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Pear wine is usually a form of homemade wine produced from fermented pears. Wine can be made from many different types of fruits and other plants, and pear wine, like dandelion wine or potato wine, is one of the little known wine recipes that is easy to make and fun to sample. Pears are also used to make a form of mead, which is an alcohol that involves fermenting honey and water with the pears.
Cooking with pears first requires obtaining the right kind of pears. Like many fruit-based wines, pear wine requires picking a strain of pears that is best suited to wine-making, as pears can be of the general cooking, canning, or eating variety. Pears best-suited to pear wine are known as cooking pears of the harder variety, such as Bradford or Kieffer pears, Pyrus calleryana Bradford and Pyrus calleryana Kieffer. The other ingredients required to make pear wine are commonplace, and include white sugar, yeast, and lemon and orange juices. Pectic enzyme is also required, which prevents the wine from turning out cloudy from undissolved pectin deposits.
Making fruit wine using pears is a little more difficult than homemade wine from grapes due to the fact that sugar and acidity levels must be adjusted for the different types of fruit. Grapes are naturally suited to wine making as they have a nearly ideal sugar and acidity level, whereas other fruit does not. The size differences of the fruit make a difference as well. To make 5 gallons (19 liters) of pear wine requires about 22 pounds of pears (10 kilograms), where something like blueberries would take only 13 pounds of blueberries (6 kilograms) to make five gallons of blueberry wine.
With the spread of different fruit-wine varieties by commercial producers, pear wine is now available for sale on the Internet. Wineries often mix other flavors into their pear wine productions, such as honey, gooseberry, and almond flavors to give them unique tastes. Asian wines are often based on other fruits as well.
Pear wine and plum wine are popular in Japan and China, though as yet they cannot rival consumption of traditional rice wines. Japanese fruit wines are sometimes made from Asian apple-pears, which is a watery pear that is not an actual cross between a pear and an apple. The apple-pear is yellowish- orange in color, like an apple in shape and flavor, yet is a pear tree species known as Pyrus pyrifolia.
@Iluviaporos - I had a wine pear tree in my back yard, although I'm not sure what kind it was. You can't really use them for eating, because the fruit is so small and tart. Or, at least, I didn't like them.
So, we used to just let the neighbor come and take them and he made a little bit of perry. He had a lovely pear wine recipe.
He'd just make it for himself and he would give us a couple of bottles as well. It was really lovely, and it felt good to know that the pears weren't going to waste.
I've heard that people are trying to track down old varieties of wine pears now, so I often wonder if I should let one of the societies know that there was one in my old back yard.
Pear wine, or perry as it gets called, has become really popular again in Britain. It was made a lot a few hundred years ago, I understand, and then it just went out of favor as people tended to drink grape wine, or cider instead.
But, craft products have become popular again, I guess. I think it's really great, as I quite like the taste of the stuff and now you have a bit of choice when you try to find it in the stores.
I even know a couple of people who are going to give it a go making homemade pear wine.
I think they came across someone with a wine pear tree on their land which wasn't being harvested, and just thought it was a waste to let that happen.