Tasting notes: Citrus wine

My Tangelo wine.

My Tangelo wine.

I intended to make this a sparkling wine. Despite my attempts to preserve some yeast activity and add a dosage at the time of bottling, I was not very successful. The wine is still.

Aromatically, the wine smells a bit like like a California Chardonnay: citrus backed by pineapple and a vague creamy note. There is also a distinct note of the white pith from the orange.

There is not much bitterness, but it tastes like an under-ripe Tangelo. And, it is very acidic. Although I appreciate acid I think the acidity would be too much for many people.

A dash of sugar and a splash of Mt. Gay Rum (which does well with a lemon twist) makes this drinkable for me, but not the Mrs.

Tangelos are late ripeners and these fruit had a high acid content when I juiced them. Multiple racking and filtering of juice was intended to eliminate bitter pith. I added some pineapple juice and a little juice from a more aromatic, less acidic, sweeter orange variety with looser skin and softer flesh we have growing.  Not enough I guess. I doubt that cold stabilization would drop the acid levels.

The addition of more aromatic zest added to complexity of aromas but did not improve the balance.

The fermentation was clean and error-free but I suppose I could have better luck with different oranges. I checked Google results for “low acid oranges” and got:

  • Hamlin
  • Marrs
  • Navel

I suppose very ripe mandarins would do the trick. Picking and crushing at the right time (peak sugars, lowest acids) to avoid the eye-squinting, mouth-puckering acidity that makes a wine undrinkable (and induces three days of heartburn).

Sty tuned for Tasting Notes of my other sparklers.



Father, husband, physician, amateur guitarist, wine lover, wine writer, wine grower and wine maker trying to do it all within eye shot of downtown Los Angeles. http://www.shutupandmakewine.com http://twitter.com/Dr_Arthur_P
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2 Responses to Tasting notes: Citrus wine

  1. Frightened Turtle says:

    Cool, what do you think about blood oranges?

    • SUAMW says:

      Tasty. Too expensive and too hard to get for me to experiment with. Worth a try. Maybe when the blood orange tree I bought recently bears fruit, I’ll try again.

      Also, I seem to recall that citric acid does serve as fodder for some spoilage microorganisms (I would have to look up which ones) so you have to take your chances. This was just an incidental experiment and I don’t intend to repeat it.

      Let me know if you have nay luck.

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