Choya Umeshu: Classic Japanese Plum Wine
I don’t usually drink at home but instead, I enjoy non-alcoholic beverages at dinner almost every day, among which I especially like non-alcoholic beer and non-alcoholic plum wine called “Yowanai Umeshu (酔わないウメシュ)”.
Choya Umeshu Ume Plum Wine
The non-alcoholic plum wine Yowanai Umeshu is actually a canned drink from the leading Japanese liqueur maker “Choya Umeshu (チョーヤ梅酒)”. In its name, “Umeshu (梅酒)” refers to plum wine using the plum native to East Asia called “Ume (梅)” and the company is specialized in producing Ume plum wine, which has been a long-time favorite in Japan.
According to the official website of Choya Umeshu, their Ume plum wine currently comes in 24 varieties, and their highest grade Umeshu “Gold Edition” (500 ml) comes in a glass bottle and is produced using 100 percent Nanko-Ume plums produced in Kishu, Wakayama Prefecture. The Umeshu has an alcohol content of 19 percent and its suggested retail price is 9,259 yen (about 88 USD).
As the name indicates, Choya Umeshu is very famous for its Ume plum wines in Japan, and in fact, many Japanese will be reminded of Choya Umeshu when they hear Umeshu (Ume plum wine). But I don’t drink at home, so love the non-alcoholic variety “Yowanai (酔わない: literally don’t get drunk)” Umeshu.
The non-alcoholic beverage, Choya Yowanai Umeshu is a kind of Ume plum-flavored soda drink blended with 10 percent Ume plum juice from 100 percent ripe Nanko-Ume plums produced in Wakayama. By the way, “Nanko-Ume (南高梅)” is a species of Ume plum that is known as the highest grade Ume plum, and the prefecture Wakayama is the largest producer of Ume plums in Japan.
Featuring its sour, acidic taste, in general, Ume plums don’t become sweet even if they have ripened. But, unlike Umeboshi plums, the Japanese plum wine Umeshu only has a mild sourness and is very tasty, really easy to drink. It is a fine-tasting, refreshing drink with moderate sweetness, so if you like liqueurs, you will definitely love it too.