Pear Wine

September 8, 2010

While it takes a special perry pear to make a cider, I have seen a few pear wines, mostly made out of Bartlett pears since they are our most popular pear. I’m going to take a side note and talk a little bit about the Bartlett.

About any pear book or website will tell you that a Bartlett pear is actually what the Europeans call the Williams pear. It was discovered by a British schoolmaster named Stair in the late 1760s or 1770, and was later named after the nursery man named Williams who promoted it to the rest of England as “Williams Bon Chretien.” In 1797 or 1799, a man named James Carter brought it to the United States to plant on an estate in Massachusetts owned by Thomas Brewer. That property was later purchased by Enoch Bartlett in 1817, who fell in love with the pears. Unaware that it already had a name, he promoted and marketed them under his name. Anyway, Bartletts are now the United States most popular pear, making up 60-70% of the pear market.

While regular eating pears might not be suitable for making perry with, they do fine as a wine, which means there is sugar added at the beginning of fermentation to ensure that the yeast convert it to a higher alcohol of 12% than the 8% pears would do on their own.

I’m actually making a batch of pear wine right now, made from canned pears in light syrup (pear juice) and added sugar. I put the canned pears into a mess bag, but did not squish them, and then removed them after a week. So far, everything seems to be working out just fine.

Here are some pear wines that I’m aware of:

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