Making Wine out of Beetroot at the Villas…

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Beetroot surplus

Sadly, the beetroot crop at the Villas this year was non existent. As per usual I sowed the seeds back in April but the leaves that appeared in June proved too tempting for our young, free ranging chickens that had hatched the month before and the plants didn’t stand a chance…

However, last year was a different story altogether and we had more beetroot than we knew what to do with. In fact we were inundated and I was looking for new ways to use them. I always grow Boltardy because it’s the perfect variety for early sowing due to its resistance to bolting. It produces beets with an excellent sweet flavour, smooth skin and deep red tender flesh. If you’re impatient to start cropping or like your beetroot small, seeds can be sown close together to produce wonderfully tender baby beets. The leaves are delicious too and can be used as a substitute for spinach…

Making wine

I had made wine before such as oak leaf (a great success and our favourite), rhubarb (a very pretty pale pink colour but sour), apple (disappointing taste and never cleared) and quince (delightful) but never beetroot, so I decided to give it a go.

beetroot

This is the recipe I used:

Beetroot wine

  • 2kg fresh beetroot
  • 2 lemons
  • 1kg granulated white sugar
  • 500g light brown sugar
  • 3.5 litres water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
  • Wine yeast

Scrub the beetroot thoroughly and slice thinly without peeling. Place slices in large pot and add zest of lemons and 1.5 litres water. Bring to boil covered, reduce heat and cook additional 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid into dark secondary. Add the juice of the lemons, the white sugar, yeast nutrient, and remaining water. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and allow to cool. When luke warm, add the yeast and fit the airlock. Allow to ferment for three weeks and then rack. Next, add the brown sugar and stir gently until it has completely dissolved. Refit the airlock and leave to ferment (30 to 45 days), topping up as required. Rack again, top up as necessary, refit the airlock and bulk age in somewhere dark for six months. Finally rack into dark bottles and store in a dark place for 18 months before tasting…

Cheers, enjoy your beetroot wine!

beetroot wine

 

Comments

  1. Cheers! Sounds delicious! @Laila, we need beetroot!

  2. Laila, I never would have thought to make wine from beetroot. The color looks fairly light. What does it taste like?

    • Thanks for the comment! I was surprised to see how the of the wine changed from the typical deep red of beetroot at the beginning to more of a honey colour 15 months later. The end product has a pleasant sweet, very slightly earthy taste.

  3. I love eating beet greens fresh out of the garden! Really any leafy greens from the garden make me happy. I can’t that I have ever tried Beet Wine though, but I sure would like to try it out sometime.

    • Thanks for the comment. Me too – and SO nutritious. I remember back in the dark ages I used to chuck the beet leaves onto the compost heap or feed them to the chooks… No longer though – far to good to give away!

  4. This is something I had never considered. Thanks for enlightening us to new possibilities.

  5. Laila, how clever! I’m interested to find out what it tastes like. I’ve never heard of Boltardy Beets, either, and wonder if they’re a European species. Hope you had a lovely trip here and have a wonderful holiday.

    • It’s actually really easy to make and is naturally clear which helps. I am now planning to make some wine out of some Jerusalem artichokes that I have just harvested…. I’ll keep SowandSo posted!

  6. We always end up with more beets than we can eat or pickle, so I’m definitely thinking about trying this.

  7. Richard Lauhead says:

    Thanks for the beet wine recipe. I have made wine out of nearly everything, but never beets. Interestingly, my experience has been the opposite of yours. I made oak leaf wine and it tasted like oak leaves that had been left in the gutter all winter. On the other hand my apple wine is the best of all non-grape wines I make, and always crystal clear. As they say “your results may vary”. 😉

    • Bridget Elahcene says:

      Thanks for your comment. Interestingly – six months later the pretty pink wine had changed to something like the colour of cold tea, so not very attractive but still tastes good – in fact a little like port or sherry! A little too sweet really. I was surprised to hear about your bad experience with the oak leaf wine though. How odd. Lately I’ve been making more cordials than wine – less laborious I suppose. Most recently lavender, rhubarb and ginger and elderflower.
      Bridget Elahcene recently posted…H is for Hull – Word Up!My Profile

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