This week, Helsinki celebrates the next anniversary of its foundation. And metropolitan residents, and all the rest of the Population of Finland regularly and with pleasure drink wine of domestic production, but not grape, but fruit-berry.
The idea of making wine, like stronger alcoholic beverages, from a variety of fruit and berry raw materials has long been known and everywhere, although in our expanses it is seriously compromised by the strikingly low quality of the final product. Finnish winemakers approached this issue with their peculiar to the mentality of scrupulsiness and consistency.
Finland – the country is large, and its natural climatic conditions favors good berry crops. In the north for the production of wine, it is usually used by any wild berry, which is still very much in the forests and swamps. Lapland cloudberry is especially valued. Towards the south of the berry grown on special plantations.
On the Finnish table you can find white wine from apples or quince and red wines from black currant. But the most fragrant and tasty liqueurs are usually obtained from forest berries – strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, rowan. Before drinking the dessert berry, assorted curb whipped cream or ice cream, the Finns must definitely fly it with some fragrant berry liqueur. Licker from the cloudberry is very popular; Box of chocolate chocolates with such a filling – Typical Finnish souvenir.
Officially, the production of berry wines was recognized in Finland in 1855, when the Senate issued the first license for this account of one company from the city of Turku on the west coast of the country. Now there are more than 40 large manufacturers of fruit-berry wines in the country; They all work under strict government control and within the framework of the existing state monopoly for sale of alcohol.
Externally, the bottle of Finnish berry wine is no different from the same packaging with the contents of the grape raw materials of French or Italian origin – the same form and glass, the same labels with standard information. Moreover, in appearance and even on the smell, Finnish wine from the gooseberry can be confused with some white French wines from the Loire Valley or Italian from Friuli, although strawberry, of course, smells strawberry. Yes and taste, especially if you taste blindly, not knowing about the origin of the drink, not very sophisticated consumer can easily be mistaken. Reliable guidelines are shown on labels of berries or fruits from which the contents are made.
The names of these wines often give out the hidden romance of serious outwardly finn. So, wine can be called "Autumn fairy tale" or "Forest fragrance", And on the bottle of the wines from the cloudberry depicted a flaming northern sunset. You can meet such a draft move: one of the manufacturers of its sparkling wine bottles from white currant produces different colors – depending on the time of the year, which in a very symbolic manner is reflected in the label.
All other attributes of conventional winemaking are available: and winery with cellars that show tourists, and cortical plugs with the designation of the manufacturer, and tasting rooms with adjacent restaurants. All major consumer niches are filled – sparkling wines as aperitifs, dry food ester, sweet to desserts, strong alcohol as a digestive.
There is also a special research and research and information center for fruit-berry winemaking (in Muruvyesi, near Kuopio), where professional personnel are preparing for this important sector of the economy. Training in different programs of different duration passes from September to May, then harvesting suffer for the industry. One of the projects of this center is devoted to the use of Finnish wood for the manufacture of barrels in which wine is maintained.
Local wines are served in the most fashionable restaurants and on official receptions at the highest level. And the Finnish chefs have long been and with pleasure developing the topic of the National Wine Cooking. A stunning result gives, for example, the next simple reception: game like venison or membrane stew with white berry wine, and jelly or sauce from the same berry is supplied to the finished dish.