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Fruit Wines

by Staff Writer - R. Meoki | July 03, 2011

Most of the world’s wine is made from grapes. But there are also many wines created that are known as Fruit Wines. These wines are created from different types of fruits, rather than by grapes. Fruit Wines are generally any wine that is fermented from a fruit, plant or vegetable other than grapes. None of the fruit character comes from the addition of fruit flavors but is the natural product of fruit, plant or vegetable fermentation. The wines are usually named by the type of fruit used to make the wine. Examples of some fruit wines are Apple Wine or Plum Wine. Fruit Wines can be made from any type of food that is sweet or starchy enough. Sometimes when creating the fruit wines some honey or sugar may have to be added for the proper amount of sucrose. Blackberry and Blueberry fruit wines are known to be full of antioxidants and noted in some ways to be healthier for you than red wines are.

Typical fruit wines are made from: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Black Currants, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Elderberries, Guavas, Huckleberries, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Pomegranates, Raspberries and Strawberries.

The name of the fruit or food is placed in front of the word wine to eliminate confusion since these types of wine are not made from grapes, such as the term wine is normally labeled. Fruit wines are not always made from fruits. They are sometimes created from different types of plants such as dandelions, hibiscus and elderberries. Other foods used to make fruit wines are parsnips, potatoes, rhubarb and rice.

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It typically takes over ten pounds of fruit, plants or vegetables to produce one gallon of premium fruit wine. Fermentation techniques vary with the specific winemaker, but often the fermentation is under cold conditions to maximize the retention of the fruit character. Well-made fruit wines are a delicate balance between the fruit’s natural acidity and residual sugar. If the finished wine is made too sweet, it tends to have a sticky or syrupy texture. If the fruit wine is made too dry, it tends to be sharp and biting. Finding the proper balance is a key objective in a well-made fruit wine.

Making Fruit Wines

Fruit Wine makers use many of the same techniques used as those creating grape wines. At some wineries, a machine is used first to remove the stalks and wash off any insects. Next, they may use a type of crusher, either spinning or ballooning to separate the juice from the skins or peels. The liquid is then put into a fermentation vat, and yeast is sometimes added. The wine then goes through the normal fermentation processes. The wineries that allow fermentation to begin with the skin remove the pulp at some stage and finish fermentation on just the liquid.

It is recommended that fruit wines be consumed at least one year after they are produced. These are not wines that get better as they age because of the fermentation issues. Fruit wines do not have the natural sugars that grapes do when making wine so the fruits, plants and vegetables most often need added sugars to complete the fruit wines. They do not ferment in the same manner and often need things like phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium added in, which will allow the flavor to last for approximately one year.

Fruit Wines can be used and consumed in many ways. They are often consumed slightly chilled around 55 degrees Fahrenheit with a dessert course. Some fruit wines are a great complement with thick chocolate desserts as the fruit wine cleanses the palette of the sweet chocolate. Other fruit wines have a similar effect with Cheesecake. Fruit wines can also be used in a sauté’ pan to make pan reductions, such as Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Wine Reduction or Filet Mignon with a Blackberry Reduction as examples. Fruit wines may also be used in various baking recipes. Fruit wines can also be used in a number of mixed drink creations like a Cherry Wine Cosmopolitan. And a chilled splash of a fruit wine in a glass of sparkling wine makes a pleasing drink before a meal.

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