Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Nuts About Wine

I have tasted liqueurs made from nuts before - France has some lovely ones - Crème de Noix is made from unripe, green walnuts that appear in early summer, Crème d'Amande from almonds, Liqueur de Châtaigne from chestnuts and Crème de Noyaux from apricot kernels. I have even heard of Liqueurs made from trees (Eau de Cèdre and Eau de Vie de Bourgeons de Sapin d’Alsace) but until now I had not heard of a wine made from Pistachios . . .

The Heart of the Desert Winery makes a unique Pistachio Rosé wine. It is the first ever pistachio flavoured wine of New Mexico and is the holder of a bronze medal (2009). It is a semi-sweet wine made from a blend of white Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc grapes, and pistachio extract. It has a light, fruity aroma and a nutty flavour.

The only other alcoholic drink that I can find with a link to pistachios is a Greek Liqueur, Mastichato Chio, that is made out of the resin from the evergreen Pistacia lentiscus (a member of the Pistachio family). When the bark of the tree is injured, the resin exudes in drops. It is transparent and pale yellow to green in colour. It is native to the Aegean Island Chios, which is widely known for its Tears of Chios Trees.

Whilst on a nutty theme I have also discovered an Almond Champagne which is made at Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula Valley, California. This white sparkling wine is naturally fermented, with just a hint of pure almond added.

Has anyone heard of any other weird and wonderful wine recently?


lostpastremembered said...

I just wrote about tokaji, which has a very interesting collection method, but I am very curious about resin based drinks... the Greek pistachio sounds wonderful... I do love mastic and of course retsina... wonder what the pistachio tastes like??

I have yet to taste the nut liqueurs... read so much about them and have a killer recipe for the green walnut... just need the walnuts....

thanks for the great roundup of interesting brews... always an inspiration, Sue!

Sue said...

Thanks Deanna - I love Tokaji! Oddly enough Nick is looking into pine and resin flavours in wine (a colleague has reported these odd flavours in a French bottle from 1870)!