Otherwise known as umeshu, plum wine has been a popular beverage in East Asia for thousands of years. Because it has a sweeter flavor profile and is slightly thicker than regular wines made from grapes, plum wine isn't the best choice for serving as a dinner wine. However, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this delicious beverage -- following are four of them:
As a Dessert Wine at Room Temperature
Plum wine is sweet enough to be used as a dessert wine or even served on its own as a dessert in its own right. For the ultimate plum experience, pair it with a plum tarts, or mix things up and serve it with a piece of peach pie topped with freshly whipped cream. For s truly sublime dessert, use spiced plum wine to poach pears or apples. It also transforms a dish of vanilla ice cream into an elegant dessert when drizzled over the top. Keeping plum wine on hand is an excellent idea if you're the type who likes to have available options for spontaneous desserts.
As a Pre-Dinner Cocktail
To make a creative and tasty pre-dinner cocktail using plum wine, fill a highball glass with ice and fill it to about halfway with plum wine. Add your choice of sparkling water, club soda, or slightly dry sparkling white wine and garnish with a freshly sliced piece of plum. The water, soda, or sparkling wine with cut down enough of the sweetness of the plum wine so that it won't seem overly cloying -- remember, pre-dinner cocktails should have a clean finish.
As a Celebratory Punch
If you're having an event where you'll be serving punch, consider basing your punch on plum wine -- it makes an excellent punch base. Mix it with equal parts of sparkling white wine and add one part plum vodka to four parts plum wine. Chill thoroughly and float fresh fruit on the top as a finishing touch.
As a Fireside Delight
Few things warm up a cold winter night better than drinking something hot while relaxing in front of a blazing fire. Instead of your usual hot toddy, consider making mulled plum wine for a delicious change of pace. Simply add a sprinkle or two of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg to the wine, warm it on the stove until just before it comes to a boil, pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy.