Country wine

From Academic Kids

"Country wine" is also a common translation of "vin du pays", or "Landwein"

Country wines are fermented alcoholic beverages made from a variety of ingredients other than grapes (the base of "ordinary" wine) and having a variety of flavors. Country wines are always called something wines (e.g., plum wine), since the word wine alone is often legally defined as a beverage made only from grapes. Country wine can be made from any fruit or, with addition of sugar, from many plant sources. This term is utilized more commonly in Great Britain than elsewhere. In France and Germany, "vin du pays", or "Landwein" refers to standard grape wine.

Few foods other than grapes have the balanced quantities of sugar, acid, tannin and water to produce a stable, drinkable wine, so most country wines are adjusted in one or more respects. Enough natural sugar is needed to support a satisfactory fermentation and provide bacteriological stability through sufficient ethanol content, so the winemaker adds table sugar (sucrose) or sweet sap tapped from trees such as maple, birch, or palm; or honey. If a food is too tart, sugar and water may both be added to dilute the acidity, or additional tannin or acid may be required to round out the taste. These are added as chemicals or by adding a balancing fruit like crabapples, raisins or dates to an unbalanced base.

The other ingredients that give the wine its flavor and character can be fruits, flowers, herbs, etc. Examples are elderberry wine and dandelion wine. A wine made from elderberry flowers is called elder blow wine. If the flavoring ingredients are leaves or roots then the beverage is sometimes called a beer (for example, ginger beer). (Note that the beverage known as root beer, ginger beer and ginger ale are often non-alcoholic beverages).

If the sugar source is honey then the beverage is usually called mead; if it is apple or pear juice then the beverage is called cider or perry, respectively. Cyser is made from apples and honey.

There are two approaches when making country wines: to imitate the flavor and appearance of grape wines, or not to. Some country wines that resemble grape wines are:

Other country wines made from fruits:

Country wines made from flowers:

Country wines made from vegetables and roots:


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