Wine can yield an abundance of flavors, including arguably every fruit imaginable (and some not so imaginable). But how many of us have tried fruit wine? Now, don’t confuse fruit wine with flavored wine or a wine cooler (wine mixed with juice). When searching for a quality fruit wine, make sure you get the real deal: actual wine made from beautiful, perfectly ripe, 100% fruit.
Tu B’Shevat, the 15th day of Shevat marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees. This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. In Jewish Law, the “new year” for trees relates to the various tithes that are separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. These tithes differ from year to year in the seven-year shemittah cycle; the point at which a budding fruit is considered to belong to the next year of the cycle is the 15th of Shevat.
We mark the day of Tu B’Shevat by eating fruit, particularly those that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Traditionally we eat a new fruit so we can make the blessing of “Shechiyanu”. The deeper meaning of the day is to remember that “man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19), and reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogue on self improvement.
What is fruit wine?
Just as grape based wine is the natural fermentation of the juice of the grape, Fruit wine, similarly, is the natural fermentation of the juice of the fruit.
Often in fruit wine you will also find they may be enhanced with the addition of alcohol or what is known as ‘Pot Still Brandy’ meaning alcohol derived from grapes, (more about that another time). As any chef will tell you, if you want great food start with great ingredients. Same with fruit wine start with great fruit. When is comes to fruit wines, no one does it better than Israel’s Morad Winery.
Morad Winery is an exclusively non-grape winery that produces full-flavored fruit wine including lychee and passion fruit grown in Israel. With Tu’Bishvat, the celebration of trees and agriculture, around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with fermented fruit from the holy land?
Besides drinking Morad’s wine straight (it’s delicious), here are some other recipes for a joyous Tu’Bishvat celebration.
Morad Passion Fruit Sparkler:
In a champagne glass, pour 3 oz of Morad Passion Fruit wine and then top with Prosecco (we recommend Bartenura). Garnish with fresh fruit.
Nectar of The Galilee
4 oz Morad Lychee Wine
2 oz Coconut milk
½ oz lime juice
In a shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously and strain into champagne coupe. If you want, triple the ingredients for this recipe and serve in a hollowed out coconut shell.