It’s no secret that wine is made from fruits, most prominently grapes. These grapes aren’t the ones you can expect to find at your local supermarket though. They’re much smaller, do not contain any seeds, and are juicier than conventional grapes. Besides grapes, winemakers can utilize plums, peaches, pineapples, and a host of others, either blended together or on their own. But what are the most common fruity wines?
Check out “Best Grapes for Making Wine” for a full guide on these extraordinary grapes that make up your wine bottles.
These fruits can be processed to create a wide variety of flavors, ranging from dry to sweet, and everything in between! But when most hear the words ‘fruit wine’, they assume that this must mean that the wine is sweet. After all, fruits are sweet, right? This is not necessarily the case since very dry or bitter wines are some of the fruitiest wines available. So what then is this ‘fruit wine’? What are some of the most common and popular fruit wines you can get your hands on? Let’s dive right in!
What Is a Fruit Wine?
Any wine that has a reasonably strong fruity flavor can be considered a fruit wine. A good way to judge whether a fruity wine claiming to be sweet is actually sweet is to observe its alcohol content. More alcohol usually means drier wine, while sweet wines have an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 12% or lower. Take a look at “The Most Popular Sweet Wines” for a list of sweet wine options if you do not intend on getting a drier wine.
Fruit wines are often recommended to novices of wine appreciation as an appropriate way to acclimatize oneself with the taste and texture of the wine. However, this tip is essentially useless, since the entire purpose of suggesting fruity wines is to prevent beginners from being exposed to overly bitter wine. But fruity wines, as mentioned, can be quite bitter.
Be Head over to our article “Best Wine for Beginners” for novice tips to picking out a good wine.
Every year, fruit wines start trending around the time of summer and autumn for their generally light bodies, while tannic wines are reserved for colder months. However, some of the fruitiest wines are also all-time classics, such as the Port, Riesling, etc. The next section covers these varietals in more detail.
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The Most Popular Fruit Wines
This sweet wine is all about extremes. Rieslings are available in a wide spectrum of flavors, ranging from very sweet to very dry, and from light-bodied makes to a more heavier texture. They can smell not only honeycombs and ginger, but also petrol and rubber. However, what is common between these wines is a rich blend of several fruits like mangos, guavas, green apples, peach, apricot, citrus, not to mention the different types of grapes. This wine is also very versatile in that it can be enjoyed by beginners, as well as aficionados due to the complexity behind the simple fruity flavor.
If you’re looking to consume a Reisling with food, pair with something spicy, like Asian or Indian cuisine. The high acidity of this varietal means that usually, Rieslings are sweet. Duck, shrimp, and chicken are all appropriate choices. If you’re vegetarian, a fruity dessert, cheeses, and roasted vegetables are your best options.
In many ways, Port is similar to Riesling. There are at least six distinct types of Port wine you can get your hands on. It is usually sweet and goes well with desserts, making them two of the most loved wines across the world. To mark some differences, Rieslings are generally made from white grapes, whereas Port utilizes red ones. Furthermore, the Ports are fortified. This means that brandy is added at various stages of the fermentation process, increasing the overall alcohol content to 20%, far beyond the average for wine. We mentioned earlier that wine with higher alcohol content is generally more bitter, but in the case of fortified wine, adding brandy before the grapes are fermented stops the conversion of the natural sugars in grapes, resulting in the sweet taste. Check out “What is Fortified Wine?” to learn more!
Port wines carry a heavy berry flavor that is generally a mix of blueberries, raspberries, and prunes. Depending on how they have been aged, they can also contain hints of almond, butterscotch, and hazelnut. Different ports go well with different foods, but cheeses are a safe bet with them.
Another red wine, Pinot Noir is the first entry on this list that isn’t traditionally sweet. However, the process of growing the grapes used to make this wine can be tricky, and prices can be high for a good quality bottle. Like Ports, Noirs are incredibly old. In fact, these grapes have been around for over a thousand years old, going all the way back to Ancient Rome.
Pinot Noir is generally lighter-bodied than the average red wine. Its taste can vary considerably based on where the grapes were grown, but they generally have a good balance between dryness and sugar. In the US, a majority of Noir comes from California. This wine acquires a vanilla flavor due to aging it in French Oak. However, the birthplace of Pinot Noir is Burgundy (France), whose wine has an earthier taste than its American counterpart.
While shopping for Pinot Noir, you might come across similar-sounding names such as Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Blanc, but the grapes used to make all three are genetically identical, so don’t be afraid to try either of the three.
Already opened that bottle of Pinot Noir? Check out “How Long is Wine Good for After You Open It?” to make sure you store that bottle correctly.
Like Pinot Noir, the Zinfandel is another popular wine from California that benefits heavily from the state’s hot climate. The Californian weather ensures that the grapes used for these wines are ripe enough to be on the verge of bursting, giving both a strong fruity flavor. But while Noirs are grown worldwide, many of the very best Zinfandel’s are only easily available within the state. However, if you can manage to get ahold of a good quality bottle, you’ll find a rich blend of fruity and spicy flavors that few other wines can replicate.
A jammy, berry flavored wine, the alcohol content of Zinfandel (14-17%) is quite high for an unfortified wine. It is also made with both, red and wine grapes, along with plum, cranberry, and licorice. Being on the sweeter side, Zinfandels are a great choice to drink with spicy food like barbecues. As such, they are particularly suitable for Thanksgiving dinners.
Thanks for reading with us today! Make sure to also check out “What is Cooking Wine?” or “What is Table Wine?” to get more knowledge on the wonderful world of wine. Also, be sure to leave a comment below letting us know which fruity wine you end up trying out tonight!
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