Lemon Balm Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Lemon Balm Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 4-6 cups lightly packed lemon balm
  • 1-3/4 to 2 pounds finely granulated sugar
  • 7 pints water
  • 1-1/2 cup white grape juice frozen concentrate
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/4 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/8 tsp grape tannin
  • 3 tsp acid blend or juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1 packet Champagne or Montrachet wine yeast

Rinse and clean lemon balm and then chop leaves and stems coarsely. Put into 2-qt saucepan with lid. Add 1 quart water, bring to a boil, put lid on pan, and turn off heat. Let steep for 2 hours. Meanwhile, boil remaining water and dissolve sugar, tannin and acid blend (or lemon juice) in it. Pour into primary and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain lemon balm and add water to primary. Stir in pectic enzyme, grape concentrate and yeast nutrient. Cover and set aside for 8-10 hours. Add activated yeast, recover, and stir daily for 6 days. Transfer to secondary and fit with airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 30 days and again after wine clears. Stabilize and sweeten to taste if desired. Bulk age under airlock for 3 months and taste. If wine has not smoothed out, age another 3 months. Rack into bottles and serve chilled. [Author’s own recipe]