How wonderful it is to experiment with some of Queensland’s tropical and exotic fruits. The joy from experiencing some of the fantastic tastes of the fruit itself and then wonder what flavour the wine will have. Recently I have been experimenting with a whole new range of Queensland’s exotic fruits. One of these fruits is the Yellow Mangosteen. People may know of the Purple Mangosteen which does not actually grow in Brisbane, because it is too cold for this truly tropical fruit. Many regard it as the best fruit in the world, and I am sure, those of you who have had the good fortune to taste it would agree.
The Yellow Mangosteen, however, is quite different. The fruit is the size of a tennis ball and is bright yellow with a waxy skin. The yellow pulp inside is made up of two parts. The area under the skin is quite sour – almost as sour as that of a lemon, whereas the fruit pulp around the seed is much sweeter, perhaps comparable to a sweet grapefruit. The fruit was clearly too acidic to attempt to make a dry wine. However, the tanginess of the fruit acids lent itself ideally to make a sweet white wine. My first effort last year did extremely well, winning a gold and a silver medal. The bottle was completely devoured by other members of the club in the general tasting after the competition. It is one of the simplest wines to make.
Simply skin the ripe fruit, remove the pulp from around the seeds until you have approximately two kilograms of Mangosteen pulp. Bring to the boil three litres of water with two kilograms of sugar and four tea bags. Pour this over the fruit pulp in a sterile esky and leave to cool for one day. Then add a teaspoon of peptolitic enzyme, a high alcohol tolerant yeast, and a teaspoon of yeast nutrient. Keep the esky covered apart from when you are stirring. This should be done once a day for seven days. Strain the wine in a nylon bag into two three-litre sterile fruit juice containers and fit air locks. Ferment for another one to two months, then rack off or siphon off the sediment and put the wine into a 5 1itre demijohn, leaving to clear for another two months before bottling.
This wine clears on its own and very rarely needs any clearing or filtering. It should be ready to drink within three months of starting to make it. This is a truly delicious wine, but remember, moderation!