Brandy and Spirits
Wine & Food
Brandy and Spirits
Whether liquid - as wine, sparkling wine, juice, culinary oils and gourmet vinegars, or solid - as table grapes, raisins and sultanas, there are almost no limits to the use of red and white grape varieties. No wonder many winegrowers have extended their portfolio to offer grapes in refined variants, such as fine spirits distilled from grapes, pomace or wine.
Here is 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
The first time the fermented wines are racked, the wine is separated from the yeast. The yeast residue is then distilled, producing a brandy that is richer, rounder and softer than Trester, with 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. The quality of the raw materials is a determining factor in the quality of the finished brandy. The taste is also influenced by the subsequent maturation, for which small oak barrels are often used. It is during this maturation that the brandy becomes imbued with its typical light or darker golden tones.
Traubenbrand - Grape Schnapps
In contrast to wine brandy, grape schnapps is a fruit brandy. The distillate is obtained from the whole fruit or crushed grapes (mash), without the addition of sugary substances, sugar or alcohol. The alcohol content in the end product must be at least 38 percent by volume.
Reduced alcohol wine
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.