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All about plum wine
What is plum wine? Is it a wine?
It may be surprising to learn that plum wine is not truly a fruit wine, but it's more like a plum-flavored liquor. Still, the producers use more or less the same techniques as they do for producing wine. They steep the unripe fruits in alcohol until they get the desired flavor.
This alcoholic beverage originated in Japan and derives from Chinese plum, the fruit of the Prunus Mume tree, which is sort of a cousin of our Western plums and apricots. This plum beverage has a pleasantly light aroma and a sweet yet sour flavor, with an alcohol content comparable to the one of grape wine — typically 12%.
A variety of food pairings
Japanese people like to drink this yummy wine as an aperitif, but you can try it with many Asian dishes. When choosing food pairings, remember that umami and spicy flavors complement the sweet notes of the liquor.
Try plum wine with braised pork meat or chili shrimp. Alternatively, you can sip it with savory snacks like cheese, beef jerky and nuts. You can serve the drink on rocks or chilled using a cold wine glass. Also, plum liquor tastes delicious when you warm it with the addition of warm water.
History of Japanese plum liquor
In Japan, this liquor has been around for centuries as a remedy for many ailments, including colds and muscle aches. Japanese people call it "umeshu," from "ume," which means fruit, and "shu" which means booze. At first, making umeshu at home was forbidden, then the government relaxed the regulations, so everyone could start producing their own liquor at home.