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Belgian Fruit Wine – O’Bio by Bezegaard Organic Orchard

By alison - October 9, 2012 (Updated: November 19, 2014)

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series CheeseWeb Drinks (Responsibly).
O'Bio Belgian Fruit Wines

Time for a tasting – O’Bio Belgian Fruit Wines

Although we are ardent fans of the grape, good wine can be made from virtually any fruit. One organic orchard in Belgium is doing just that, with their collection of Belgian fruit wines. Recently, we tasted three of the O’Bio fruit wine range, from Bezegaard orchard, near Ghent.

While Andrew works his way through Belgian beer, in his Belgium in a Glass series, I have dedicated myself to Belgium’s lesser-known beverages. Last time, we talked about my favourite Belgian Bubbles – Cuvée Seigneur Ruffus. Today we’re looking at the sweeter side of Belgian winemaking.

I must confess my dedication to the grape, particularly in its fermented form, so I was slightly biased against wines made from other fruits. However, I had heard Belgium produces some great fruit wines, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Luckily, I had some plucky volunteers (they prefer this title to ‘my lushy friends’) to help me on my quest.

My quest was further simplified when our organic delivery service, Reason2.be, began supplying a variety of organic wines. Listed in their offerings are a selection of O’Bio fruit wines. I had three bottles delivered to my door, rounded up my taste-testers and dove in.

O'Bio Belgian Fruit Wines

Delivered to my door – Here are our three contenders from O’Bio.

Our first Belgian fruit wine was O’Bio Vin de Coing, or quince wine. Quince is a fruit I didn’t know before moving to Belgium. For those of you unfamiliar with it, quince is in the same family as apples and pears and resembles a bright yellow pear.

O'Bio Vin de Coing - Belgian Quince Wine

O’Bio Vin de Coing – Belgian Quince Wine

The wine is also golden yellow and it has quite a greasy feel in the mouth, like a dessert wine.  In fact, we all agreed the Vin de Coing is sweet enough to be classed as such. It reminded me of a jurançon wine and I can imagine it as an aperitif with foie gras or a nice rich paté. It would also pair well with sharp cheeses or a rich dessert.

Out of our group of four, the two men, who are both fans of sweet wine, enjoyed it. We ladies agreed it was nice in small doses, but we normally prefer dry wines.

Our second bottle was O’Bio Vin de Myrtilles, or blueberry wine. I come from blueberry country in Eastern Canada and have had my share of blueberry wine. I have to say, the Belgian blueberry wine stacked up nicely.

OBio Vin de Myrtilles - Belgian Blueberry Wine

O’Bio Vin de Myrtilles – Belgian Blueberry Wine

Vin de Myrtilles is a deep red colour and although it is rich, it’s not as sweet and greasy as the Vin de Coing. There is a strong flavour of cinnamon and my fellow female taster remarked it reminded her of mulled wine and Christmas. Indeed, it does and would be lovely mulled.

I would pair this wine with rich game meat, hearty country-style paté or rillettes. Of the three wines, Vin de Myrtilles was the ladies’ choice.

Our final bottle sadly left us on a negative note, even though it was the one I was most looking forward too – O’Bio Vin de Framboise, raspberry wine. I love raspberries. In fact, framboise is the one concession I make to Belgian beer. But sadly, this wine didn’t win me over.

O'Bio Vin de Framboise - Belgian Raspberry Wine

O’Bio Vin de Framboise – Belgian Raspberry Wine

The Vin de Framboise is bright red – soft-drink red, in fact. The bottle says to expect a sweet and sour flavour, but none of us could quite wrap our heads, or taste buds, around it. Although none of us liked the Vin de Framboise on its own, we all agreed, in the hands of a skilled mixologist, it could make the base for a great cocktail.

In addition to the three fruit wines we tried, O’Bio also offers: Vin de Groseilles (White currant), Vin de Cassis (Blackcurrant), Vin de Cérises (Cherry), Vin d’ Argousier (seabuckthorn), Vin de Sureau (Elderberry) and Vin de Canneberge (Cranberry; not available from Reason2.be at the time of writing). All of the fruit wines are 12% alcohol and cost €9.38 from Reason2.be.

Would I drink these wines every day? No, I won’t be giving up my grapes just yet, however I do think they are a unique and interesting way to shake up your wine routine. I’m looking forward to trying the other fruit wines in the O’Bio range and continuing my exploration of Belgium’s unknown beverages.

Bezegaard O’Bio
Driekoningenstraat 36a
8710  Wielsbeke – Belgium

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Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She is currently slow travelling through Europe in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
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6 comments

  1. Comment by Michael

    Michael October 9, 2012 at 09:02

    First time I saw the O’bio, I was curious, a wine made from other fruit. Then when I tasted it, you know, I liked it so much and even bought some bottles for my friends back in France. I highly suggest this to all who like wines.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison October 9, 2012 at 09:13

      Glad you enjoyed it Michael! Belgium has some interesting wines. Production is small here but there are good things happening if you know where to look.

  2. Comment by Raphael

    Raphael October 11, 2012 at 09:40

    I am Belgian and I have never tasted such wines. Thanks to you I have something new to discover. By the way, there are also some good grapes wines in Belgium but you have to be careful when trying them out because as well as elsewhere some of them taste like vinegar.

    I am currently in Taiwan and someone I met questioned me about interesting Belgian facts. To give a correct answer I searched for the opinion of someone who was not a native Belgian and I found your post “15 More Things You Didn’t Know About Belgium”. I am commenting it here because it is no longer possible in the other post.

    I found it really interesting and learned some new things myself. I also wanted to add to the point 14 (Both the name of the euro currency and the design of the € symbol were proposed by Belgians) that the president of the “European Monetary Institute” who was in charge of founding the European Central Bank and establishing the euro was Belgian. You can say that in a way the father of the euro currency is Belgian. It is a fact that only few people know even Belgian.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison October 11, 2012 at 09:47

      Hi Raphael! Thanks for your comment. We always love hearing that Belgians have learned something about their own country from CheeseWeb. I think it’s always interesting to see how outsiders view your home country. I believe we had listed the € symbol fact in either our 25 things you didn’t know about Belgium post or possibly our post on famous Belgians, but I do remember discovering that in my research and finding it interesting. Belgium has a lot to be proud of! I hope you are enjoying Taiwan.

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