Southern Recorder, Tuesday, July 26, 1984, No. 30


Mr. Clisby:  The making of Blackberry Wine is, very properly, attracting a good deal of attention.  The various published receipts are very much alike, and very good, no doubt, so far as they go; but in all I have seen published one important matter is omitted, and without which a failure will be the result, or if not a failure, the wine will fall far short of being what it might be, with the little additional trouble of racking or drawing it off at least twice.  I append the receipt by which Mrs. B. made some five years ago which has, in the opinion of many, much o’the flavor of port wine, and, no doubt, far superior to most of the port wine used for the last two years.  I think you will confer a favor on many of your numerous readers and the public, by publishing it.  I send you a sample of the wine alluded to, made five years ago, that you may judge for yourself. – P.E.B.

Macon, Ga, July 7, 1864

To each gallon of ripe berries add one quart of boiling water – let it stand 24 hours – mash and strain – to each gallon after being strained, add 2 lbs sugar, (white sugar is preferable, as it gives the wine a more delicate flavor) put in open jars and let it stand two or three days; skim the scum as it rises; strain again.  After this the wine should be racked or drawn off, twice at least.  This is best done by putting it into a keg (or barrel if enough) after the second straining.  The keg should be placed with the bung up, having previously put a tossel or spile in it.  In eight or ten weeks draw off the wine, taking care not to shake or move the keg, and not permitting any sediment or muddy portion to be drawn out; wash the keg thoroughly and pour the wine back into the keg.  In five or six months draw off again in similar way and then bottle it; or if convenient, it is best to keep in in the keg for several months longer, as it improves more in wood than in glass for several years.  All familiar with making wine, will readily perceive the necessity of racking the wine.  When isinglass was easily procured, a small portion dissolved in hot water and poured into the keg, facilitated the settling of the wine.  Possibly something might be substituted for isinglass.

Some prefer adding a small quantity of spirits, after the wine is put into the keg – say a quart to each eight or ten gallons.  Cogniac brandy, rum, peach brandy or whisky – preference given in the order named.