who wouldn’t want that?

Ingredient List

 Juicy grapes freshly picked from the vineyard are the star ingredients for my homemade wine recipe.
Juicy grapes freshly picked from the vineyard are the star ingredients for my homemade wine recipe.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make homemade grape wine:

  • 2 pounds of grapes, thoroughly washed
  • 1 gallon of distilled water
  • 3-4 cups of sugar
  • 1 packet of active dry wine yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient
  • 10 drops of liquid pectic enzyme

The following are optional ingredients that you can use to make variations of the recipe:

  • Other fruit juices instead of grape juice
  • Herbs or flowers like chamomile or lavender for flavoring
  • Additional sugar if you want a sweeter wine

The Recipe How-To

 Crushing the grapes with my bare feet is an old-fashioned technique that adds rustic charm to the winemaking process.
Crushing the grapes with my bare feet is an old-fashioned technique that adds rustic charm to the winemaking process.

Making Homemade Grape Wine: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking for an easy and simple way to make homemade grape wine, this recipe is for you. Follow these steps to create a delicious grape wine that you’ll love.

Step 1: Prepare Recipe Ingredients

Gather all the necessary ingredients for making grape wine:

  • two pounds of fresh grapes or one can of frozen juice concentrate
  • one gallon of distilled water
  • three to four cups of sugar
  • one teaspoon of yeast nutrient
  • one packet of active dry wine yeast
  • ten drops liquid pectic enzyme

Step 2: Cleanse Everything Thoroughly

Wash all grapes thoroughly and stem them off. Remove any debris or bad grapes. Do everything you can to reduce contamination. You’ll want to make sure that everything used in the winemaking process is sanitized and cleaned.

Step 3: Make Grape Juice

Put your grapes through a presser to extract the juice or use one can of frozen juice concentrate. Add one-and-a-half cups of this juice in a large pot, together with four-and-a-half cups of distilled hot water. Mix well and continue stirring until everything thoroughly combines.

Step 4: Add Sugar

Add three cups of sugar into the pot mix it and keep stirring under medium heat until completely melted. Make sure that sugar has correctly dissolved into the mixture by tasting it.

Step 5: Acidify & Add Nutrient

Add one teaspoon of yeast nutrient followed by ten drops of liquid pectic enzyme. Ensure both are mixed thoroughly in the pot.

Step 6: Activate Yeast

Activate one packet of active dry wine yeast according to package instructions in a separate container with hot water (105°F – 115°F). Keep aside for the wine fermentation process.

Step 7: Primary Fermentation

Pour four-and-a-half cups of cold distilled water to reflux down the mix temperature quickly. Add the activated yeast starter along with the remaining grape juice. Use the big fermentation glass carboy, and make sure it is clean, sanitized, and dry. Pour the mix into a fermentation jar for primary fermentation by covering with an airlock set aside in cool conditions (60-70°F).

Step 8: Stop Fermenting

After about five to seven days, you will notice foam and bubbles form at the top. This signifies that yeasts are consuming sugar to produce alcohol. After seven days, transfer wine slightly into a new vessel (sanitized 5-gallon carboys work well) without disturbing sediment using sanitation techniques. The primary fermentation is complete when bubbling stops.

Step 9: Secondary Fermentation

In your secondary container, let sit for about ten to fourteen days undisturbed until completely clear, with no activity of bubbling in the wine.

Step 10:

Substitutions and Variations

 Time to let the grapes ferment in a cool, dark place before the real magic happens!
Time to let the grapes ferment in a cool, dark place before the real magic happens!

When it comes to making homemade wine, there are plenty of variations you can try to make the recipe your own. Here are some substitution and variation ideas to get you started:

1. Sugar: Instead of using granulated white sugar, consider using brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup for a different flavor profile.

2. Juice: While most wine recipes call for grape juice, you can experiment with other fruit juices such as apple, cherry or cranberry juice.

3. Yeast: Wine yeast is ideal for making homemade wine, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can use bread yeast or beer yeast as a substitute.

4. Pectic enzyme: This ingredient helps clarify the wine and improve its flavor. If you cannot find pectic enzyme in your grocery store, pineapple juice can also serve this purpose.

