The Back Story:
I’m generally not a fan of fruit wine. In the offhand chance that a fruit wine producer gets it right, the result is so syrupy and massive that it makes it very impractical for even a small crowd of people to consume a 750ml bottle. Generally, I treat these as very situational dessert wines, maybe a component of sangria, something that requires either a hefty dose of chocolate or a much less condensed wine to cut through the flavor.
One fruit wine I’d never had before, though, was pomegranate. Enter a sample I received from Tree of Life.
Pomegranate is one of those trendy fruits that seems to find its way into a variety of concoctions, from fruit juices and mixed drinks to gourmet food and desserts. Much has been made of its health benefits, including antioxidants and the body’s rapid and positive response to its nutrients. Much has also been made of red wine’s health benefits, but pomegranate far and away dominates in those regards.
So what would happen if we combined the two? We get the benefits of consuming alcohol in tandem with the benefits of consuming pomegranate. You can do the math from there. The only thing that truly matters on this blog, though, is how it tastes.
The appearance of the wine is a black cherry color with a bright purple, very pure translucency. Though I feared the wine, labeled semisweet, might be syrupy thick, it has a very traditional wine-like pour.
The nose of the wine is a very rich pomegranate scent with a delicately sweet quality. There is a very slight vinegary scent, almost imperceptible, but it is there. The alcohol, at 12%, is undetectable.
The mouth feel of the wine is surprisingly thin. It has the consistency of a lighter red wine, like a Beaujolais, but it has a very full texture. While I wouldn’t describe it as velvety, it does coat the mouth rather nicely. In texture and body, I would say it best compares to a glass of cranberry juice.
The flavor of the wine is a very basic, fairly pure pomegranate flavor, neither artificial-tasting nor overpowering. It doesn’t taste bitter, rotten, or cloying, as fruit wines often do, and the alcohol doesn’t contribute a bite to it. The flavor derives a certain dry acidity from its fruit, giving it a bit of structure that you can feel in your jaw. The flavor lingers on the tongue as well, a very pleasant way to end the sip.
I tried it both chilled and warm, with and without food. It pairs extremely well with a variety of flavors, from spice to more delicate fare. While I prefer it chilled, myself, it is just as enjoyable at room temperature.
For the Casual Drinker:
This wine, as best as I can equate it, is like drinking a pomegranate martini. It’s sweet, not syrupy, acidic, not dry, bold, flavorful, and very lacking in alcohol flavor. It’s a wine that would drink equally as well from a cocktail glass, martini glass, wine glass, with or or without ice, and with or without fruit. While the palate might be a bit too simple for experienced wine drinkers, the flavors certainly do not disappoint. 6/10
In Case You Missed It:
Wine: Semi-Sweet Kosher Pomegranate Wine
Producer: Tree Of Life
Varietal(s): n/a (Pomegranate)
Residual Sugar: unknown
Purchased at: Received free as an industry sample, available at http://drinktreeoflife.com