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Other products of grape
Grapes can be processed into a number of interesting products. Scarcely any other fruit can be marketed in so many ways - whether liquid, as wine, sparkling wine or grape juice - or solid, as table grapes, raisins or sultanas. There are virtually infinite possibilities for both red and white grapes. Thus, it comes as no surprise that many vintners have added "other products of the grape" to their portfolios as "specialties".
As such, they are often sold in designer packages (special-sized or -shaped bottles, artists' labels) and they often fetch handsome prices as do most hand-crafted specialties that are available in limited quantities.
Bear in mind that the final quality of all of these products depends on the skill of the producer, as well as the quality of their components - the sum total of inferior raw materials cannot yield a superior finished product.
Here's a brief overview of what's on the market.
Trester(brand) - Brandy Distilled from Grape Pomace
Grape-based brandies are excellent digestifs and the perfect way to end a fine meal.
Trester is the German equivalent of French Marc or Italian Grappa. It is a brandy distilled from grape pomace, the "leftovers" from pressing, i. e. grape skins; pips; bits of pulp, must and wine; and dead yeast cells. This fruity, pungent spirit is a popular digestif.
Hefebrand or Weinhefe - Brandy Distilled from the Lees
Hefebrand is a brandy distilled from the lees, i.e. the yeast-rich sediment that remains after the grape juice has fermented into wine. Richer, rounder and softer than Trester, Hefebrand has a more vinous character.
Weinbrand - Brandy Distilled from Grape Wine
The German equivalent of French Cognac, Weinbrand is a brandy distilled from grape wine. It is usually softer and milder than its French counterpart. Aging in oak casks imparts a lighter or darker golden hue.
Wein & Speisen
Traubenbrand - Grape Schnapps
Traubenbrand is a spirit distilled from whole or crushed grapes without the addition of sugar, substances containing sugar or alcohol. It has a strength of 38 percent alcohol.
Although there is no absolutely alcohol-free wine, most of the alcohol can be removed through vacuum distillation. The wine is gently heated to a temperature of 32-36 C (90-97o F) and cooled down immediately thereafter to help preserve freshness and fruitiness. Aromas that evaporated during the process can be returned to the wine.
Wine lovers are increasingly discovering that wine vinegar is a great addition to their culinary repertoire.
Wine vinegar is made by adding to wine special bacteria that produce acetic acid during a secondary fermentation, thereby converting the wine into vinegar. This is then aged in wooen casks, where the vinegar oxidizes and takes on color. Depending on the quality of the final product, the aging process can take up to a year.
Grape Seed Oil
This is extracted from dried grape seeds and ranges in color from golden yellow to olive green. Slightly sweet and slightly bitter in taste, grape seed oil is highly prized for its high linoleic acid content.
©2003 Deutsches Weininstitut, info[at]deutscheweine(dot)de, Impressum