hist-brewing: Historical Wine Sweetening

Jerry Harder mastergoodwine at alltel.net
Mon Aug 21 10:16:22 PDT 2000

NeophyteSG at aol.com wrote:

> It's a common practice today to add sugar to "country wines," but aside from
> meads and similarly honeyed brews, were historical/period "country" wines
> sweetened?  Were they all-juice or did they add boiling water as is common
> now?

As far back as 7000 years ago, the first run juice of grapes was boiled down to
1/3 of its original volume and used as a sweetener similar to honey.  This
substance called cute, can be read about in Gerards Herbal under the "manured
vine'.  Comella also talks of how they made it in the first century AD.  I know
it was added to grape wines, and I would imagine to other wines but can't
document it.  Also I don't see why you couldn't do the same thing with other
fruits but have never seen it done.  Acids can also get concentrated.  I made a
mulberry wine in this fashion but acids also get concentrated so watch all your

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