Parsnip and Ginger Wine

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If you have ever eaten parsnip and ginger soup, parsnip and ginger pakoras, parsnip and ginger cake or muffins, or parsnip and ginger anything you know how well the flavors combine. The nutty sweetness of parsnips and the warming spiciness of ginger just go well together. Parsnips and ginger wine is a real treat in the cooler months of the year and adds a little je ne sais quoi to any meal. Make it once and you will be glad you did. Because this wine takes so long to make, start a batch every 3 months and you will be very thankful you did. Finally, the parsnips can be recycled to make a great side dish to any meal (recipe included).

The recipe calls for setting aside the cooked parsnips for use in a second recipe. By all means do this. You can change the complexity of the second recipe by adding 1 cup of peeled, sliced, very well cooked carrots; 1 summer or butternut squash peeled, deseeded, sliced and cooked; or 1 peeled, diced and well-cooked rutabagas or sweet potato.

The wine recipe calls for 1 pound on ripe bananas, peeled and sliced. Banana peels turn dark when ripe and the banana meat inside turns soft and translucent. Make sure the bananas are ripe before using for wine.

  • 4 lbs parsnips
  • 1 lb ripe bananas
  • 10-1/2 oz can of white grape concentrate
  • 1 inch ginger root very thinly sliced
  • 4 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp acid blend
  • 7-1/4 pts water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/8 tsp yeast energizer
  • Sauternes wine yeast

Put 1 pint water on to boil and add sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Set aside in sterilized jar for later use. Meanwhile, scrub and rinse the parsnips well (do not peel) and then slice them crosswise into thin discs no thicker than 1/4 inch. Trim the meat from the fibrous core of the larger slices and discard the cores. Smaller slices can be left as is. Place parsnips only in nylon straining bag, tie closed, and settle in large saucepan with 3 quarts water on high heat. Add thinly sliced ginger root to saucepan. Peel and slice the bananas and add them to saucepan. Bring to rolling boil, reduce heat to maintain a low boil for 30 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to cool, but immediately drip drain parsnips 2-3 minutes, then place bag in large bowl to cool separately; set aside. After saucepan cools 2 hours, place a large funnel with straining screen insert in a 1-gallon secondary and carefully pour liquid through funnel. Seal secondary with paper towel folded and secured with rubber band. Set aside to settle for 24 hours. Meanwhile, use parsnips as per the recipe below.

After 24 hours, siphon the clear liquid off the sediment into clean secondary. Add thawed grape concentrate, acid blend, tannin, and yeast nutrient and energizer. Stir to mix and add activated wine yeast. Cover secondary with paper towel held in place with rubber band. When fermentation is vigorous, add sugar-water and fit airlock. Ferment until wine begins clearing. Rack, top up and refit airlock. When wine is completely clear, rack again and add 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate and 1 finely crushed Campden tablet dissolved in 1/2 cup water, stir, top up and refit airlock. After 3 weeks, rack again and add additional crushed Campden tablet dissolved in 1/2 cup water. Sweeten to specific gravity 1.008, top up and refit airlock. Check airlock periodically and rack every 3 months for 18 months, adding additional crushed Campden tablet dissolved in 1/2 cup water every 3rd racking. Rack into bottles and store additional 4-6 months. Yes, it’s a long process but entirely worth it. [Jack Keller’s own recipe]

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