Text Size:-+

The Essence of Wine: Passionfruit


Image © 2013 Leigh Beisch

The fruit takes its name from the vine on which it grows. But no matter how sensual the fruit or however beautiful its blossoms, the missionaries who named the vine had something else in mind entirely. The complicated flower's anatomy conveniently facilitated mneumonics for the Passion of Christ — 10 petals for faithful apostles (sorry Peter and Judas), three stigmas for three nails on the cross, five anthers for five wounds before death, and a halo of radial filaments to visualize the crown of thorns. The precious fruits of the vine, in purple and yellow, seem to have avoided a deeper symbolism however, and are left merely bearing the same forename. Passionfruit offers a mouthwatering zing thanks to an extremely high dose of Vitamin C, as do kiwifruit and gooseberry, two other fruits whose similar tropical kicks often find their way into wine. Interestingly, Pinot Noir and some other light reds will occasionally evince a hint of passionfruit, which can be quite delicious. But passionfruit and its ilk find their true home most often in Sauvignon Blanc, which can all but burst with these sunny flavors and their accompanying acidity. No matter the wine, the snap and crackle of passionfruit's electric flavors quicken the pulse as well as the palate.

Massican Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California, USA
Casas del Bosque "Gran Reserva" Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile
Grgich Hills "Fume Blanc" Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California, USA
Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Henschke "Louis" Semillon, Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia
Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Cape Point, South Africa
Star Lane Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley, Central Coast, California, USA
Pannonhalmi Apátsági Pincészet White Blend, Pannonhalma, Hungary

This is part of an ongoing series of original images and prose called The Essence of Wine

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud