WILDERNESS WILD SLOE WINE
Sloes are a European plum sometimes found in the wild as escapees from cultivation. They are the blue-black, tart fruit of the Blackthorn tree (Prunus spinosa). Most wild sloe trees grow from five to fifteen feet high and are not particularly attractive.
When ripe, the fruit is typically globular and small, from three-quarters to one-and-a-half inches in diameter. Wild sloes make an excellent wine, but like cherry wine, it must be aged for some time to come into its own. When fermentation ends, wild sloe wine is not pleasant and the winemaker will be tempted to either over sweeten it to overcome its astringency or toss it out altogether. Either course of action would be a mistake. Simply put the wine in a dark, cool place and forget about it for at least one year. Sloe wine is best when finished slightly sweet.
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