For most of us, wine means a beverage made from grapes. You may also be familiar with wines made from fruits such as apples, lychees, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears or plum wines.
And it turns out that just about any plant matter can be fermented and turned into wine.
Sake — a beverage that originated in Japan that we know of as rice wine — is made from fermented rice, though the process of making sake is more like that of crafting beer.
Plum based wines are popular in Japan, Korea and China, while pineapple based wines are made by Maui Wines / Tedeshi Vineyards in Hawaii (of course, right?) and Nigeria’s Jacobs Wines — creators of the first pineapple winery in Africa.
The sap from birch and maple trees can also be made into wines, and palm wines from various palm trees or coconut palms (cocos nucifera) are popular in many parts of Asia and Africa.
In the Philippines, the freshly harvested coconut sap wine is referred to as “tuba” and is a popular alcohol beverage in the rural areas. The distilled version of tuba is called lambanog.
But for the truly strange wine…how about worm wines and the “3 penis” wine — eeeek!
Read more on the 3 penis wine— really! — on LaoWai LiSha’s blog, here and from the Drink Business website’s article Top 10 weird wine ingredients, here. Among the Top 10 weird ingredients listed? How about snakes and scorpions….as well as items that seem illegal — or should be if animals are critically endangered — such as tiger bones or bear bile.
And no, we don’t have a wine bottle gift bag for the above photo of palm wine contained in a dried bottle gourd (a “calabash”).
But for your standard size wine bottle, whether fruit wine, rice wine, some other truly weird wine, or a lovely bottle of your favorite California Chardonnay or Cabernet, check out our wine gift bag page, here, or view our previous blog posts to see our beautiful, uniquely textured, handcrafted — and always earth-friendly — wine bags.
And by the way, on that rather unique bottle gourd or calabash container photo above…it was interesting to find out that the calabash was one of the first cultivated plants in the world (referred to as “opo” in the Philippines), both to use as a vegetable when harvested young, and as a water container when it is harvested mature and dried.
So the calabash may have been among the very first wine bottle as well, right? Or at least one of the earliest (and most likely, still used) earth-friendly beverage containers!
Related: See our post on Coconut Wine here to see a photo of a bamboo beverage container. Another early — and still used — natural wine container.