Balancing Fruit and Sugar in Country Wines

Country wine is a term often applied to just about any wine made from something other than wine grapes. Most often, that means other fruits. Sometimes, country wine is made from vegetables or with flowers or herbs. There are many recipes out there and lots of techniques for these very diverse wines. This article is not a recipe list, but instead focuses on two of the critical measurements with country wines: How much sugar will be needed to get the desired alcohol level, and how much fruit is required to offer a pleasing profile of aroma, flavor, and appearance. Because this range of wines is so diverse, I will address it in three categories: All-fruit, part-fruit, and fruit-flavored. The all-fruit category is also typical of making wine from grapes. For white (or rosé) wines, juice is expressed from the fruit and then that juice is fermented into wine. For red wine, the stems of the grapes are removed and the fruit is usually crushed, then fermentation takes place on the combination of juice, pulp, skin, and seeds (which are sometimes