Fruit Wine Seasonal Sensations!

Posted by Poppy Maderson on December 02, 2016 (0 Comments)

Party season is upon us, and it's time to think about getting organised with wine. Why not try a twist on the traditional grape variety; surprise and impress your guests with some crowd pleasing, award winning British fruit wines.

We have much to offer as you will see if you browse our product range, but if you would like inspiration, we would be pleased to oblige!

Aperitif: Elderflower Sparkling Wine, Celteg.

This fresh, classic dry sparkling elderflower wine is delicious served cold, an interesting swap for traditional prosecco. Perfect as a party starter.

White wine: Autumn Oak Leaf Wine, Cairn O'Mohr.

This full bodied beauty is a great food pairing wine. Would match perfectly with a Christmas turkey or chicken.

Red wine: Elderberry Wine, Celteg.

Elegant, bursting with succulent red berry fruit flavours, would give spicy encouragement to beef or lamb at the dinner table on a cold winter night.

Dessert wine: Apricot wine, Celteg

Sweet, laid back butterscotch undertones that would match beautifully with a strong blue cheese, or mature cheddar.



Mead in the UK: the resurgence of medieval honey wine

Posted by Poppy Maderson on September 15, 2014 (0 Comments)

Mead, the fermented honey alcoholic drink which was at the height of its popularity in the middle ages is making a comeback, it seems it is no longer the preserve of medieval re-enactment banquets. And if the volume of mead orders received here at the Fruit Wine Shop are anything to go by, we can attest to this trend. However mention mead to some, they will recoil, imagining a sickly sweet drink. There is so much more to modern mead than this. Ranging from quite dry to dessert wine levels of sweetness, meads can be complex, smooth and with beautifully balanced acidity.

Although the debate rages over which drink was around first; mead or grape wine, there is no denying it's place in ancient history, with the Vikings linking mead to the Gods and poetry. During medieval times, due to the difficulty in getting hold of grapes to make grape wine and the easy accessibility of honey, mead was the main drink of choice. However during Tudor times the drop in popularity of mead was immense. This can be linked to the changes made during the reformation: as the Catholic Church required a large amount of beeswax for their candles, but as Henry VIII reformed religion in the UK, and with the decline of the Catholic Church came a decline in the need for candles, and hence a decline in the by-product of honeyed water, which had been used to produce a large amount of cheap mead.

Perhaps it's the versatility of the drink that is driving it back into vogue, numerous mentions in Harry Potter, or perhaps the popularity of "Game of Thrones" plays a part, although who can explain the vagaries of fashion! At the Fruit Wine Shop, we predict a revolution in mead similar to that already experienced by the beer industry, as craft beers now enjoy unrivalled popularity. American meaderies seem to be currently leading this revolution (with more than 250 meaderies) but the UK certainly matches in terms of quality.

On our site we sell some of our favourites by British producers: Norfolk Mead by Broadland's, Mead Wine by Carr Taylor and English Mead by Lurgashall,

Very enjoyable to drink as an aperitif with a little soda water, on it's own (bring a bottle to a dinner party!), or as an interesting ingredient in a cocktail, why not browse our collection, place an order and try for yourself?

Here's some inspiration for Mead cocktails... tried and tested!

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, 200ml of mead, lots of ice, diced fresh mint leaves into a cocktail shaker, shake it up, pour into tall glasses and top with soda water.






How to make the perfect mulled wine...

Posted by Poppy Maderson on December 15, 2013 (0 Comments)
After you have tried Elderberry mulled wine, why not try and make your own? You could use Elderberry or Grape as the base - we personally like the Jamie method.


'Tis the season...

Posted by Poppy Maderson on December 10, 2013 (0 Comments)

... to try something different! Why not give some of our sumptuous fruit wines a try this Christmas. We have done some arduous hard work and research, testing and tasting delicious seasonal food and fruit wine matches. Why not try them out on friends and family this year? Will they be able to tell what is special about the mulled wine you serve them, who might be able to work out it is actually mulled Elderberry they are supping?


Here are some matches we thought worked perfectly with the seasonal menu.

Canapes - We couldn't decide between Sparkling Strawberry Wine or Sparkling Elderflower wine (both Cairn O'Mohr). The sparkling strawberry will always be a favourite of ours, the fresh floral yet robust flavours will leave your guests asking for more - serve with creamier or cheese canapes. A more subtle choice would be the sparkling Elderflower, serve with fish or meat canapés, the citrusy yet floral flavours will complement perfectly.


