Not Just Grapes

Almost all commercial wine is made from grapes. There are good reasons to ferment grapes, but there is no good reason to ignore other fruit. I’ve sampled good commercial cherry wine, and while it’s not available locally, I know of some wineries that specialize in blueberry wine. I have made good, if I say so myself, wine from blueberries, raspberries, plums, apples, and rhubarb.

Since I’m particularly excited about making wine from what I grow in my own garden, I’ve started growing fruit trees in pots, just like my grape vines. A rhubarb patch yields enough “fruit” (most of us think of it as fruit even though it’s technically a vegetable) for rhubarb wine every year. But my bonsai orchard won’t produce fruit for years, and I’ll count myself lucky if my bonsai vineyard offers up enough grapes for a gallon of wine this year. So I’m going to make tomato wine this year!

It’s not as weird as it sounds. Though we all think of tomatoes as vegetables, they’re botanically fruit. Fruit of the vine, no less, and I can grow them from seed, harvest the fruit, and make wine in one season. The future members of my “tomato vineyard” have already sprouted, and I hope to transplant them outside in mid-May. I’ll keep you posted …

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