Your Own Homemade Wine!
You can create your very own Japanese plum wine at home! All you need are plums, rock sugar, and neutral spirits like Japanese shōchū. Soak the plums and sugar in shōchū, and place it in a non-metallic, airtight container. 5-6 months from now, your wine will be ready!
Plums or Ume, the main ingredient in Japanese plum wine, originated in south of mainland China. The ume plums were introduced in Japan, in the 6th century. The plums in both these countries are used in cooking, in the form of sauce, juice, pickle, etc.
However, plum wine gained popularity in Japan, in the 17th century. Popularly called Umeshu, the Japanese plum wine is a form of liqueur that is made with unripe and green ume plums, sugar, and alcohol. Though termed as a dessert wine, Japanese wine can have a blend of sweet and sour taste with 12% alcohol content. The fruity aroma of this wine definitely arouses one's taste buds, and you bet, it is mouth-watering. Choya, Takara Shuzo, and Gekkeikan are few of the famous Japanese plum wine brands.
Let us find out the best Japanese plum wines you can try...
Choya Kokuto Umeshu
This wine has a great flavor because of its Kokuto (brown sugar) content. Its strong, distinct flavor and aroma makes it a great dessert wine. Considered as a good base for a cocktail, it can even be used in cakes as an alternative to rum.
Takara Koshu Plum
This wine is sake-based made with a hint of cherry and almond. It is sweet with a little tartness and refreshing taste. You can serve it, as it is or on the rocks. It contains 12% alcohol.
Gekkeikan Sake Plum Wine
The plums used in this wine are little tart with a sweet tinge. The wine has an aroma of plum and rice. It has 13% alcohol content. The wine goes well with both Japanese and American food. It is a perfect serve during meals. The wine can be used to marinate meats as well.
Fu-ki Plum Wine
This wine is made using a method that has been prevalent in Japan for over 100 years. This is a dessert white wine, and has a rich taste and aroma of Ume plums. The other popular varieties may have the fragrance of grape, rice, or sake. The wine goes really well with desserts like puddings and pies.
Kikkoman Plum Wine
This wine has a strong alcohol taste with a sweet and fruity plum flavor. It has a rosy red look, and leaves a smooth taste on the tongue. It has more than 12% alcohol content. The wine is best served chilled or even warm.
Nakano BC Yuzu Umeshu
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus, which is a cross between mandarin and lime. This wine is a perfect blend of a sweet and sour Yuzu and sweet ume plum. It is recommended to be served chilled.
Miyazaki Plum Wine
This wine has a wheaty taste as wheat is used to brew the wine. The fruity taste in it works as a complimentary tang to the food that you serve with it.
► Though it is a liqueur-based sweet drink, Japanese plum wine is healthy as well. It contains health-promoting minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It also includes antioxidants.
► The alcohol content, which is generally 12%, is beneficial to one's health. If drunk in moderate measures, health risks such as heart attack, other heart-related diseases, strokes, gallstone, and diabetes can be controlled.
► Every 4 oz serving of a plum wine contains 163 calories; therefore, it is advisable to consume wine in moderation. Excessive drinking may cause weight gain and other health problems.
As Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist states ―"Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle."
It is your turn to try these Japanese plum wines and choose your favorite!