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default Oregon Grape Wine

Post by chickenofthewoods 22nd October 2010, 10:04 pm

I know it's the state plant of Oregon but I never had much of a love for what we in the UK call the Mahonia until I discovered that you can use the berries for among other things, preserves (the jelly tastes rather like rowan but with a fab deep, rich burgundy colour. Great with rich meats).

Earlier this year I got a shedload of berries and rather than making more jelly I decided to have a crack at using them for wine & my oh my, is it tasty! Fantastic colour and a really full flavour, easily the best home made wine I've managed to make so far and from a recipe I concocted myself because I couldn't find one in my books.

Definitely one I'll be doing again next year - thank goodness I kept notes about how I made it! beer

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default Re: Oregon Grape Wine

Post by Robert Aherne 12th July 2012, 1:04 am

I have just discovered a big bush of Mahonia and would love if you could send me your recipe. Thanks Robert
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default Re: Oregon Grape Wine

Post by Chilli-head 12th July 2012, 1:38 pm

I don't know if COTW looks by here these days (a PM might reach her though), but a quick google finds a recipe for Mahonia wine ->here<- - it does not seem terribly surprising, being just mahonia berries, sugar, black tea (for tannin I guess) yeast and water.

BTW- welcome to the forum Very Happy and do let us know how you get on if you try it !
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default Re: Oregon Grape Wine

Post by Dandelion 12th July 2012, 4:28 pm

I didn't know you could eat Mahonia berries. We had a big Mahonia plant in the garden when we were young - we used to pick the berries and use them to write things on the garden gate (and would then get told off...)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Oregon Grape Wine

Post by Chilli-head 12th July 2012, 4:47 pm

There's a world of difference between "can be eaten", "worth eating" and "worth growing to eat" though ! Like a lot of the unusual fruit and vegetable varieties, if it is not commonly eaten there might be a reason why ... from my quick google, I get the impression that they are rather tart, but wine seems to be the best use for them. As they are acidic and vitamin C loaded, I bet it ferments at quite a pace !
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default Recipe for Wine Making Newbie

Post by AnnieFarmer 8th August 2012, 12:19 am

I know this is an old post but I'm hoping to get a response. I just picked over a gallon of Mahonia Berries and thought I'd make wine. Usually I've made jelly or jam from them, because they are so incredibly high in natural pectins. This year has been such a bumper berry crop that I can't face another batch of jam and I'm the proud owner of some brand new wine making equipment. Can someone post the amounts of the ingredients for me?
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default Re: Oregon Grape Wine

Post by Chilli-head 8th August 2012, 10:43 am

Hi Annie and welcome !

There is a link to a page with a recipe in one of my posts above (Not my recipe, I should say, one I found by Google). In case you missed it (and the URL links are not in a very obvious colour...):

Ingredients
roughly 4.5lb. Mahonia berries
around 3lb castor sugar
2 tablespoons of cold black tea
half a teaspoon of yeast nutrient
a gallon of water
red wine yeast

Click ->here<- for the instructions. I have not tried it, but the proportions look very likely right. I imagine, mahonia berries being sour (i.e. acidic), that it will ferment vigorously !

If you try it, do keep us updated please Very Happy
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default Re: Oregon Grape Wine

Post by Dandelion 8th August 2012, 11:01 am

AnnieFarmer wrote:I know this is an old post but I'm hoping to get a response. I just picked over a gallon of Mahonia Berries and thought I'd make wine. Usually I've made jelly or jam from them, because they are so incredibly high in natural pectins. This year has been such a bumper berry crop that I can't face another batch of jam and I'm the proud owner of some brand new wine making equipment. Can someone post the amounts of the ingredients for me?

What does the jam taste like, Annie - or does it have a taste all of its own?

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Thanks!

Post by AnnieFarmer 8th August 2012, 6:29 pm

I have a large bowl of the berries on my kitchen counter right now, 2 brand new wine carboys and a friend who is willing and able to help me with any project involving fermentation. I also have an equal amount of red huckleberries which grow wild around here. Last year I mixed the huckleberries with sour cherries in a jam we called 'Chuckleberry Jam'. It was fabulous and I'll probably be making more of that if the flock of wild banded pigeons will leave me enough cherries!! So I'm in to town for the yeast and more sugar! Wish me luck
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