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