So of course we were very pleased to see that he wrote an article appearing in the Wine Section of today's Chron. He writes all about "fruit wine," or wine made with fruit other than grapes.
We personally tried some "fruit wine" a number of years ago -- pineapple wine, a sickeningly-sweet concoction peddled to visitors in Hawaii. The article addresses those with our experience straight away, saying "fruit wine has never captured any foodie fans, perhaps because so many are off-balance and overly sweet. The best have a refreshing and intense fruit flavor and a low alcohol level that begs to be enjoyed on a hot summer day on a picnic blanket or a deck table."
Well, Derrick, when you put it like that . . . it sounds like we may not have had the best example of a non-grape wine. He continues with the history behind fruit wine, what the industry for it is like today, and some of the reasons it hasn't quite taken off -- technical (sugar levels, different enzymes than grapes), legal (vintage dating's not allowed), and other (many consumers had bad experiences; there's a lack of books or other reference on technique).
The piece finishes out with a list of some of the options available to consumers in specialty stores. We're thinking "rhubarb" sounds enticing. We'll definitely give fruit wine another shot.
Mostly because of this well-written article. And that's the truth. Nice job, Derrick!