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Japanese Plum Wine: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your Own Delicious Beverage

japanese plum wine

Introduction to Japanese Plum Wine

Japanese plum wine, also known as Umeshu, is a traditional Japanese beverage made from plums, sugar, and alcohol. The plums used to make this wine are typically the Japanese greengage variety, which is known for its sweet and sour flavor. This unique flavor profile is a result of the combination of sweet sugar and tart plums and is the hallmark of this wine.

One of the benefits of drinking Japanese plum wine is its health benefits. Plums contain high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making them a popular choice for those looking to improve their overall health and wellness.

The alcohol content of the wine also has a relaxing effect, making it a popular choice for stress relief and relaxation.

In terms of its taste and strength, Japanese plum wine is a sweet and refreshing drink that is typically consumed over ice or mixed with soda or juice.

The alcohol content of the wine is usually between 10-15% ABV, making it a mild to moderate drink in terms of strength. Overall, this wine is a unique and flavorful choice that offers both health benefits and a relaxing drinking experience.

Recipe to make Japanese Plum Wine


  • 6 lbs of ripe Japanese plums
  • 6 lbs of sugar
  • 6 pints of water
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1 packet of wine yeast
  • Campden tablets
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Yeast nutrient.


  1. Wash and pit the plums and chop them into small pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan, boil the chopped plums with the sugar and water for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large fermentation vessel.
  4. Add the lemon and orange juice, yeast nutrient, and yeast to the mixture.
  5. Crush 2 Campden tablets and add them to the mixture to prevent wild yeast and bacteria from forming.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then add the wine yeast.
  7. Cover the fermentation vessel with a clean cloth and secure it with a rubber band.
  8. Allow the mixture to ferment for 7 to 10 days, stirring twice a day to release the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast.
  9. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth and transfer it to a sterilized glass carboy.
  10. Add 1 Campden tablet and 1/4 tsp of Potassium sorbate to stabilize the wine.
  11. Attach an airlock and allow the wine to ferment for 6 to 8 months in a cool, dark place.
  12. Once the wine is clear and stable, transfer it to sterilized wine bottles and cork.
  13. Allow the wine to age for at least 6 months before drinking.

Important Note: Yeast nutrient is an essential ingredient in winemaking that provides the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for yeast to ferment the sugar in the grapes or fruit.

Without yeast nutrients, yeast may become sluggish or stall, leading to stuck or slow fermentations and off flavors in the wine. Yeast nutrient also helps to ensure that yeast is healthy, active, and able to produce high-quality wine. The addition of yeast nutrients also improves the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel of the wine, and promotes better color stability.

Whether making wine from grapes or fruit, it's important to include yeast nutrients in the recipe to ensure that the yeast is able to ferment the sugar effectively, resulting in high-quality wine.

Popular questions

What is Japanese Plum Wine Called?

Japanese plum wine, also known as "umeshu," is a popular alcoholic beverage in Japan made from steeping unripe ume plums in sugar and alcohol. This traditional drink is known for its sweet, sour and fruity flavor, making it a popular choice for those looking for something a little different from the average wine.

What is Japanese Plum Wine For?

Japanese plum wine is most commonly consumed as an after-dinner drink or as a celebratory drink during special events. It is also commonly used as a base for cocktails and other mixed drinks. Additionally, umeshu is said to have many health benefits such as aiding digestion, reducing stress and helping with hangovers.

Is Japanese Plum Wine Good?

This is a subjective question, but many people find Japanese plum wine to be a delicious and refreshing drink. It has a unique taste profile that sets it apart from other types of wine, making it a popular choice among those looking for something new and exciting.

How Strong is Japanese Plum Wine?

Japanese plum wine is typically around 15% alcohol by volume, similar to most wines. However, the exact alcohol content may vary depending on the recipe used and the brewing process. Additionally, some makers will add more alcohol to the brew to increase the strength of the final product.

Overall, this wine is a delicious and unique beverage that is worth trying for those who enjoy sweet and fruity flavors.

Whether you are looking for a new after-dinner drink or something to celebrate a special occasion, umeshu is a great choice.

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