Accidental Blueberry Port

I’ve been your customer since I was 16 (over 30 years), and have been making wines off and on all those years. Since a number of farms in our region are growing wine grapes, I’m making wine more seriously than ever before. I grow my own blueberries, and since I grew up making fruit wines, I always have at least one fruit or mead wine processing. 4 years ago the first blueberry wine I ever tried turned out fabulous, so the next year I tried to repeat my success . . . but it was not to be the same. The specific gravity would not reduce enough to my liking, and I had started the wine 13 months earlier. I cultured a champagne yeast and slowing added wine to it, until I had a gallon fermenting nicely, then added it to the remaining 4 gallons of sweet blueberry wine. The specific gravity lowered further, but, at that point (it was now 20 months since I started the wine!), I considered taking it further to a port. It was about 14% alcohol, so I added very good, neutral grain vodka (not potato vodka because I have an allergy to potatoes) to raise the alcohol content to about 18% at bottling. I bottled in tall cobalt bottles and dipped the corked tops in blue wax. Because I had oaked the port in the carboy after the champagne yeast ferment had quieted, I also put a toasted oak chips in each bottle to continue the deepening of the flavor. Though it took about 20 months from start to bottle, the port because a delicious “accident!”

Name: Jenny (Hoag) Young
State: Illinois

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