Traditional wine is produced with grapes for a reason. Grapes produce near-perfect alchemy for wine. They contain the perfect amount of; sugar to convert to alcohol, tannins for structure, and acidity for balance. There’s no debating this. And while traditional wines are made with grapes, there are many wines throughout the world that are produced using regionally robust fruits, enter–fruit wine. In this post, we’ll share everything we’ve learned recently about fruit wine, including the various types, how it’s made, and some interesting tasting and pairing notes to try!
What is Fruit Wine?
Fruit wine by definition are fermented alcoholic beverages made of fruit other than grapes; they may also have additional flavors taken from other fruits, flowers and herbs. Fruit wines can be still or sparkling. Surprisingly, the alcohol levels in fruit wine tend to be pretty similar to a grape wine around 10-15%.
The Making of Fruit Wine
A new era has begun to emerge in the wine world. In the past, fruit wines have gotten a bad rap for being overly sweet in part due to the large addition of sugar during the winemaking process. Today, there are some new and serious vintners out there producing really well-balanced, thoughtful fruit wines!
The way fruit wine is made depends on the type of fruit being used. For example, a winery in Hawaii makes a sparkling pineapple wine that uses the same wine-making process as brut sparkling (grape) wine!
In general, to make fruit wine, the winemaker must extract juice from the fruit by crushing or stewing the fruits. Next, the fruit juice is fermented and a large amount of sugar is added to help with converting the juice to alcohol. Yeast can be added during this time as well. Other additives can be included during this time to help balance the wine. Once everything is added, the wine is left to ferment in a cool, dark place. Fruit wine does not tend to improve with age, something to keep in mind if you’re ever gifted a bottle ;).
Types of Fruit Wine?
Name a fruit and there’s probably a fruit wine that exists. Fruit wines are often made in specific regions where growing grapes do not bode well. In place of grapes, winemakers will use a flourishing regional fruit to create their signature fruit wine.
The flavor profile in these wines can range from sweet, semi-sweet to dry. Many fruit winemakers have been making strides to appeal to (grape) wine drinkers and working to include dry fruit wine options! Some popular types of fruit wine from various states include:
- Pineapple wine – Hawaii
- Cherry wine – Northern Michigan
- Blueberry wine – Maine
- Apple wine – New Jersey
- Orange wine – Florida
Serving Fruit Wine
Fruit wines should be served chilled for some extra crisp. Sweeter varieties like cherry and apple wine can be served alongside a fruit-forward dessert.
Have you tried fruit wine? Any brands that you love? We’d love for you to share and suggest to
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