I’m a huge lover of everything pumpkin and squash! Nothing takes the chill off like a bowl of creamy pumpkin soup drizzled with crème fraîche and a pinch of nutmeg. Still, I had my doubts about sparking pumpkin wine.
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Where Can You Find Pumpkin Wine?
I discovered pumpkin wine at a pumpkin festival in Ludwigsburg Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The festival is the biggest of its kind in the world. It might sound quirky, maybe even a little cheesy, but it’s worth visiting whether you’re on your own or with kids.
As you can imagine everything you find at the festival is made with pumpkin. I wasn’t so surprised to find pumpkin confectionaries and pumpkin pasta. But Wow! I was taken aback when I saw pumpkin wine. I was expecting pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin puree but not a pumpkin flavor wine.
Pumpkin wine isn’t easy to find so a pumpkin festival is one of the easiest places to find it. Alternatively, look at a large online wine supplier like Wine.com.
Related Reading: 5 Best Pumpkin Festivals
My First Impression of Pumpkin Wine
It sounds like a very odd, and not very tasty combination. I bet when you first read pumpkin wine, you squished up your face and curled your lip. It’s OK to admit it. I know I did when I first saw it.
Although I was skeptical, I was also curious. And that’s what led me to try it. I took a small sip, ready to spit it out. To my surprise, not only did I not spit it out, I had another sip, then another. I liked it so much that I had to order another glass.
Now I’m hooked and stock up on pumpkin sparkling wine each year since it’s difficult to get out of season. However, you’re free to make your own pumpkin with this pumpkin wine recipe I found online — the steps are easy to follow, and you can definitely make it at home, just in time for the fall season!
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So What Does Pumpkin Wine Taste Like?
It’s surprisingly sweet, but not too sweet. It isn’t too pumpkiny tasting, there’s just a hint of pumpkin. It’s refreshing, yet balances the heavier flavors of a seasonal soup at the same time.
I also like it with turkey dinner. Despite my stash, it never makes it to the end of pumpkin season, it’s simply too good. It’s the perfect way to celebrate Autumn.
It’s also my secret weapon for entertaining during the holiday season. It never fails to both simultaneously surprise and delight my dinner guests, although I will admit that it also makes for a good companion on pumpkin carving night. This wine just makes the holiday season so much more special.
If pumpkin wine isn’t your thing, there’s also Pumpkin Beer, Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Coffee, and Pumpkin Pasta! And for the real pumpkin lover check out this cookbook Pumpkin Love: 65 Clean, Simple, and Delicious Pumpkin Recipes – yum!
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Pumpkin Wine Recipe
Now if you want to try making your own pumpkin wine at home just in time for Thanksgiving or even for a Halloween party, feel free to follow this simple recipe.
Just as you would with any other homemade fruit wines, 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 pumpkin seeds and stringy membrane that contains them.
To begin, you’ll need the equipment listed for making this homemade unusual 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 (or any citric acid)
- 1 crushed campden tablet
- 1 packet sweet wine yeast
- Place the pumpkin, raisins, boiling water, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and cloves into the primary fermenter. Allow to sit overnight.
- Add the sugar, acid blend, and campden tablets. Stir well.
- Sprinkle yeast nutrient 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 after the primary fermentation, 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 dry wines. You can also make a sweeter wine or semi-sweet wine.
You Will Need
- ½ cup of brown sugar (or white 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 the time period (so the wine will be ready to bottle after a full 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 traditional autumn spices like:
- 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 for a different flavor note.
Tips for Storing and Serving Pumpkin Wine
Treat pumpkin wine as you would any fruit or white wine.
Store your own 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 enjoy it as a dessert wine.
Pumpkin as an Unconventional Wine
Pumpkin wine is undeniably unconventional, making it a unique and intriguing choice for wine enthusiasts. If you appreciate distinct and interesting wines, it’s certainly worth giving it a try.
Whether you craft it at home or discover a limited edition from a local winery, indulge your curiosity and experience its distinctive flavor profile.
Take a sip and let your taste buds be the judge. Who knows, you might be like me and discover a new favorite amidst the unexpected appeal of pumpkin wine.
In the season of trick or treats, I promise you, pumpkin flavor wine is the latter!