A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This sloe wine recipe is a classic full bodied red. I must admit to loving sloes. I love their colour and I love this sloe wine recipe. We waited 12 months to taste it, now we'll leave it a lot longer.

4 lb Sloes (Blackthorn)
3" piece of ginger root
6 pints of water
1 campden tablet
1 tsp pectolase
2-3  Lbs of sugar
1/2 litre of Red Aldi Rio D'Oro grape juice or a pound of Raisins
1 lemon or 1 tsp Citric Acid
2 tsp TronOzymol yeast nutrient
Ritchies Sherry yeast

Damsons and Sloes are high in pectin so maybe 1 1/2 tsp of pectic enzyme (pectolase) could be used. Also you can see in the record below while foraging I'd found half a pound of Blackberries, Elderberries & Bullace and they were all pitched in.

As a rule of thumb for adding sugar: Use a hydrometer and add sugar only a few Oz at a time stirring well so you can take another reading. Aim for a starting point around 1.085. 1.080 is a perfectly adequate point to end up with a 90 point drop to dryness and a guaranteed 12% wine.

Editorial: In January 2012 we tried our first taste of this sloe wine and I can attest that it's better than I imagined while we were waiting for it to mature.


I must admit to loving sloes. I love their colour and if you can stomach pursed lips, wrinkled eyes and a shake of the head with every bite, even the flavour.

I love making Sloe Gin, every year I make a couple of small bottles. There's nuttin like a nip of year old Dartmoor Sloes matured in Devon Plymouth Gin, until you move to Somerset and there the Sloes are sweeter, larger and IMO deeper.


From my notes:

Sunday 26th September

Picked 2 Lbs of Sloes from the hedgerows

Monday 27th September

Picked 2 Lbs of Sloes from the hedgerows
I include a 1/2 Lb combination of a few elderberries, blackberries and bullace I picked along the way for tannin

Tuesday 30th September

I put the fruit in freezer because freezing breaks down the cell walls and softens them on the thaw. Freezing is a great shortcut if you're in mind to make a Sloe Gin, it's way faster than pricking them all with a pin (though I do both).

Friday 1st October

3 inch piece of root ginger sliced and sliced again.
4 Lb's of Sloes
1/2 Lb of Blackberries, Elderberries & Bullace
Threw on 5 pints of boiling water
1 campden tablet
Crushed all the fruit up with a potato masher

Saturday 2nd October

1 tsp Pectolase
1/2 tsp of Citric Acid
3 pints of boiled cooled water
Added activated Sherry Yeast
2 tsp TronOzymol nutrient

Added 2Lb 12 oz sugar until the SG was 1.092

7th October

Strained into a demijohn
SG: 0.996


1 Gallon of Sloe Wine
SG: 0.996 (12.7%)

Saturday 9th October 2010

1st Rack
SG: 0.996
Added 2.5 Oz sugar syrup and a little topped up with Blackberry III & Scilly Birthday reserve
SG: 1.000

Potential alcohol calculation
1.092 + 0.004 = 1.096
(1096 - 1000) / 7.4 = 13%

Friday 15th October 2010

SG: 0.996
1.092 + 0.004 = 1.096
(1096 - 996) / 7.4 = 13.5%

19th October 2010

2nd Rack
Topped up with Blackberry Wine
SG: 0.996

30th October 2010

SG: 0.996
Added a crushed campden tablet


Clearing & Maturing: 1st Feb 2011

Bottled: 20th February 2011 - 6 x bottles

Drinkable: February 2012 ... better in August 2012