Isle of Wight, almost a year ago. We visited the beautiful Osborne House, the palace of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A chilly February day, but even so a charming tour and impressive to see the magnificient rooms. A visit that of course ended in the souvenir shop. A bottle of ginger wine was chosen to be brought home.
Not any Ginger Wine, but produced by the English fruit wine specialist Lyme Bay Winery for English Heritage, i.e. the organisation taking care of more than 400 historically important buildings and monuments.
Ginger Wine, made of ginger and raisins, plus a lot of sugar and some yeast to start the fermentation into wine. To drink cold, warm or mix with Scotch Whisky to a Whisky Mac. Well, we tried that one. Not our cup of tea. We prefer the first two alternatives.
At the Swedish monopoly, there is just one ginger wine brand available, Stone’s Original Green Ginger Wine, a wine with a long history. Mentioned already in 1740, made by The Finsbury Distilling Company in London and named after its most important customer, the grocer Joseph Stone. At that time the wine was considered very healthy, for example to protect against the cholera, to promote digestion and not least as aphrodisiac. The content of Stone’s green bottle have we however not (yet) tasted.
We start cold. Intensive aromas welling up out of the glass. Sweet, parfumed, loads of ginger, but also lemon tea, bitter orange, grape and black pepper. On the palate fullbodied, fresh acidity and very sweet. Enormously spicy, ginger, pepper and honey. Vibes of gingerbread. Very long, spicy aftertaste. The 14,5% alcohol is disguised by the sweetness. We like, really nice when you become accustomed with the vigorous spicy chock.
Warm then? The nose is softened and not that parfumed. The taste still very spicy with pepper and ginger. You get kind of a “respiratory clearing” feeling. However, think it is a good alternative to the hot Swedish “glögg”, a kind of mulled, spicy wine.
Now we come to the pairing, a great one: orange flavoured gingerbreads.
We have never been large consumers of gingerbread. Of course, it is traditional for December and Christmas, so we get a box to have to the “glögg” or coffee. We do like the flavour of oranges. Chocolate with orange flavour, great. Now, with these orange gingerbreads, consumption will rise.
Nyåkers Orange Gingerbreads are made at a small bakery in the north of Sweden and also exported. If you find them, try them. So tasty! And it seems like they were made for the ginger wine. Love at first sight.
Ginger ♥ Ginger = True!
Do you want to try to make your owne ginger wine? Perhaps a recipe from the Guardian can inspire.