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Apricot wine is a sweet wine made from apricots. It is one of a number of fruit wines that are an alternative to grape-produced wines. These can also include wines made from pineapples, strawberries and also flowers such as dandelions. Unlike grape wine, there are no particular vineyards and no famed apricot wine regions. The wine can be made anywhere so long as the producer has access to fresh and dried apricots.
The apricot is a fruit, and like the plum, is a type of prunus. It is a small tree ranging from 18 to 36 feet (6 to 12 meters) in height. Apricots look similar to peaches and are yellow-orange with a stone-coated seed at their center.
The apricot grows naturally in the near East in countries such as Iran and Turkey. It has also been successfully moved to areas of America such as California and Utah and to parts of southern Australia.
The exact ingredients and the amounts used to produce apricot wine vary from bottle to bottle, but there are a number common to any bottle. Apricot wine contains both fresh and dried apricots. Certain amounts of sugar and/or honey are required to make the wine sweet enough for consumption. It also tends to include lemon juice and lemon zest. Furthermore, apricot wine needs grape tannin, wine yeast, pectic enzyme and one campden tablet.
First, fresh apricots are cut and placed in a fermenter. The sugar is added to them, then they are left while the process continues elsewhere. The dried apricots are placed into a boiling mixture of water and honey. This mixture is then poured atop the fresh apricots and sugar in the fermenter. The other ingredients, but not the wine yeast, are added to the mix; it is stirred and left for 24 hours.
Once this period is over, the wine yeast is added to the apricot wine mixture and it is allowed to ferment for one week. During this period the mixture is often stirred once a day. After a week, the solids, or pulp, are removed and the mix is left again for two months to ferment. Usually, it is then bottled and left for at least half a year to age before being consumed or sold.
Half the fun of testing a new wine is to find the perfect combination of food and wine. The same goes for a good fruit wine such as apricot wine. Usually, this depends on the tastes of the taster and a good deal of trial and error. Apricot wine, like many sweet wines, goes well poured over or drunk with a simple vanilla ice cream.