Home Made Grape Wine

Wine symbolizes celebration and festivals among many Keralites.

Christmas, Easter and many Catholic Weddings are incomplete without sweet tasting wines.

Back Home in Kerala, Wine is usually made using Grapes, Ginger, Pineapple, Chambanga (Rose Apple) and so on. That wine is very sweet unlike the wine which we get in US and most of the other countries. It is not as strong as the Commercial Wines and has a sweet taste similar to grape juice or Dessert Wine. Home Made Wine used to be my favorite drink during Christmas and Easter.

Colored Grape Wine

Colored Caramelized Grape Wine

I decided to make Grape Wine for our First Christmas in Charlotte. My friends liked the wine and my friend Hanna had been asking for the recipe for a long time but I was too lazy to write about it. Finally, I made up my mind and here is the recipe for Home Made Grape Wine. 🙂

Traditionally, in Kerala, wine is made in a Ceramic Jar called Bharani. Since I didn’t have a Ceramic Jar, I bought a brand new Glass Jar for making Wine. I selected pinkish red color grapes for this wine. You can use any variety of sweet grapes for making wine but red grapes would give a nice color to the wine.


  1. Seeded or Seedless Grapes – 2 lbs or 1 kg approx
  2. Sugar – 4 lbs (double the quantity of grapes)
  3. Water – 4.5 liters (Boiled and Cooled or you can use distilled/purified water)
  4. Active Dry Yeast – 2 tsps
  5. Luke Warm Water – 1/2 Cup (for dissolving the yeast)
  6. Cinnamon Stick – 1 (optional)
  7. Cloves – 3 (optional)
  8. Sugar – 1/2 Cup (For Caramelizing)

Preparation Method

  1. Clean the Ceramic/Glass Jar and allow it to sun dry before using it for making wine.
  2. Boil water and allow it to cool completely.
  3. Clean and wash the grapes well and remove the stalks.
  4. Dissolve yeast in luke warm water and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes so that it rises.
  5. Mash the grapes using a wooden spatula or crush the grapes with your hands. Add half the quantity of sugar (2 lbs) to the crushed grapes and mix well.
  6. Transfer the crushed grapes and sugar mixture to the ceramic/glass jar. Add the dissolved yeast to the jar.
  7. If using cinnamon and cloves, add it to the jar. This will give the wine a very nice spicy aroma and flavor.
  8. Add boiled and cooled water to the jar. Mix everything well. Keep the jar closed and airtight for around 21 days.
  9. You will notice air bubbles forming on the top when fermentation is taking place.
  10. Stir the mixture with a wooden spatula every day for 21 days. (Some people stir it on alternate days but I stirred it daily!)  🙂
  11. After 21 days, strain the grape pulp mixture into another vessel using a muslin cloth or a clean unbleached cotton cloth. Add the remaining 2 lb of sugar and mix well. The Wine will be hazy at this stage.
  12. Keep it for another 21 days so that the sediments settle down and the wine becomes clear. Strain the mixture again using a muslin cloth without disturbing the sediments. If you wish to caramelize the wine, you can do it a few days before straining. My wine had a light pink color because of the grapes I used.
  13. For coloring the wine, I caramelized sugar and added it to the wine and it changed into a rich golden color. You can add the caramelized sugar to the wine a few days before straining it for the second time from the glass jar. Please refer below for details on coloring the wine.
  14. Store the wine in clean, dry glass bottles. While serving, pour it carefully without disturbing the sediments. The longer the wine is stored, the better the taste.
Grape Juice Getting Fermented

Grape Wine Getting Fermented

Home Made Grape Wine

Home Made Grape Wine

Procedure for Caramelizing Sugar

  1. Take a saucepan and add 1/2 cup sugar.
  2. Place it on medium heat and keep on stirring continuously till the sugar melts and becomes a dark brown color. Keep scraping down the sides of the pan so that the sugar gets caramelized evenly.
  3. Remove from fire and place the pan in ice cool water so the sugar doesn’t get burnt.
  4. Add 4-5 tbsps of hot water to this sugar syrup and mix well. Cool and add the syrup to the wine in the glass/ceramic jar and mix well.
  5. The wine will attain a darker color after a few days.
  6. For cleaning the pan after use, add water to the pan and bring it to a boil and throw away the solution.


Caramelized Sugar

Caramelized Sugar


  • I had to keep the wine for 21+21 = 42 days before using it, since it was pretty cold over here in December.  But if you live in a moderately hot place like Kerala, wine will ferment quickly and it will be ready in around 21 days.
  • Once the wine is fermented, there will be no air bubbles on the top. This indicates that the wine is ready to be strained.
  • Some people add egg whites and wheat kernels for quicker fermentation but I didn’t use that for my wine. 😛
  • You may skip the spices like Cinnamon and Cloves.
  • You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar used to suit your taste buds.
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44 comments to Home Made Grape Wine

  • I was in search of making grape wine.I could find out all about the preparations about the wine making.so thank full to your site.

    thanking you
    p.p. raghavan.

    Appreciate your feedback.

