What is wine? It sounds like a silly question, but you may be surprised to find out that not every wine is quite what you would imagine. This exquisite alcoholic beverage is made when fruit is fermented — but that fruit doesn’t have to be a grape.
Any variety of fruit that has enough sugar to carry out the fermentation process can be made into a unique bottle of wine, though some may require a little extra sugar and water to soften their naturally sour taste.
Are Fruit Wines Very Sweet?
Modern winemakers have created many sophisticated varietals of fruit wine that vary from sweet to semi-sweet to dry. Today’s selections are just as complex as traditional grape wines. For example, a peach wine tastes about as much like peaches as a grape wine tastes like the grapes it’s made from. There is an influence, yes, but sipping these wines will be quite different from biting into a piece of fruit!
Fruit Wines Have a Long History
Many wine lovers are rediscovering the potential of fruit wines, but this is far from a new trend. Wine made from local berries was a common staple of the American homestead’s table, and England has long been home to perry and pear cider. Traditional styles like these are the perfect gifts for wine lovers. Explore some of our favorite fruit wines below!
Usher in Autumn with Apple Wine
It’s possible that you’ve enjoyed a non-grape wine in the past. After all, apple cider could just as easily be called “apple wine.” This beloved autumn drink is created from sugar-heavy cultivars of apple that are fermented into a delicious cider. Some winemakers are also experimenting with new varietals of dry, spiced, and sparkling apple wine.
Savor Your Meal with Cranberry Wine
The rich scent and pleasant pink color of cranberry wine will draw in even the timidest of wine drinkers. A delicate sweetness balances its slightly acidic flavor. Cranberry wine pairs well with turkey, poultry, and high-acidity foods like salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Experience the Tastes of Asia with Plum Wine
Many Asian cultures, including Japan and Korea, enjoy fruit wine made from plums. You can find many of these sweet plum wines in U.S. stores. They pair particularly well with fruit-based desserts. You can also mix them into cocktails or add them to an Asian recipe for a unique flavor.
Dream of a Tropical Destination with Pineapple Wine
Pineapples grow around the world and create a soft wine with incredible flavor. Recipes for this exotic, fragrant wine have been passed down from generation to generation in far-flung destinations like Hawaii, the Caribbean, Thailand, Mexico, and Japan. Pair pineapple wine with a cheese platter to impress at your next event.
Embrace Summertime with Strawberry Wine
Strawberry wine is as old as the first modern cultivated strawberries, with recipes dating back to 1745. When you pick up a glass of strawberry wine, it’s tough to put it down. This drink is characterized by a fresh and fruity flavor, even when completely dry.
Warm Up in the Winter with Blackberry Wine
Blackberry wine is a cold-weather staple of the French Alps and the Pyrenees mountains. This is one of few fruit wines that ages well, so you don’t have to drink it while blackberries are still ripe. This style of wine has a lower alcohol content than many other options, and it is also less acidic, which lends it a round, smooth flavor.
Spark a Romance with Cherry Wine
Cherry wine has been a staple of song lyrics in beloved tunes by Jimmie Rodgers, Sheryl Crow, Prince, the Foo Fighters, and other famous artists. This wine is associated with positivity and romance. Its flavor is full and ripe. Sweeter cherry wines combine flawlessly with chocolate desserts, while dryer varieties pair well with barbecue.
Delight Your Tastebuds with Apricot Wine
Apricot wine has been fermented for hundreds of years, with some recipes dating back to the 1690s. This striking drink can be made with fresh apricots or dried ones. It has a sweet, tart flavor and a gorgeous yellow-orange color. This wine pairs excellently with seafood and white pasta.
Looking for a Fabulous Fruit Wine?
If you are on the hunt for a new style of fruit wine, then you might have to venture far beyond your local liquor store. Many of the best bottles out there are waiting to be discovered at local farmers’ markets and fairs, although many established wineries are beginning to introduce their own unique varieties.