Many wine experts may scoff at the idea that you can make wine from any fermented fruit – the general consensus being that these juices just don’t reach the threshold in flavor and complexity that most wine authorities deem acceptable for “real” wine. Surprisingly, though, some fruit wines are becoming not only more popular, but also more sophisticated.
“Far from the sickeningly sweet apple wines favored during the Boone’s Farm cheap-drunk era of the 1970s,” pointed out Jan Ellen Spiegel of The New York Times, “today’s fruit wines – in colors of striking crystalline jewel tones – can be sophisticated, subtle and downright dry.”
One reason fruit wine is so highly contested is because it exists on a sliding scale of sweetness. Some fruit wines, namely those made from less-sweet fruits like apples and pears, can tend toward the drier side. Others, like those made from tropical fruits and berries, are much more sweet – just like the fruit itself. So, to classify all fruit wines as one thing, whether that classification is sweet or dry or complex, is impossible.
When it comes to fruit wine – and wine in general, actually – you like what you like. Because of the sweet factor, fruit wines can come off as tough to drink for someone who prefers traditional fermented grape juice. But it’s exactly that fruit factor that makes it so appealing to others.
Ultimately, we stand somewhere in the middle. Yes, fruit wine is sweet, and for dry wine lovers, it can be way too much. But we also believe that it has its time and place. Would a mango wine make a great base for a gorgeous white sangria? Certainly. Would a raspberry wine taste great drizzled over some ice cream? We think yes, and feel free to make that for us now.
With an open mind and a clear palate, we propose to you the following fun and interesting wines to help you get to know this up-and-comer of the wine world:
This Oregon raspberry wine, made from fruit grown in the Willamette Valley, is highly sought after as a high as a dessert wine that can match any Port or sherry in its complexity.
This blueberry wine is surprisingly dry. The fruit flavor is soft rather than overwhelming, which makes it refreshing instead of heavy.
Made from a combination of Maryland-grown apples and elderberries, this wine is not only full of antioxidants, but it’s also a rich purple color with a hint of sparkling sweetness.
Dark and rich, this wine is made from the fresh, local cherries of Northern Michigan, and it’s a favorite in the region.
Reminiscent of a sweet Riesling, it’s an award-winning Florida wine made from tropical lychees grown by one of the largest producers of lychees in the U.S.