Seafood platter - match with Spring Oak Leaf Wine (Cairn O'Mohr). Typically seafood platter may be matched with sauvignon blanc or Chablis, why not go for the slightly more refrained Spring Oak Leaf wine. Bursting with pineapple, tangy and dry, it is a perfect partner with a seafood platter.


Turkey - match with Gooseberry Wine (Cairn O'Mohr). The crisp dryness of gooseberry seems made to match with roast turkey. there is a steely edge that is delightful with the savoury turkey.


Christmas Pudding - match with Prune Dessert Wine (Carr Taylor). This rich, smooth, almost creamy dessert wine is absolutely delicious with Christmas Pudding. The finish is mellow spice mixed with subtle stone fruit.... sumptuous.


Cheese Board - match with Damson Port Wine (Callow Hill) - Subtle gentle black fruits, yet almost spicy, some caramel notes, this was a beautiful match with the more savoury cheeses such as a slice of stilton.


A special guest from New Zealand...

Posted by Michael Cooch on June 15, 2013 (3 Comments)
My favourite questions...hands a good few lengths...Feijoa...hmmm. Now, as may be clear from the site, I also happen to have a penchant for Fruit Wine. So, for me, combining these two great passions is something special. I'm sitting here, at a mates place in Cambridge, indulging in a home made Feijoa fruit wine (the sublime craftsmanship down to his father, Tom - a good Bay of Islands man). I'm in the mindset of trying to shape this article without exhausting my vocabulary of superlatives... I'll start from the was the best Fruit Wine I've tasted in a long time - the quality reminds me of the first time I tasted the great Cairn O'Mohr Sparkling Strawberry wine. Well done Tom...very, very well done. Ok, here was our experience: a pale honey colour, which looks like antique amber in the decanter - this Feijoa wine has a medicinal nose (those who've ever eaten the fruit will know where I'm coming from) with a delightful pineapple note. On tasting, the dryness immediately makes me take a note to ensure I'm on Tom's distribution list for his next batch. Balance, balance, balance - minerality standing its ground against orchard fruits (particularly green apple) enveloped by some crushed honeysuckle. I want more but there's only one bottle - divided by four - and my fellow tasters look as disappointed as I am. What a way to start the day's tasting.


How do the bubbles get into my sparkling wine?

Posted by Poppy Maderson on June 18, 2011 (0 Comments)
In modern times most sparkling wine is made using the 'Charmat Method', which is different from the classic one (as used in Champagne) as the fermentation takes place in autoclave (large pressured container).

The result of using the Charmat Method is a wine with a perlage from an endogenous fermentation. Thanks to the decomposition of the sugars by the yeasts the carbonation occurs biologically and the fragrance of the fruits are better preserved.

This Method is also called 'Italian Method' as it's the one used with the famous Prosecco. This method forces the second fermentation to happen in a large stainless steel tank prior to bottling, rather than in the bottle like the traditional méthode champenoise. The Charmat method is a cheaper means for pushing a wine through second fermentation and is best used on sparkling wines that are meant to be consumed young and relatively fresh.


Italian food and fruit wine matches...

Posted by Michael Cooch on June 10, 2011 (0 Comments)

Here are some recent recommendations from one of our Italian fans who is also a well known restauranter:

  • Elderflower wine with swordfish carpaccio, octopus potato and celery salad or for a vegetarian option, artichoke,parsley and potato "timballo"
  • Ginger wine with tacchino al melograno (turkey breast fillets in pomegranate sauce)
  • Spring oakleaf wine with fegato alla veneziana (calf liver and caramelised onion)
  • Silverbirch wine with Salmon carpaccio with rocket
  • Gooseberry wine with polenta pasticciata al taleggio (oven backed with milk and nutmeg)
  • Blackberry wine with smoked duck carpaccio on truffle oil potato
  • Damson wine with Venison salmi on grilled polenta
  • Elderberry wine with bresaola and speck
  • Plum wine with gorgonzola crostini


Our oldest fan...

