Pear Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Bartlett Pear Wine

June 13, 2022
  • 6 lbs ripe pears
  • 1 12-oz can 100% White Grape frozen concentrate
  • 1-3/4 lb finely granulated sugar
  • 3 qts water
  • 1/8 tsp ascorbic acid
  • 1-1/2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/8 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1-1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Champagne yeast

Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it thoroughly. Wash, de-stem and core the pears, being sure to remove all seeds. I quarter them length-ways and cut out the small seedy core. It is not that time consuming. Chop roughly and put in nylon straining. Tie bag and put in primary. Mash pears using a potato masher, bottom of a wine bottle, or a 4X4 piece of wood (be sure to sanitize whatever is used to mash pears). Pour boiling water over crushed pears. Cover with sanitized cloth. Wait one hour for must to cool a bit and add crushed ascorbic acid, Campden tablet, acid blend, tannin and yeast nutrient. Cover with cloth, wait 12 hours and add pectic enzyme. Again cover with cloth, wait another 12 hours and strain out enough juice to float a hydrometer. Measure specific gravity and add sugar sufficient to achieve starting gravity of 1.080 to 1.085. Pear wine is best under 12% alcohol. Return juice in hydrometer jar to primary and add activated yeast in a yeast starter. Cover with cloth once again. Stir daily, turning bag over each time. When vigorous fermentation subsides (about 5-7 days), remove bag and let drip drain 15-20 minutes. Do not squeeze or wine will be very difficult to clear. Taste the drained juice. You should taste both acid and tannin. If either appears weak, add a little more (1/2 teaspoon acid blend, 1/8 teaspoon tannin) and stir very well. Return drained juice to primary and allow to settle 24 hours. Rack into glass secondary, top up to within one inch of the bottom of the bung, attach an airlock, and set aside. Rack after three weeks, top up, and refit airlock. Rack again every two months until wine clears. Wait another 30 days and very carefully examine the bottom of the secondary with a flashlight. If you see even a very fine dusting of sediment, wait another 30 days and rack again. Repeat looking for sediment in another 30 days. The wine must go 30 days without dropping even a few dead yeast cells. When wine pasts the test for no sediment, stabilize it with 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate and one finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet. Remove one cup of the wine and dissolve into it 1/4 pound (1/2 cup) of finely granulated sugar or honey. When completely dissolved, stir this into the wine, reattach the airlock, and set aside 30 days. If there are no signs of renewed fermentation, rack into bottles and age 6-12 months. [Author’s own recipe]

Apple-Pear Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 6 lbs ripe Asian apple-pears
  • 1/2 lb chopped golden raisins
  • 1-1/2 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 3-1/4 quarts water (more or less)
  • 2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/4 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Champagne yeast

Boil the water and dissolve the sugar. Wash, destem and core the apple-pears, being sure to remove all seeds. Chop roughly and put in nylon straining bag with chopped (or minced) raisins. Tie bag and put in primary. Mash apple-pears with 4″x4″ piece of hardwood or by other means and pour boiling water over crushed pulp. Cover primary and set aside to cool to room temperature. Add crushed Campden tablet, acid blend, tannin and yeast nutrient. Recover primary, wait 12 hours and add pectic enzyme. Recover primary, wait another 12 hours and add yeast. Cover with muslin. Stir daily, squeezing bag gently to extract flavor. After 7 days, remove bag and let drip drain one hour. Do not squeeze. Return drained juice to primary and allow to settle 24 hours. Siphon into glass secondary, top up if required, fit airlock, and set aside. Rack after two weeks, top up, and refit airlock. Rack again every two months (at least twice) until wine clears. Rack again, stabilize, wait 10 days, and add 1/8 to 1/4 pound sugar (depending on your taste) dissolved in water–2 parts sugar to one part water. Bottle and age 6-12 months before tasting. Serve chilled. [Author’s own recipe]

Cooking Pear Wine (Sweet)

April 5, 2001
  • 5 lb. cooking pears
  • 1-3/4 lb. granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 3/4 tsp. pectic enzyme
  • 7 pts. water
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient
  • Red Star Côte des Blancs wine yeast

