If you're a home winemaker and gardener with a surplus of pumpkin in your yard, then you might want to try your hand this recipe and variation for making pumpkin wine. There are two versions of this pumpkin spice wine recipe - dry and sweet. It's an unusual wine that you just may want to make annually and enjoy during autumn.
Pumpkin Wine Recipe
Just as you would with any other homemade fruit wine, you can make a wine with fresh pumpkins. You'll use the flesh of the pumpkin; that is, the inside part of the pumpkin that's not the outer orange part or the seeds and stringy membrane that contains them. To begin, you'll need the equipment listed for making homemade wine. This recipe yields about a gallon of wine, or about four 750 mL bottles.
- 8 cups of grated pumpkin flesh
- 1 pound golden raisins
- 1 gallon boiling water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon peeled ginger root
- 6 cloves
- 5 cups super-fine sugar
- 3 teaspoons acid blend
- 1 crushed campden tablet
- 1 packet sweet wine yeast
- Place the pumpkin, raisins, boiling water, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into the primary fermenter. Allow to sit overnight.
- Add the sugar, acid blend, and campden tablet. Stir well.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Stir. Sit for three days, stirring every day.
- Strain the liquid from the solids, squeezing as much liquid out as possible.
- Add the liquid to the secondary fermenter, adding water as needed to get one gallon.
- Seal with an airlock.
- After three weeks, rack the wine (siphon it to another container to remove sediment) and add water if needed to maintain 1 gallon. Air lock.
- Continue to rack and add water if needed every three months for one year. After one year, bottle the wine.
Sweet Pumpkin Wine Recipe Variation
The recipe above is for a dry wine. You can also make a sweetened wine.
You Will Need
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 cup of dry white wine
You'll need these ingredients after three weeks of fermentation and every six weeks for up to one year.
- Follow the pumpkin wine recipe through step six.
- At three weeks, rack the wine. Dissolve ½ cup of sugar in 1 cup of a dry white wine, such as Chardonnay or Riesling. Add to the wine in the fermenter. Airlock.
- Repeat step 2 every six weeks until adding the sugar no longer causes the wine to bubble and ferment, two or three times.
- Continue racking every three months for the remainder of the year (so the wine will be ready to bottle one year from when you started).
Dry or Sweet Pumpkin Pie Spice Wine Recipe Variation
Looking for a recipe that has more pumpkin pie spice? You can vary the pumpkin wine or sweet pumpkin wine recipes by adding more spices in step 1. Add the spices the recipe calls for and also add:
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 pieces whole allspice
Butternut Squash Wine Recipe Variation
You can also use butternut squash or another winter squash to make any of the above recipes. To do so, replace the grated pumpkin with an equal amount of grated winter squash.
Tips for Storing Serving Pumpkin Wine
Treat pumpkin wine as you would any fruit or white wine.
- Store your pumpkin wine on its side in a cool location.
- This wine won't benefit from bottle age after a year, so plan on drinking it right away or for up to three or four years after it's made.
- Treat pumpkin wine like any white wine; it should be served chilled in stemmed wine glasses.
- Depending on the level of sweetness in the wine, you can try pairing it with traditional Thanksgiving food, or with desserts such as pumpkin pie or pumpkin crème brûlée.
- You can also try it with butternut squash soup or pumpkin risotto.
Buying Pumpkin Wine
There are a few wineries that make pumpkin wine, and these wines may be available for purchase and shipping to your state depending on the state's liquor laws.
- Three Lakes Winery pumpkin wine costs under $15 per bottle. The Wisconsin winery says it tastes a little like a semi-sweet Chardonnay.
- Prairie Berry Winery Pumpkin Bog is a mixture of pumpkin and cranberries. It costs around $18 per bottle.
Pumpkin Makes an Unusual Wine
Pumpkin wine is unusual to say the least. If you like unique and interesting wines, it may be worth trying. Whether you make it yourself or find a special run from a nearby winery, give it a taste and see what you think.