Fruit Wines

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

fruit wines, made by the fermentation of fruits other than grapes, include cider and perry, but not beer or sake, since they derive their fermentable sugars from hydrolized starch. They are particularly common in cool climates such as in North America and Scandinavia.

A wine-like beverage can be made from almost any fruit, berry, or other plant material containing sugar. Most of these sources contain so little fermentable sugar, however, that it is usually necessary to add sugar from another source (a form of enrichment) to obtain sufficient alcohol for stability (see stabilization). Table sugar, or sucrose, is usually used, and most fruits other than grapes have excessive concentrations of acids that split the sucrose into fermentable glucose and fructose. yeasts also contain a natural enzyme which will convert sucrose to its component glucose and fructose.