Posted by Michael Cooch on March 21, 2011 (0 Comments)

Just had one of those teary-eyed moments...a chap by the name of Bill Gray purchased some 6 bottles of Mead Wine (and a 3-bottle sampler pack) from us. Attached, read his mail to us:


" isn't helping that I'm having trouble with my computer and at age 80 my patience is getting low. Firstly thanks for your e-mail and the great news is that I received the wines a few minutes ago. I was just setting up the computer upstairs when I saw the van outside. I opened the case and I had to admit I opened one bottle and had a quick swig. Only a small amount as I have to go to my surgery this afternoon regarding healthy heart, and I can not have a slurged voice. First impression is very good.

My original interest in this type of wine was brought to life when I saw, on T.V, a man take a bottle of Mead on a first date. My wife and I, in those far off days, were members of a wine club... she really was the driving force, although it was a team effort. Whatever we grew we used... nettle, tea, rhubarb, elderflower and elderberry. The airing cuboard was always ful of gurgling noises as the ingredients fermented. An annual cup at the local event was quite common. I remember the presentation had to be spot on, using the best shapped cork and container. For the life of me I can not remember how we did the mead. I can remember how it started, whilst on a holiday in our touring caravan, we met a couple from Norfolk who had a village post office. Whilst on the subject of mead he said he had a quantity of honey which had gone solid and that was the honey used for our first attempt. I am sure it was a success, although I guess I would drink anything. Waste not want not. At that time in our lives we had lots of friends, our wine always made them very welcome.

Thanks  Yours Bill Gray


Thanks Bill. We're proud to have you as a customer.



Mead in Heaven

Posted by Michael Cooch on March 10, 2011 (0 Comments)

It's been an amazing few months. Umberto is doing amazing things creating our social network and I've been busy tasting lots of delicious wine...I wonder who has the best job!

So, I wanted to share a review from a couple of weeks ago on a new company and their delightful Mead Wine:

My first ever taste of a Cornish mead product. A candied orange colouring with a slightly more bitter (think grapefruit), but very pleasant, sherry nose. This is a wonderfully complex wine with really smooth caramel and orange flavour. I wouldn't match this with food. Have it alone as a digestif at the end of a meal. - 9 out of 10

Check out our Mead section to purchase.



Posted by Umberto Agnoletto on March 07, 2011 (1 Comment)

A total of 44 different berry and fruit wines and liquors with total phenolic contents between 91 and 1820 mg/L, expressed as gallic acid equivalents (GAE), were evaluated for antioxidant activity. Dealcoholized wine extracts were added to methyl linoleate (MeLo), and the oxidation in the dark at 40 °C was followed by conjugated diene measurement. Wines made of mixtures of black currants and crowberries or bilberries (240−275 μM GAE) were slightly superior to reference red grape wines (330−375 μM GAE) and equally as active as the control antioxidant, α-tocopherol (50 μM), in inhibiting MeLo hydroperoxide formation. Also, raw materials including apple, arctic bramble, cowberries, cranberries, red currants, or rowanberries possessed antioxidant activity. Thus, these raw materials contain phenolic compounds, some of which are capable of protecting lipids against oxidation also in a hydrophobic lipid system. Liquors, apart from arctic bramble liquor, were less active than wines. However, the total phenolic content did not correlate with the antioxidant activity of the berry and fruit wines and liquors, therefore alleviating the importance of further characterization of the phenolic antioxidants present in berry and fruit wines. 

Top 20 antioxidant foods.... 

Rank Food Serving Size Total Antioxidant Capacity per serving size

1 Small Red Bean 1/2 cup dried beans 13727 

2 Wild blueberry 1 cup 13427 

3 Red kidney bean 1/2 cup dried beans 13259 

4 Pinto bean 1/2 cup 11864 

5 Blueberry 1 cup cultivated berries 9019 

6 Cranberry 1 cup whole berries 8983 

7 Artichoke hearts 1 cup cooked 7904 

8 Blackberry 1 cup 7701 

9 Prune 1/2 cup 7291 

10 Raspberry 1 cup 6058 

11 Strawberry 1 cup 5938 

12 Red Delicious apple 1 5900 

13 Granny Smith 1 5381 

14 Pecan 1 ounce 5095 

15 Sweet cherry 1 cup 4873 

16 Black plum 1 4844 

17 Russet potato 1 cooked 4649 

18 Black bean 1/2 cup dried beans 4181 

19 Plum 1 4118 

20 Gala apple 1 3903