  • Good,I’d like to share with you The Experiments With Wine Recipe,and Wine Making Tips.

  • Carol Miranda

    Wow, good recipe and well illustrated. shall def. try it out sometime soon. but i loved the puttu recipe most of all.
    good site and traditional recipes on the whole

    Thank you for the appreciation Carol.
    God Bless!

  • Cynthia Bryant

    This wine sounds really good. How much wine does it make? If I wanted to bottle it and give it to friends, how would I do the caramelized sugar in the bottles? I am new at this so I may have more questions.

    Hi Cynthia,

    Sorry for the late reply.
    I have used 4.5 liters of water for making wine with 2 lbs of grapes. So finally, there would be around 4.5 liters of wine. You can add the caramelized sugar to the wine in the glass/ceramic jar, a few days before straining it from the glass jar. The wine will be colored in a few days. You can bottle the wine after that.

    Hope this helps.


  • sundar

    I made it, very tasty .

  • Ankita


    I have a habit of searchingfor good recipes. My mom used to make wine but it’s not golden brown color (because we didn’t caramelize the wine). It is a great idea, surely i’ll tell mom. one more thing – your presentation is too good. Because i am lazy girl, it has tempted me to give response. keep it up and God Bless You. I will surely remember You during Christmas eve. Take care n all the best.

    Hi Ankita,
    Thank you so much for your well wishes.
    God Bless!

  • Mahalingam

    Its very interesting to know abt the home made wine making in easy steps. I have a great passion in wine making. I will try your method of preparation. I wish to know whether we can use only white sugar or we can substitute with sugarcane sugar which is brown in color or country sugar which is made from sugarcane. Wish to get more recipes of making different varieties of home made wine.

    Hi Mahalingam,
    I guess you can substitute white sugar with sugarcane sugar though I haven’t tried it myself. It shouldn’t make a major difference to the taste of the wine. Pls try and let me know.


  • AVM

    Thanks for sharing this wine making recipe, I did add dried ginger to the wine. Taste excellent. Thank you.

    Hi AVM,
    Happy to hear that you like the wine. Thanks for the tip. I will defnitely add dried ginger next time.

  • dew928

    does anyone know the recipe for banana wine…my aunt made it a few years back from a recipe in vanitha (magazine) she didn’t bother saving the recipe and I’ve been looking for it everywhere!….it was really simple and quick! and tasted like vodka! please help!

  • yubi

    i will try it today

  • nisha

    It’s superb…can you give me dates wine recipe….

    Hi Nisha,
    I haven’t prepared Dates Wine but I will try to get a recipe and will post it if I get it.


  • Michelle

    I have made several batches of wine using your recipe and directions. I find it to be very wonderful and full of flavor. The batch of wine that I am making currently seem to have a white layer of something on the top of all the jars. I believe that I followed the directions the same this time as in the past, so I’m just wondering if you have experienced this problem also. Thanks for any advice you can send my way. Michelle

    Hi Michelle,
    Sorry for the late reply. I haven’t encountered this problem but I just did a google search & looks like it is caused by spoilage yeasts. You need to filter the wine and transfer it a clean container before it spoils the wine.

  • Casilda Rajaratnam

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe to make Grape wine at Home. I made the wine and now it is ready to be bottled. It is a very nice, easy and useful recipe (no complications). Happy Xmas 2011! I would have read through this recipe over and over again to make sure that I get a wonderful end product. Thanks once again.

    My family ( Husband Eric, Sons – Eril and Stefan) too got involved in making this wine. It is a family effort.

    Hi Casilda,
    Thank you so much for your well wishes.
    Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas..
    God Bless!

  • jaison

    good, thank you

  • Gregory

    Thanks for the effort.. Will try it soon.

  • Jissy


    I want to try making wine at home for the coming Easter. Could you please tell me where you brought the glass jar from and how much did it cost?


    Hi Jissy,
    I bought the jar from Target and it was around $20 or $25, 3 years ago.

  • harita

    I found this recipe while looking for a simple, promising recipe for making wine at home. I remember Liz aunty used to make wine at home and I was looking for something that might make something similar. I live in India, and you said that the grapes would ferment earlier than the 42 days it took you. Can you please tell me what indications I should look for, so that I know that the grape pulp mixture is ready to be strained, and also to indicate when the wine is ready? Thanks so much!

    Hi Harita,
    When the fermentation process takes place, you will notice air bubbles/foam on the top layer. Once the fermentation is over, there will be no air bubbles. This means that the wine is ready to be strained.

  • gerald

    Dear Madam,
    Pls tell me what is the taste of the wine after 10 days of putting down ??

    Hi Gerald,
    The wine will not be ready in 10 days. It will taste like crushed grape juice.

  • Dinesh Patel


    I had prepared one batch exactly as per your recipe and it turn out to be excellent, now I am preparing again, but as you know in India the temperature is very high in the month of April and it has reached 42 degree now. So for How many days shall I keep now? will be ready in 12 days to drain or please advice.


