As you can see from this photo, we like to make our wine the traditional way - smashing the fruit with a baseball bat! Actually, we only did this once, but it worked quite well and I prefer it to letting anyone's (especially his) feet touch the fruit.
This was the first batch of cranberry wine, which in both cases has been inspired by the discounted cranberries that always go on sale after Thanksgiving. Since it was so hard to smash the fruit for a 5 gallon batch, I've started freezing fruit before I use it in the wine. This makes it mushy and much easier to smash up a bit so the yeast can get good access to the fruit. I think this time I put the unfrozen cranberries in the food processer and chopped them up a bit.
The final product is a lovely color and very bright. It was also very potent, with a 14 percent alcohol content. It was still a powerful drink when diluted with sprite and ice, which made it a good summer beverage instead of the holiday drink I imagined it would be.