Make your own wine, the Kerala way

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 21 (IANS) Wine becomes much sought after in Kerala during the festive season, and what better than to make it at home?

Barring a few Catholic households in Kerala, alcohol is taboo. But when it comes to wine, it's not. Though wine-making has now become a rarity, some traditional Christian families still make their own wine during Easter and Christmas.

Walk into the home of any traditional Christian family today, and the wine barrel is spotted in the drawing room as an antique piece.

With the disintegration of the joint family concept, the old concept of making wine in barrels has also gone. Over the years, many families opt to buy wine from the shelf. Even for those who prefer to make it, they do so in ceramic jars.

But gone are the days when the drink was made out of grapes alone.

Today, specialists in making wine look for variety and make the drink from fruits like pineapple, small plantain, mulberry, rose apple ("champanga" in local parlance), beet root, passion fruit, gooseberry and a local variety of cranberry (known as "lovlelolika").

The basic difference between homemade wine and that which is available in liquor shops is taste. The ones made at homes are sweet, while the one bought from shops is sour.

Homemadewine makers say their wines do not give the "kick".

"The 'kick' effect is generally not there in homemade wines. But things have changed, and I get orders from people with a request to get a slight kick from the wine," said Susan Jacob, a homemaker from Kottayam who at times makes wine for close friends and relatives.

"And to honour such requests, I mix around 100 ml of good quality rum into the normal quantity of two litres of water," she said.

The common ingredients that go into the making of wine are two litres of boiled and then cooled water, two kg sugar, two teaspoons yeast, about 50 to 100 grams cleaned, washed and dried wheat.

The optional ingredients include cloves and cinnamon sticks.

Another homemaker Jessy Thomas, who makes wine for her family, said that people make wine in different ways.

"The generally accepted norm is that after putting all the ingredients into the jar, use a wooden ladle and stir it in one direction only for a few minutes. Then close the jar with a cloth and tie it up with a string."

Traditional wine makers say that for 22 days, the wooden ladle should be used to stir the contents only in one direction at the same time every evening, and then sieve the contents.

If one needs to make the wine red in colour, sugar caramel made of half a kilogram of sugar should be added, the jar closed and kept for another 22 days.

After that period, the wine is ready. It can be then poured into glass bottles and is ready for use.

Some say people who do not have patience can consume the wine after the first three-week period.

"The second 22-day period is optional. The longer one keeps the jar closed after 22 days, the stronger the wine becomes. The rum is poured after 22 days and so is the caramel sugar.

"Anyone can make this, and practice make one perfect. As people become experienced, the quality and taste of the wine also improves," said Jolly Mathew, a new generation wine maker.

(Sanu George can be contacted at


Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • Sari School: A workshop on the six-yard wonder

    New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) In an endeavour to promote and celebrate the six-yard wonder, -- an online portal that links the world to traditional handicrafts -- hosted a sari styling workshop with textile enthusiast Rta Kapur Chishti. It is to make this versatile garment an interesting choice of everyday wear for all women, regardless of age and previous initiation," said Shilpa Sharma, co-founder, Crowding around the room with a sari in hand, everyone gathered around …

  • Catch IIFA 2015 live on mobile

    New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) India's live video entertainment app, #fame, will beam the 16th edition of the three-day International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards next month live. "As India's first live video entertainment app, #fame is the perfect destination to deliver IIFA, the most iconic award in entertainment today, to fans globally. …

  • I hope after 'Quantico', Indian actors are taken seriously: Priyanka

    "The fact that 'Quantico' happened was a big win. A teaser of "Quantico", which has been picked by ABC, gives ample footage to Priyanka, who essays FBI Agent Alex Parrish. "The fact that she is an Indian should have nothing to do with the story. …

  • Sonakshi Sinha to sing at IIFA

    New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) "Dabangg" actress Sonakshi Sinha, who will soon be seen as a judge in "Indian Idol Junior", will entertain the audience in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her voice and sing live at the 16th edition of the three-day International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards in June. Hosted by actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra, IIFA Rocks, an exclusive music extravaganza, will see a host of musical performances by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Mika, Ankit Tiwari, Kanika …

  • Which Jodi Will Rule: Salman-Kareena Or Salman-Sonam?
    Which Jodi Will Rule: Salman-Kareena Or Salman-Sonam?

    Salman Khan is all over the place with his two most anticipated films Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo on charts. The actor will be seen romancing two beautiful ladies Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor in their respective filmsBajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. The question now arises that which Jodi will mesmerize the audience’s hearts. …

  • Salman Khan Hit And Run: All Case Files Destroyed In Mantralaya Fire
    Salman Khan Hit And Run: All Case Files Destroyed In Mantralaya Fire

    Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s 2002 hit and run case has come up with another twist after actor was granted fresh bail, getting convicted of all the charges on May 8, 2015. According to the latest reports, Maharashtra’s top departments do not have any files on Salman Khan’s 2002 hit and run case. Reportedly, RTI query Mansoor Darvesh revealed that all the files of 2002 hit and run case were burnt in a fire at Mantralaya 2012. …

  • ABCD 2 Sneak Peek Video: What Would Varun Dhawan Do To Convince Prabhu Deva?
    ABCD 2 Sneak Peek Video: What Would Varun Dhawan Do To Convince Prabhu Deva?

    Actor Varun Dhawan is seen mimicking the dance gurus Michael Jackson, Prabhudeva, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Govinda behind the scenes. The newbie Varun Dhawan’s dance movements will surely make you smile. The actor is seen all laughing and giggling in his shot, which makes us believe that Varun is all smiles when it comes to working. …

  • Salman Khan To Play Dwarf In Tanu Weds Manu Returns Director Aanand L Rai Soon?
    Salman Khan To Play Dwarf In Tanu Weds Manu Returns Director Aanand L Rai Soon?

    Aanand L Rai who is on cloud nine after his movie Tanu Weds Manu Returns crossed all box office records. The filmmaker has one good news especially for Salman Khan fans. The director who likes to keep it simple in his films has apparently roped in Salman Khan for his next project, the film is yet untitled and is yet to go on floors. …