17 December 2015

Second Sunday of Advent: Savouring your Christmas roast with fruit wine

fruit wine

Torben Bo Toldam-Andersen researches fruits and berries. In particular, those used for fruit wines that are perfectly suited for holiday feasts. Toldam-Andersen is an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN).

Are you the kind of person who enjoys a glass of wine alongside your Christmas pork or duck roast? Fruit wine is often equated with cider, the refreshing fizz often made from apples. No, not too many wine aficionados would be willing to swap grapes for apples, especially at a traditions rich time of year like Christmas. But Torben Bo Toldam-Andersen states his case – fruit wines and the holidays make a perfect match.

Fruit wine for Christmas

Wine is usually associated with grapes, but Toldam-Andersen advocates that wines made from other fruits and berries should win a place at the table among other holiday libations:

"Fruit wine is fantastically suited for the preparation of Christmas dinner, but also as a wine to pair with both roast duck and ‘risalamande’ (Danish Christmas rice pudding). And, the new concentrated fruit wine that we are working with is perfect with the cheeses served at Christmas lunch. Cryoconcentration is a technique where one freezes a fruit juice. It concentrates apple juice so that, after defrosting, the juice is transformed into a delicious syrup that has trapped all of the wonderful sour, sweet and aromatic qualities of the fruit and preserved them in a more full-bodied and complex wine."

Danish wine

Part of Toldam-Andersen’s current research is devoted to improving the growing of fruits and berries for wine production – grapes in particular. According to Torben Bo Toldam-Andersen, major developments are afoot here in Denmark:

"Grapes are another fruit type that we work with. Danish wine production has experienced tremendous development in recent years, and it has been incredibly exciting to be a part it."

He hopes that his research contributes to an improvement of wine quality as well as a greater variety of wines produced in Denmark.

Complexity and collaboration

Torben Bo Toldam-Andersen enjoys the fact that much of his research with fruit takes place in collaboration with producers and companies:

"The complexity of the web as a whole allows me to collaborate with a range of researchers in both Denmark and abroad. The production aspect is very interdisciplinary and entails collaboration with microbiologists, sensory specialists  and chemists. It is incredibly exciting."

Fascination and knowledge

Torben Bo Toldam-Andersen’s fascination with how fruiting plants grow and develop, coupled with a general desire to understand how things work, inspired him to become a researcher.

"When standing besides a little apple tree that is heavily loaded with apples, I think that it is wild that all of these apples grow because of sugar being produced in leaves and which is then transported throughout the tree."