In an effort to keep your mini martini glass full for a second year in a row – at Cocktails on the Roof – I’ve sought out some new fermented and distilled beverages. Happy to say that after sampling a few Sangrias and wines from California Fruit Wine Company, we’ve got a winner for you. And if your only reference for fruit wine has been Hawaii’s pineapple wine, read on, as there is no cloyingly sweet or over honey-ed fruit here.
About California Fruit Wine
The pioneer producers of all natural wines handcrafted from fruits other than grapes, the California Fruit Wine Company was founded in 2009 by twin brothers, Alan and Brian Haghighi. After discovering that wine could be naturally fermented from any fruit, they made it their mission to unveil the delicious fruit wine that they developed to the world.
California Fruit Wine Company prides themselves on their any-time-of-day wine that has been skillfully crafted to be suited for brunch, lunch, and late-afternoon. The wines are refreshing and light but surprisingly not sweet. Since there is such an abundant variety of enjoyable fruits to be made into wine, we figure…why should grapes have all the fun?! See more: http://californiafruitwine.com/
Just like wine made from grapes, I went into this tasting thinking, heck, what aromas and flavors will I get besides the obvious? I’m happy to say, quite a few! (My aroma and flavor notes are separated by 😉 Also had fun with ideas for pairings. These are just some of the wines available from the California Fruit Wine Company:
Pineapple Mango Sangria
The aroma was pineapple forward while the flavor, surprisingly was more mango forward, with a nice low acid that reminded me of a Rhone like Viognier or a medium sweet Riesling. I could easily see this with banana pancakes, or in an icy cocktail.
I got mango (duh), lemon, cling peaches in light syrup; then a nice viscosity showing flavors of honeydew melon, a welcome crispness and low acidity. I wanted this one with spicy food like Indian or Persian, but also with a New York style Cheesecake.
Fresh Hawaiian pineapple – but not the honeyed sweet nose you may be used to – as well as kiwi, sweet pink grapefruit, Prosecco and Crème fraîche; in the mouth I got pineapple, lime and golden delicious apples. For a pairing I might like this just with a creamy yogurt and fresh fruit. Could also see this one in a cocktail.
Pomegranate Cherry Sangria
This one surprised me with notes of leather, dried cherry and Bourbon; then tasting a bit like a tawny port or Chambord brandy. Would love paired with ice cream covered in Chambord, raisins and nuts. Would also be nice with a chocolate bar laden with dark currants.
On the nose I got black cherry, raisins, raspberry liquor and watermelon; the taste was all watermelon, pomegranate seeds, berry liqueur, with a little bit of drying tannin and smoke qualities. It made me think of a strawberry and wine sorbet recipe I have, and how I could replace the strawberry with watermelon and use this wine. Also might fare well with watermelon dusted with Tajin chili and lemon juice. Thinking further…maybe a nice pork loin would finish this off nicely.
Whole Foods Valencia
Pinot’s Palette Valencia and Encino
LA Rail The Santa Barbara Vino Train (www.larail.com)
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com