Reader Interactions


  1. Allison at Novice Life says

    Wow cool thanks for sharing! i might have to try this out since i have pears coming out the wazoo at the moment!

      • Rick says

        Late entry for commenting on this recipe but thought I should mention this today after finding your post for pear wine. Years ago (decades actually) people used to make sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) in crocks. These were later deemed to be poor for health since they actually have lead in them. They are no longer safe for anything to do with foods and especially alcohol; mostly just decorative today. Use ONLY food grade plastic or glass, brew stores all carry such things. Also note: crock pots have ceramic glazed liners, at 80 degrees F. at least 15-20% starts to “leach” off and it’s what you’ll consume in the foods you have made. There’s also a reason today that more and more people have brain deficiencies-Parkinson’s, Alzheimers etc and coincidentally, our parents or grand parents probably pickled cabbage, crock pots used to be all the rage. Today, some manufacturers make slow cookers with metal liners. DO NOT use anything but what I suggest above for making wine or beer-FOOD GRADE containers only!

        • Sandddy says

          I’m stunned. Another entire industry built on a lethal technology. Hopping down to the hardware store for my lead test kit asap!

        • Laurie Neverman says

          Older crocks may have a risk of containing lead. If you have an older crock and are unsure, simple lead test kits are available at most hardware stores. You can see the testing process demonstrated at

          Ohio Stoneware crocks, the type I use and recommend in the post, are lead free and recommended for food storage. Specifically, from their description:

          Made of reliable Stoneware
          For preserving and storing vegetables
          Lead-free and contains no harmful chemicals

          I’d be far more concerned about chemicals leeching from plastic over time, especially when the plastic is in contact with acid and alcohol. Some glass containers may also contain lead – especially those manufactured overseas.

          As for lead in crocks and crockpots contributing to Alzheimer’s and other brain health issues, it’s far more likely that the current Standard American Diet is to blame, along with demonizing of cholesterol and poor gut health linked to antibiotic overuse and other lifestyle factors. I suggest reading The Alzheimer’s Antidote for a breakdown of the latest research on cognitive decline.

  2. The Common Sense Woman says

    I haven't yet. Maybe next year. I'm pretty new to the whole winemaking thing, so I'm a little cautious. I guess the worse that could happen is that I end up with pear vinegar.

  3. Carri says

    I love the Wine from the Kitchen book and have been using that –avoiding the sulfa tabs and the extra cost… Pear can be a very nice sparkling wine if you like that too.

    • CommonSenseIdea says

      I enjoy winemaking. It’s so easy! If we drank more, I’d make more. I love the yeasty, fruity smell the crocks make on the counter during the initial ferment. I bet your peach wine will be lovely!

    • Jodi says

      I wish I could trade you 20 lbs of pears for 20 lbs of peaches! I have so many Williams/Bartlett pears right now that my dehydrator (and the wine crock) are running 24/7…let us know how it goes!

  4. Wanda Hoagland says

    I am making some pear wine and can’t find corks that will go in the wine bottles. All the corks that I have seen are to big to fit a wine bottle and I don’t have a thing that will push the cork in the bottle. What can I do?

  5. Patti says

    Thanks for the great idea for pear wine. I made pear wine last year and i think it turned out pretty good. Most of it is buried in back yard right now. You seemed to work your recipe in stages….the raisons and pears sit, then add the shredded wheat 40 hours in, and then add the water and sugar water (not sure when you did this.), and finally the champagne yeast (now sure timing on this one either). Is this timing important or can I add all ingredients from go and let it sit for the three weeks?

    Thanks for the help! My pears are not ripe enough to “mash” at this point so guess I best let them sit a little longer. Last year I didn’t “mash” the pears….just cut them in and added the ingredients. Think that would be OK?


    • CommonSenseIdea says

      Taking the process in steps gives time for different flavors to develop. Wine (from what I’ve experimented with so far) is pretty forgiving, so you could try it and see if you like the results. Mashing the pears gives more surface area for all the little microorganisms to work their mojo and releases the juices. I’ve always been a masher, so I can’t compare the flavors myself. Again, wine is pretty forgiving. If it ferments, you can make some sort of wine.

  6. Charlene says

    I noticed you say in recipe white raisins, in my town white raisins are not available, and I just have golden raisins. Would there be a difference in color and taste? I have some pears, that I have to do something with immediately.

    • CommonSenseIdea says

      White raisins = golden raisins, because they come from white grapes. That was the term used by the author I referenced. Sorry for any confusion! Even dark raisins would work, the flavor would just be a little different and the color would be darker.

  7. James says

    Your “wine is good” update is dated September 7, 2013. Your basic post is dated September 22, 2011. Do I understand that it took over 2 years for the wine to be “good”? If that’s what it takes, so be it. But it’s a little daunting to start a project like this if it doesn’t pay off for 2 years. Thanks for any response.

    • Laurie Neverman says

      Wine should generally age at least a year, and, yes, two is generally better. The date just happens to be what it is because I was updating old posts and also happened to drinking some of the wine.

