By Chris Boiling.
The drinks world has a new liquid on the block. Or, perhaps more accurately, an old one.
Spotted at the RAW Wine Fair in London, co-ferments, or cross-pollinated drinks, are mixed fermented fruit beverages. Imagine cider or perry being made in the same barrel, at the same time, as wine.
According to the fair’s organiser, Isabelle Legeron MW, it’s a trend that began in North America, though it’s starting to gain ground over here as well. It’s definitely a trend to watch.
‘Grapes are not the only fermentable foodstuffs capable of complex, long-lived drinks,’ she points out. ‘In fact, quite a few wine producers who attend our fairs around the world have been experimenting with cider, perry, mead and beer for a while, so crosses are inevitable. And exciting!’
Over the past two or three years, Legeron says she has seen a surge in co-fermentations that have been made available commercially – all created with much the same philosophy as natural wine (i.e. grown organically and made with low-intervention). Many even use foraged, wild ingredients.