5. Nutrient: Yeast nutrient helps ensure a healthy fermentation process. If unavailable, try adding half a teaspoon of tomato paste, Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), or boil an eggshell and add the water into your mixture.

6. Fruit: You can make fruit wines (ex. peach wine, strawberry wine) with this recipe instead of grape wine alternatively, you can add fruits or flowers to infuse natural flavors into the grape base recipe.

Remember that trying new substitutions and variations in a homemade wine recipe requires experimentation and be aware that the taste and quality may vary from the original recipe. The key is to have fun and enjoy the process of discovering your favorite way to make homemade wine!

Serving and Pairing

 Here, you can see the bubbles forming on the surface of the grape juice as the yeast breaks down the sugars.
Here, you can see the bubbles forming on the surface of the grape juice as the yeast breaks down the sugars.

Once your homemade wine is ready, it’s time to serve and pair it with delicious dishes. As a rule of thumb, light-bodied wines go well with lighter meals, while full-bodied wines go well with hearty dishes. In general, white wines pair well with seafood, chicken, salads, and pasta with cream sauce, while red wines go well with beef, lamb, rich stews, and tomato-based pasta dishes.

For this particular grape wine recipe, I suggest pairing it with grilled or roasted meats such as steak or lamb chops. The wine’s fruity flavor notes will complement the rich meaty flavors of the dish. Additionally, you can also serve it alongside mild cheeses like brie or camembert. The sweetness of the wine pairs beautifully with the creamy texture of the cheese.

When serving homemade wine, make sure to chill it before serving. White wines should be served at about 45°F (7°C) while red wines should be served around 65°F (18°C). You can also experiment by adding a sprig of fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme to add an extra layer of aroma to your homemade wine.

Overall, making homemade wine is a fun and rewarding experience that allows you to customize your creations according to your taste preferences. By following this easy grape wine recipe and pairing suggestions, you’re sure to impress your guests at any dinner party or family gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 After about a week or two, the fermentation process slows down, and it's time to draw off the liquid from the sediments at the bottom.
After about a week or two, the fermentation process slows down, and it’s time to draw off the liquid from the sediments at the bottom.

After making one gallon of homemade grape wine, you may want to store it for a few months to let it mature, or you may want to make it ahead of time for a special occasion. This recipe is quite simple and easy to make in advance.

When storing homemade wine, it is important that the bottles are properly sealed and stored in a cool, dark place. You can use glass bottles or jars with tight-fitting lids. Make sure the bottles are completely filled to the top to prevent any air from getting in which may cause oxidation and spoilage.

It is also advisable to store your homemade wine for at least two months before serving, as this will help it to mature and enhance its flavors. During this period, make sure the bottles are kept away from light, heat, and vibrations.

To reheat homemade wine, simply place it in a pot and heat over low heat until desired temperature is reached. However, it is recommended that you try not to overheat the wine as this may alter its flavor.

If you happen to have an excess of homemade wine on hand, there are many delicious ways you can use them up. You can use the homemade grape wine as a cooking ingredient in sauces and marinades. Additionally, you can create tasty beverages by mixing sparkling water with the wine.

Overall, with proper storage and handling techniques, your homemade grape wine will be ready to drink whenever you want a glass of delicious fruit goodness!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This stage is crucial to ensure maximum flavor,
This stage is crucial to ensure maximum flavor,

One of the keys to making a successful homemade wine is to make sure you follow the recipe carefully. However, there are also some tips and tricks that can help ensure your wine turns out perfectly every time. Here are some of my top tips for getting great results with this homemade wine recipe.

First, make sure all of your equipment is clean and sanitized before you begin. Wine can be very finicky, and even a small amount of bacteria or dirt can ruin a batch. So before you do anything else, wash and sanitize everything you’ll be using, including your primary fermenter, airlock, and any utensils you’ll be using to handle the wine.

Next, choose high-quality ingredients. This recipe calls for grape juice, sugar, water, yeast and some other ingredients which will affect the taste of your wine. Make sure you’re using fresh grape juice (or fresh fruit if you’re making fruit wine) that’s free from mold or rot. Use distilled water when possible as it has fewer minerals which can affect the taste.

You may also want to consider investing in a good quality wine yeast to give your wine extra flavor and complexity. Wine yeast strains differ in their ability to withstand different levels of alcohol and temperature so choose appropriately.

