Why 'Wine' Made From Soda Will Taste Like Regret

Homebrewing is currently all the rage on TikTok, and shockingly, one trend involves turning soda into wine. While it's true that you can ferment just about anything with a high sugar content, the soda-to-wine pipeline is questionable (and an even worse idea than putting wine in a SodaStream). Regardless, the concept of fermenting something in a jar like a science experiment is enticing some to give it a go. Those brave enough to try it have had success with flavors like Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper, but many are unsure if the taste is even worth it.

Making wine at home can be risky if you're inexperienced. For example, wine made with improper yeast measurements can cause significant bloating and gastrointestinal pain. Plus, certain bacteria could contaminate the wine. While the bacteria growth possible with TikTok's method won't make you sick, it definitely won't be pleasant to your taste buds. Many experienced winemakers will even put sulfur dioxide in their bottles to ward off those pesky growths. 

However, if you try to make pruno-style soda wine like one Reddit user, you could expose yourself to a dangerous toxin produced by harmful bacteria. Fermenting fruit juice, sugar, and other common pruno ingredients like honey can lead to the lethal consequences of botulism. To be safe, you should never add fresh fruit or honey to any soda wine. Sterilization is key. Clean all bottles and utensils with no-rinse sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, and research an expert's guide to DIY fermentation before trying out anything yourself.

The taste is lackluster

Sans pruno technique, Golden Hive Mead on TikTok demonstrates the soda wine process with a liter of Dr. Pepper and a gallon-sized jar. They eliminate as many gas bubbles as possible because carbonation destroys yeast — the necessary fermenting agent. A gradual pour with vigorous stirs helps decrease some of the osmotic pressure, but ultimately, what you're concocting is yeasty, flat soda (which does not sound tasty). Besides, an acidic pH doesn't support healthy yeast. Adding baking soda to balance the acid is one solution, but there are still preservatives in soda, like sodium benzoate, that will prevent the yeast from reaching its full potential.  


Replying to @BriggsBee making Dr. Pepper Wine #experiment #fyp #drpepper #homebrew #brew #wine

♬ Aesthetic – Gaspar

Soda also lacks the natural tannins that make wine deliciously bitter. Sure, you can add yeast and nutrients, but there's really no way to add the amino acids, aromatic compounds, and phenolic compounds that support yeast populations in actual wine. So be warned, fermented soda will not have the same body and flavor as your favorite wine. According to Golden Hive Mead, you could end up with a sweet flavor, but they note that it's not the greatest-tasting wine. While it attains a decent alcohol percentage after a few weeks, the taste won't be comparable to mixing grape soda with a glass of red wine. You might as well skip the hassle and make a risk-free wine-and-cola cocktail instead.