What Is Plum Wine?

Plum wine also known as Umeshu in Japan, is a Japanese culture liqueur made from fresh plums that have been steeped in shochu or white liquor, sugar, and time. It’s an acquired taste but one many people find irresistible!

You can make many kinds of drinks with this flavor! The sweet and sour flavors are appealing, as well as their fruity aroma.

Inspired by the Japanese drama Nodame Cantabile, the Japanese plum wine is perfect for any party or just lounging around at home on a Saturday afternoon.

The Effects of This Alcohol On Health

The alcohol in plum wine, when consumed in moderation, may have some health benefits.

Brief History Of Plum Wine?

Plum wine (梅酒; Umeshu Tonic) is a Japanese alcoholic beverage used in making plum wine. In feudal Japan, plum wine was used as a remedy for common ailments such as colds and infections.

Today, this sweet and tangy drink is enjoyed all year round. Plum wine can be found in most Japanese supermarkets.

The season for ume (Japanese plums) is brief but sweet. During this time, the Japanese make their signature wine from fresh unripe and green fruit which they call umeshu or “plum juice.”

What Is Plum Wine?

Plum wine is a drink that is made using plum fruits. It can either be made by fermenting plums whole or as a syrup infused into the water.

The resulting liquid has a bold and distinct flavor, almost musky, but with sweet undertones. Plum wine is made from the plum fruit, known as ume in Japan. The plums are harvested and then pressed to extract their juice, which is fermented with yeast and sugar.

After fermentation, the resulting liquid is bottled and aged for several months before it is ready to drink. Umeshu can be served at different temperatures, including cold, iced, room temperature, and even heated in the winter. It can also be mixed with warm water, and used to make cocktails.

Plum wines have a moderate total antioxidant capacity, similar to cherry and raspberry wines, but less than grape or blueberry wines, according to researchers.

Types Of Plum Wine

There are two main types of plum wine: koshu and Tokaji Aszu

Koshu Plum Wine

Koshu plum wine is a type of Japanese wine made from the koshu grape. It is light in color and has a fruity flavor. Koshu plum wine is perfect for any occasion, as it can be enjoyed on its own or as a complement to food.

Koshu plum wine is made using a process called Kasumi, which means “foggy” in Japanese. This refers to the way the grapes are harvested – they are picked early in the morning when there is still a layer of moisture on the fruit. This results in a wine that is slightly sweet and full of flavor.

Tokaji Aszu

Tokaji Aszu is made from ripe plums and has a sweet, honeyed flavor. This is a plum wine from the Tokaj region of Hungary. The plums are left in the sun to dry out, then pressed and fermented with yeast.

This process gives it its light golden color and sweet taste, comparable to our muscadine wines. It pairs well with blue cheese or as an after-dinner drink.

Ways To Make Plum Wine At Home

There are many ways to make your own homemade Umeshu (plum wine) at home, and the process is relatively simple.

If you’re a wine lover, you’ve probably dreamed of making your wine at home. While it may seem like a daunting task, it’s not that difficult – and it can be a fun project to do with friends or family.

Plus, homemade wine always tastes better! Here are a few tips on how to make plum wine at home:

  1. Select ripe, juicy plums for your wine. The sweeter the plum, the sweeter the wine will be.
  2. Crush the plums and add them to a fermentation vessel along with some sugar and water.
  3. Add yeast to the mixture and stir well.
  4. Cover the mixture and leave it undisturbed for several days, during which time the yeast will convert the sugars in the fruit into alcohol.
  5. Strain out the solids and transfer your homemade plum wine to a sterilized bottle or carboy for aging.
  6. Let the wine age for at least several months, during which time it will develop complex flavor notes.
  7. Enjoy your delicious homemade plum wine!

The most important thing is to use ripe and fresh plums for the best flavor. Once you have your ingredients, the rest is simply a matter of waiting for the fermentation process to take its course.

5 Kinds Of Alcoholic Beverages I Can Use To Make Plum Wine?

  1. Vodka
  2. Brandy
  3. Rum
  4. Whiskey
  5. Gin

Each of these alcohols has a different flavor profile that can contribute to the overall taste of plum wine.

  • Vodka, for example, is a neutral spirit that can help to highlight the fruit flavors in the wine.
  • Brandy has a rich, warming quality that can pair well with the tartness of plums.
  • Rum is another popular choice for plum wines due to its sweet and fruity flavor profile.
  • Whiskey also works well in plum wine due to its bold and complex notes, while gin is sometimes blended into homemade plum wines for a distinct juniper flavor.

Experiment with different types of alcohol to find the perfect balance for your plum wine recipe.

Do Plum Wine Products Have an Expiration Date?

Yes, plum wine products do expire. This is because they contain alcohol and will become rancid after a certain period.

It is recommended that you only drink plum wine if it has been stored properly and purchased recently. If possible, check the expiration date on your bottle before using it so that you know when the wine will go bad.

Ways To Tell If Your Plum Wine Has Gone Bad

There are a few ways to tell if your plum wine has gone bad, such as:

  • if it has an off smell or taste, or if the color has changed.
  • If you notice any of these signs, it is best to discard the wine.
  • You can also check the bottle for other signs of spoilage, such as a separated cork or a cork that has been pushed down into the bottle.

If you have any other questions about plum wine expiration dates, speak to your local and knowledgeable liquor store experts.


Plum wine can be enjoyed on its own or with food. It is commonly served chilled or over ice. If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful wine to add to your collection, plum wine is a great choice. It has a robust, almost earthy flavor, but the sweetness is present as well. This combination makes it a popular choice for those who enjoy more exotic and adventurous wines from around the world.

Whether you are a fan of plum wine or not, there is no denying that it is a unique and fascinating drink with a long history in Japan. If you have the opportunity to try it, we recommend giving it a taste.

Christina Day
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