Wash and chop the pears into 1/2 inch pieces with peeling intact, bring to a boil in 7 pints water, then lower heat to a simmer and hold for not more than 20 minutes (or the wine may not clear later). Allow to cool to lukewarm and pour into nylon straining bag, saving all liquids. Hand mash and squeeze the pulp lightly to extract as much juice as possible without forcing pulp through the mesh. Pour the combined liquid onto the sugar in a primary, stirring well to dissolve. Add the lemon and orange juice, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. When cooled to 75 degrees F., add an activated wine yeast starter and cover primary. Transfer to secondary after vigorous fermentation subsides (5-7 days), top up with water and attach an airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 3 weeks and then every 2 months for 6 months. If clear, taste wine for sweetness, not flavor (flavor will be coarse, but will improve remarkably with aging). If not as sweet as desired, stabilize with 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate and 1 crushed and dissolved Campden tablet, sweeten to taste, wait 10 days to ensure no refermentation occurs, and bottle. If wine does not clarify on its own, fine with Bentonite according to its instructions, rack again when clear (7-10 days), and bottle. Taste it after 6 months, but allow a year for best body and flavor. This wine may be spiced during cooking with two 3-inch cinnamon sticks and a few cloves (to your taste) in a spice bag. These are removed before extracting the juices from the pears. The spiced wine is a very nice treat during the Christmas holidays the following year. [Author’s own recipe]

Cooking Pear Wine (Dry)

April 5, 2001
  • 5 lb. cooking pears
  • 1-3/4 lb. granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 3/4 tsp. pectic enzyme
  • 7 pts. water
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient
  • Red Star Pasteur White wine yeast

Wash and chop the pears into 1/2 inch pieces with peeling intact, bring to a boil in 7 pints water, then lower heat to a simmer and hold for not more than 20 minutes (or the wine may not clear later). Allow to cool to lukewarm and pour into nylon straining bag, saving all liquids. Hand mash and squeeze the pulp lightly to extract as much juice as possible without forcing pulp through the mesh. Pour the combined liquid onto the sugar in a primary, stirring well to dissolve. Add the lemon and orange juice, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. When cooled to 75 degrees F., add an activated wine yeast starter and cover primary. Transfer to secondary after vigorous fermentation subsides (5-7 days), top up with water and attach an airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 3 weeks and then every 2 months for 6 months. Bottle if clear. If wine does not clarify on its own, fine with Bentonite according to its instructions, rack again when clear (7-10 days), and bottle. Taste it after 6 months, but allow a year for best body and flavor. This wine may be spiced during cooking with two 3-inch cinnamon sticks and a few cloves (to your taste) in a spice bag. These are removed before extracting the juices from the pears. The spiced wine is a very nice treat during the Christmas holidays the following year. [Author’s own recipe]

Canned Peach or Pear Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 32 oz canned peaches or pears
  • 1 lb 11 oz granulated sugar (approximate)
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tsp. acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp. pectic enzyme
  • 1/4 tsp. grape tannin
  • 3-1/2 qts. water
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient
  • Champagne yeast

Bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, drain the fruit but save the liquid they were canned in. Chop fruit and put in nylon straining bag. Tie bag and put in primary. Add orange juice. When water boils, remove from heat and add liquid from canned fruit. Stir in 1 lb. sugar and stir until dissolved. Measure S.G. and continue adding sugar (1/4 cup at a time, then stir to dissolve) until S.G. reaches 1.088-1.090. When S.G. is right, pour sweetened water over fruit. Add acid blend, tannin, yeast nutrient, and crushed Campden tablet and stir. Cover with cloth, wait 12 hours, then add pectic enzyme. Recover, wait additional 12 hours, then add yeast. When fermentation is very active (1-2 days later), stir and push bag of fruit under. Don’t worry if it floats back up. Ferment 5 days, stirring daily and pushing bag under liquid several times. Drip drain (don’t squeeze) the bag and return drained juices to primary. Discard fruit. Allow liquid to settle, then siphon off sediments into sterile secondary and fit air lock. Rack after two months and again after additional two months, topping up each time. Wait final two months, add stabilizer, wait additional 10 days, and rack again. Sweeten to taste with up to 1/4 cup sugar dissolved in 1/8 cup water and bottle the wine. Allow 6 months aging before tasting. Well-canned fruit will have produced good wine by now. If the wine tastes less than expected, allow to age another 6 months. [Author’s recipe, with a little help from Terry Garey’s The Joy of Home Winemaking ]

Pear Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 4-6 lbs ripe pears
  • 1/2 lb chopped or minced white or golden raisins (or sultanas)
  • 1-3/4 lb finely granulated sugar
  • 3-1/4 quarts water (more or less, depending on amount of fruit used)
  • 1-1/2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/8 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Champagne yeast

Cut a pear in half and set it so both cut faces are facing upright. Set a timer for 15 minutes and go
do something else. When timer goes off, come back and look at the pear halves. If they have turned slightly
brown, add 1/16 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to the ingredients. If you think they have
turned really brown, add 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid to ingredients. Don’t overdo it! If you cannot
measure or estimate 1/16th of a teaspoon, use a thin pinch. Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it
thoroughly. Wash, destem and core the pears, being sure to remove all seeds. Chop roughly and put in nylon
straining bag with the chopped raisins. Tie bag and put in primary. Mash pears using a potato masher, bottom
of a wine bottle, or a 4X4 piece of wood (be sure to sanitize whatever is used to mash pears). Pour boiling
water over crushed pears. Cover with a piece of sanitized muslin held in place with an elastic band Wait
one hour for must to cool a bit and add crushed ascorbic acid (if used), Campden tablet, acid blend, tannin
and yeast nutrient. Cover with muslin, wait 12 hours and add pectic enzyme. Again cover with muslin, wait
another 12 hours and strain out enough juice to float a hydrometer. Measure specific gravity and add sugar
sufficient to achieve starting gravity of 1.080 to 1.085. Pear wine is best under 12% alcohol.
Return juice in hydrometer jar to primary and add activated yeast (that means make a yeast starter at least
two hours — six or eight is better — before you get to this point). Cover with muslin once again. Stir
daily, squeezing bag gently to extract flavor. When vigorous fermentation subsides (about 7 days), remove
bag and let drip drain one hour. Do not squeeze or wine will be very difficult to clear. Taste the
drained juice. You should taste both acid and tannin. If either appears weak, add a little more (1/2
teaspoon acid blend, 1/8 teaspoon tannin) and stir very well. Return drained juice to primary and allow to
settle 24 hours. Siphon into glass secondary, top up to within one inch of the bottom of the bung, attach an
airlock, and set aside. Rack after two-three weeks, top up, and refit airlock. Rack again every two months
(but at least twice) until wine clears. Wait another 30 days and very carefully examine the bottom of the
secondary. If you see even a very fine dusting of sediment, wait another 30 days and rack again. Repeat
looking for sediment in another 30 days. The wine must go 30 days without dropping even a few dead yeast
cells. When wine pasts the test for no sediment, stabilize it with 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate and one
finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet. Remove one cup of the wine and dissolve into it 1/4 pound (1/2
cup) of finely granulated sugar. Stir this into the wine, reattach the airlock, and set aside 20-30 days.
If there are no signs of continued fermentation, rack into bottles and age 6-12 months. [Author’s own
recipe]

Dry Anjou Pear Wine (1)

April 5, 2001
  • 4 lbs ripe Anjou pears
  • 2 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 quarts water (more or less)
  • 2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/4 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Champagne yeast

Boil the water and dissolve the sugar. Wash, destem and core the pears, being sure to remove all seeds. Chop roughly and put in nylon straining bag. Tie bag and put in primary. Mash pears using potato masher, blunt end of a baseball bat, or a 4X4 piece of wood (be sure to sterilze whatever is used to mash pears). Pour boiling water over crushed pears. Add crushed Campden tablet, acid blend, tannin and yeast nutrient. Wait 12 hours and add pectic enzyme. Wait another 12 hours and add yeast. Cover with muslin. Stir daily, squeezing bag to extract flavor. After 7 days, remove bag and let drip drain one hour. Do not squeeze. Return drained juice to primary and allow to settle 24 hours. Siphon into glass secondary, fit airlock, and set aside. Rack after two weeks, top up, and refit airlock. Rack again every two months (but at least twice) until wine clears. Rack again, bottle and age 6-12 months. Use for cooking and salad dressings, or stir 1/2 to 3/4 tsp honey into glass of wine for sipping. [Adapted traditional recipe]

Sweet Anjou Pear Wine (2)

April 5, 2001
  • 4 lbs ripe Anjou pears
  • 1/2 lb chopped golden raisins
  • 2 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 quarts water (more or less)
  • 2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/4 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Champagne yeast

Boil the water and dissolve the sugar. Wash, destem and core the pears, being sure to remove all seeds. Chop roughly and put in nylon straining bag with raisins. Tie bag and put in primary. Mash pears and pour boiling water over crushed pulp. Add crushed Campden tablet, acid blend, tannin and yeast nutrient. Wait 12 hours and add pectic enzyme. Wait another 12 hours and add yeast. Cover with muslin. Stir daily, squeezing bag gently to extract flavor. After 7 days, remove bag and let drip drain one hour. Do not squeeze. Return drained juice to primary and allow to settle 24 hours. Siphon into glass secondary, fit airlock, and set aside. Rack after two weeks, top up, and refit airlock. Rack again every two months (at least twice) until wine clears. Rack again, stabilize, wait 10 days, and add 1/8 to 1/4 pound sugar (depending on your taste) dissolved in 1/8 cup water. Bottle and age 6-12 months before tasting. Serve chilled. [Adapted from recipe, origin unknown]