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Pressing Cherries & Yeast Life: Wine Wizard

Dear Wine Wizard, I have made 2.5-gallon batches of pin cherry wine. Without a recipe to go by, I used my old standby: Chokecherry recipe of 20 plus years. It makes excellent wine with a little almond flavor. The recipe calls for crushing/grinding the berries using a three-point grinder. The wine has a bitter/tart taste. Is there any way to remove this, short of pouring it down the drain? Peter DaellenbachRoscommon, Mich. Wine Wizard replies: Stop right there! Don’t pour your wine down the drain. Your problem is both curable, and most important for future batches, preventable. It seems you’ve got an overload of tannins in your wine, the bitter and astringent compounds found in the skins and seeds of all fruits and vegetables. Usually these compounds add a nice “bite” of astringency to wine, but too much can be a bad thing, as you’ve obviously found out. Your problem can be prevented by pressing your fruit more gently, either with a basket press (available in most home winemaking stores) or by hand with a large sieve and a stirring