Another tip that can help ensure great results is to be patient during the fermentation process. Let it do its thing for at least 7 days but don’t rush it even if it takes longer than expected. Taste frequently and check ABV with a hydrometer or refractometer to determine when it’s ready to rack.

When storing your homemade wine, make sure it’s kept in a cool, dark place such as a basement or pantry where there aren’t too many temperature fluctuations. Store it properly in sterile bottles or cans with tight sealing caps after measuring ABV make sure you pick the right bottles based on alcohol tolerance to avoid explosions!

Lastly, making homemade wine doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can use simple equipment and follow the recipe carefully, while using your creativity for your preferred flavors. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun!


As your sommelier, I’m here to answer all of your questions regarding this fantastic homemade wine recipe. You may have some lingering concerns or doubts you want to ask, but don’t worry, I got you covered. Take a look at these frequently asked questions, and I’ll provide answers to ensure that your homemade grape wine comes out perfect.

How to make homemade wine?

Before starting the wine-making process, it is crucial to sanitize all equipment properly to avoid contamination.
When choosing the grapes for wine-making, be sure to discard any grapes that appear rotten or have abnormal features.
Ensure that the grapes are thoroughly washed to remove any impurities or dirt particles.
Take out the stems of the grapes as they can cause a bitter taste in the wine.
To extract the juice or “must” from the grapes, they need to be crushed and pressed into a fermentation container.
Include wine yeast in the primary fermentation container to begin the wine fermentation process.

How to make a simple wine at home?

To ensure a successful fermentation process, it is crucial to sanitize all equipment with hot water. Next, remove around 3/4 to 1 cup of grape juice from the bottle and add 1.5 cups of sugar. After that, mix in one yeast packet and let it sit for five minutes. Finally, place a balloon over the opening of the bottle to allow for proper air circulation.

What is the fastest way to make homemade wine?

As a sommelier, I would suggest starting with grape juice as a base for homemade wine. It is easy to find in most grocery stores and is an excellent choice for beginners. When using grape juice, it is essential to use a gallon, although smaller bottles can also work. Before preparing the juice, it is best to let it come to room temperature. Adding a packet of active dry baker’s yeast to the juice will give it its distinct taste. Once bottled, it is essential to leave room for air and keep a close eye on it as the fermentation process progresses.

How long does it take to make homemade wine?

The fermentation process of wine usually takes around 5 to 21 days for the sugar to convert into alcohol. Although there are a few exceptional types of wine, such as Vin Santo and Amarone, that may require up to 4 years for full fermentation to take place. Once the fermentation is done, winemakers separate the liquid wine from the remaining skins by using a wine press.

Bottom Line

There’s nothing quite like making your own homemade wine, and this simple recipe is the perfect way to get started. With just a few basic ingredients and some easy-to-follow instructions, you too can be sipping on a delicious glass of grape wine that you’ve personally crafted.

But don’t take my word for it. The joy of making homemade wine is something that should be experienced firsthand. The process may seem intimidating at first, but with patience and persistence, you’ll become a master vintner in no time.

Not only is making homemade wine a fun and rewarding hobby, but it also allows you to control exactly what goes into your wine. You can experiment with different fruits and ingredients to create unique blends of fruit wines that are perfectly tailored to your tastes.

So don’t wait any longer to start exploring the wonderful world of homemade wine-making. Grab some distilled water, sugar, grape juice, and a few other key ingredients, and let’s get started on crafting your very own homemade grape wine!

Homemade Wine

Homemade Wine Recipe

Back in the early 70's, just about everybody tried this recipe. It's hard to say how many people made it the second time! From the kitchen of Tona Thornburg Court, Bridgeton MO.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 21 d
Course Beverage
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 1 gallon
Calories 120.4 kcal


  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups grape juice
  • 4 cups cranberry-apple juice
  • 4 cups distilled water
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast


  • Mix well and pour into gallon jug. Place a large round balloon (not inflated) on jar opening and set in cool semi-dark place. Balloon will gradually expand.
  • Wine will be ready for consumption in 3 weeks.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 77gCalories: 120.4kcalCarbohydrates: 30.8gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSodium: 1.4mgSugar: 30.3g
Keyword Beverages, Easy, For Large Groups
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