  8. william derzak says

    hi, trying your pear wine recipe now and wow smells so good, and just in the 2nd part of the fermentation, so a couple weeks to go yet. Was wondering if the recipe allows for different fruits? We have a lot of apples left over and want to try to change the fruit but keep the rest of the recipe…maybe even a banana or orange wine. curious anyways thanks for any reply


    • Laurie Neverman says

      I would expect apples to ferment most similarly to pears, but bananas and citrus would likely merit a different approach. If it has sugar, it will ferment, but working with a recipe should help create a more reliably tasty product.

  9. lingi says

    Rice wine is lot easier,cook the rice when its ready,spread it over a large clean plastic to let it cool.
    Then add yeast and fill back into a container.let it ferment for a week keep the lids loose so co2produced may not explode your container. And its ready by a week. With a good muslin cloth seperate the solid from liquid. And allow for settling and you have it.

  10. wayne bahr says

    Great website !

    Working on our first batch of pear wine

    Have a question on the sugar per gallon – Your ‘Pear Wine Recipe’ calls for 7 cups (3.5 pounds) of sugar per gallon. Have checked several other recipes and most call for 2 pounds sugar per gallon.

    Do not want overly strong wine

    Why 3.5 pounds sugar per gallon ?


    • Laurie Neverman says

      Go ahead and use two pounds if you like. This has 3.5 pounds because that’s what the recipe I based it on used. I didn’t find it to be overly sweet, but it’s not a dry wine, that’s for sure.

  11. Sonnie says

    In the initial fermenting phase did you have to vent the bucket. I am using a 5 gallon bucket and can’t tell if it needs to be vented. A friend of my husband said no. But I don’t want an explosion.

    • Laurie Neverman says

      Yes, while the yeast is active, ventilation is required, either via primitive methods like the tea towel cover, or via airlock on your fermenting vessel. As long as the yeast is active, carbon dioxide will be produced and will need a place to go.

  12. Tanya E says

    Thank you for sharing, starting the first batch tonight with the ginger and peppercorns, Christmas is coming and Spiced Pear Wine has a nice ring to it.

    • Lorraine says

      High can you tell me how much ginger you added
      Iv got some dried ginger
      Do you just put it in grate or chopp it

      • Laurie Neverman says

        The recipe I researched suggested candied ginger, specifically, ” If you desire more character in your wine, add 1/4 pound of candied ginger, finely chopped, at the same time as the raisins. If you desire heat along with the spicy taste, also add ten or twelve black peppercorns.”

        If you wanted to try some fresh ginger, I would shred or finely dice it, and start with no more than 1/4 cup. I wouldn’t use dried ginger, personally, because I believe the flavor would be inferior, but if you did use it i would finely chop or grate it and use a 1-3 teaspoons.

  13. Anette says

    My wine is more like shine & cloudy. I strained it & now in 8 qts mason jars, lids have sealed on their own. It all new so I’m going to let it set for 2 days to settle. I’m not even sure that right. But after do I have to refrigerate it? I will keep it in mason jars.

    • Laurie Neverman says

      The alcohol content should preserve it, so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

      What you’re missing is racking your wine, which removes the sediment. Too much sediment will add off flavors to the wine as it ages. I’d advise putting your wine back into one large container, letting it settle, and then racking it, leaving the sediment behind and giving you a clear product. Here’s a video on racking wine:

      Technically, you could leave it in mason jars, but I bet you could round up used wine bottles from friends. A corker will cost a little up front, but corks are cheap.

  14. Leanne says

    Sounds like something I want to try grow our our fruit ( pears, grapes, kumquat, and several other exotic ) love the post.

  15. ferdie says

    When I make pear wine I can the pears and make wine with the peelings and cores,It takes 4 lbs. of peelings and cores to make 1 gallon of wine and 2.5 lbs.of sugar.This way I eat the pears and drink the peelings and cores.

  16. Bibek Maharjan says

    it is very good to see this article but i wanted to know have you used any substances to clear the pears wine. Clarity of the wine was excellent. What did you do for clarity of wine? Can you share it to me.

  17. Harold Buckner says

    If you are still monitoring this post, I have a question about Seckel Pears. If I were to use them for wine do I make any changes to the sugar? These are super sweet sugar pears.

    • Laurie Neverman says

      If you’re concerned about the wine being too sweet, it’s okay to reduce the sugar, but I don’t have a specific suggestion about exactly how much to reduce it, since I haven’t had the opportunity to try seckel pears.

    • Laurie Neverman says

      The article “Why Does A Wine Recipe Call For Raisins?” explains:

      “Raisins may be called for because they are an abundant source of body. They can improve the mouth-feel of the wine by increasing its viscosity. This gives the wine a heartier, overall impression. It also causes the fruit flavors to linger on the tongue longer, producing a fruitier impression.

      Raisins also add a caramel element to the wine. This is an effect that is caused by the browning, oxidative effects of sun-drying the raisins. This is the same characteristic found in Ports or Sherrys. This can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the type of wine and preference of the wine drinker. You can reduce this characteristic by using Muscat, or white raisins instead.”

      Some people substitute grapes instead, especially when they’d prefer to avoid the caramel flavor element. You don’t need to add either for the wine to ferment, but adding them adds different flavor elements to the wine.


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