Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2008 Cranberry-Banana Tasting

I've had a bottle of the 2008 Cranberry-Banana in the fridge for the past 2-3 weeks ever since I shipped a half case of wine off to the Wine Competition last month (I'll post about that tomorrow). Finally popped it open last night, and I'm polishing off the rest tonight while I rest my aching legs after a 3.5 mile run.

Some people exercise to live, others live to exercise. Me...I exercise to drink! Gotta work off those calories somehow!

Anyway, back to the wine...

Faithful readers will recall that I was running an experiment last year to determine the best way to add body to fruit wines. There is one faction that prefers to use grape juice (Niagra or Concord) as a base to provide the body and structure to lighter fruit wines. Another recommendation is to add bananas. Presumably the glycerin concentration in bananas helps to round out the mouthfeel. A side benefit is that mashed bananas are a magic bullet for inducing rapid fermentations. I believe that's a result of the vitamins and nutrients in bananas as well as the simple carbohydrates are easy for yeast to digest.

Appearance: Light pinkish orange. Clear. Nice leg structure (12% aBV)
Aroma: Nice light whiff of cranberries (what a surprise), with some hints of rhubarb in the background.
Taste: Again with the cranberries! It's a nice, pleasant summer squaffer with a light, crisp cranberry finish. A just slightly sweet finish at 2% RS. Good overall mouthfeel that lingers on the tongue.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this wine. One would be surprised that there is not an overwhelming banana flavor. There's a little white fruitiness that surrounds the cranberry flavor, but nothing that is distinctly banana. Do I think the bananas really made a difference in the body? I think there is a contribution and an underlying silkiness, but not as much as I was hoping for. Perhaps I need more bananas?

MA Winemaker

p.s. As I was publishing this post, I realized that I haven't described the final results of either batch from the cranberry body experiment. Stay tuned--I will correct that and give details on the Cranberry-Niagra blend as soon as I can.

Previous Cranberry Wine posts:
Starting the Body Experiment
Fermentation Almost Done
Racked the Cranberry-Grape
Racked the Cranberry-Banana
Racking off the Gross Lees
Cranberry Clearing

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