    Hi Dinesh,
    It should be ready in 21-25 days. Strain the wine and allow it to settle for a few days so that the wine becomes clear. Once you have bottles the wine, you can keep it for as long as you want. The older the wine the better the taste.


  • Hi Jisha
    I live in Kerala. I had made the wine quite similar to ur recipe. I used green grapes. But this time, the grapes did not disintegrate… it remained firm, I did not crush the grapes before putting in the jar. could it be because of that?

    Hi Usha,
    Please crush the grapes thoroughly in order to extract the juice. Hope this helps.


  • Babu jacob

    Caramelize the sugar very carefully.
    Don’t add cold water to the boiling sugar.

  • Leelamma Joseph

    Could you please send me recipes for banana wine and mango wine?

  • baiju joseph

    When should we add caramelized sugar on 17th day or 37th day? Pls confirm , am making wine as mentioned above.

    baiju joseph

    Hi Baiju,
    Add the caramelized sugar before you strain it for the second time. If you are straining it on Day 42, add it around Day 37-40. Hope this helps.

  • dana

    This is my first time making wine. I love how simple your recipe is. I only have one question do you stir it the first 21 days or the last 21 days?
    Thanks, Dana

    Hi Dana,
    You need to stir it for the first 21 days.

  • prince

    Hi Everybody,
    This is the third time, I am using this recipe and this works wonderfully. We have Concord grape vine in our backyard. I used concord grapes which is meant for making red wine only. No need of sugar if you have the perfect grape. Thank you


  • prince

    No need of sugar for coloring, if you have the perfect grapes.


  • Looks great. We use a similar recipe at home. I kept the mix in ceramic jar for 21 days (1 kg grapes, 1 kg sugar, yeast,3 cloves,cinnamon 1 inch stick and one ltr water). Air bubbles are not there but it looks very thick. Shall i add some more water?

    Hi Jiji,
    One litre water is not enough for 1 kg grapes. You need atleast 4 litres of water. Did you use fresh yeast. Did you proof the yeast in luke warm water before adding it to the grapes. If so, fermentation should take place.


  • wilson

    Dear friend,
    Thank you for your recipe.
    I make wine with a little change. After cleaning the grapes, I boiled it for five minutes and after it become cold I added yeast and sugar. That wine shows very good colour. what is your comment on boiling the grape. pl advise.

    Hi Wilson,
    I haven’t tried boiling grapes. Thanks for the suggestion. Seems like a good idea.


  • Elizabeth

    I used steel spatula to crush the grapes. Is it okay? I noticed wooden spatula or hand to crush after i finished the process). Since the black grapes was sweet and juicy I have added 1 ltr water for 1.5 kg of grapes and 500 gms of sugar.

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I don’t think there is any problem with steel spatula. Did the wine come out well?


  • Titli

    I want to try it.But I don’t need 4.5 L. What will be the ingredients needed for just 1 lit wine ?

    With 1 kg grapes, you can make around 4.5 litres of wine. Try using 200-250 grams of grapes for 1 litre of wine. Please adjust the sugar accordingly. I think 1 tsp yeast will be enough for 1 litre.


  • vanitha

    I want to try it but i don’t need yeast, instead of yeast what can i use?

    Hi Vanitha,
    I haven’t made this wine without Yeast. I am not really sure if you substitute yeast.

  • Jinshy


    Can you share me the recipe for apple wine? My husband wants me to make that for him. I hope you can help me with that.


    I have never made Apple Wine. I will see if I can get the recipe from someone.

  • Rohini

    Thanks for giving a wonderful recipe. It is very interesting . Pls continue …..
    Good luck and merry Christmas

  • Rohini

    Happy new year

  • Sheeba Dominic Ryan

    Thanks for giving the detailed information about Kerala home made wine. My mother gave me the same recipe. Now my daughter is also following. This year also I made wine with same recipe. I have mixed egg & wheat too. Best wishes for THE CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR 2014.

  • Espy fernandes

    Hi Jisha. Thanks for the wine recipe. Will surely try in out. Keep up the Gud work.
    God bless u. –espy–

  • mahesh nair


  • siby andrews

    I tried your rceipe in last xmas.Let me say,it was the best wine i ever made.thank you once again..God bless you..

  • Rosan Roy

    The recipe is very useful and handy. I already mixed the ingredients in a porcelain jar. Last time when I made it, the colour wasn’t proper. The wine looked more like grape juice. Hope your colouring techniques will help me this time. Thanks again.

  • Sebastian

    Hi Jisha,
    I’m making wine for the first time and it’s ur recipe I’m gonna use.Thanks for the recipe. Shall post the review in a few days..

  • Reji

    Thank you for this recipe, this is the way it was done back home 🙂 in U.K now for a long time and you post made me go back to my best days of life. God Bless ! i am sharing your recipe with few others as well may the goodness spread xx

  • Lewellyn

    Nice recipe, it was awesome. I tried it for my son’s communion. all liked it very much.
    Thanks for such a nice recipe.Cheers

  • Vidhukiran v

    Thank you sister,..

  • Alex

    u can even use a piece of beetroot to
    Give reddish color.just dip it for few mins once wine is stained . Thanks

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