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From Wild Blueberries and Maine Terroir, Fine Sparkling Wine

For the last five years, Mr. Terrien and Ms. Henry, along with Mr. Terrien’s childhood friend Eric Martin, and Mr. Martin’s wife, Meredith McMonigle, have been making Bluet, a sparkling wine of wild blueberries with nothing added but yeast for fermentation.

They make two styles: One, in tiny amounts, is made using the same method as Champagne, producing first a still wine and then refermenting it in a bottle to produce bubbles. The other, made in larger quantities, is produced like most Proseccos, carbonated in bulk in a pressurized tank.

Bluet’s most recent version of the Prosecco-style wine, bottled with a screw cap, smelled like violets, roses and, yes, blueberries. It was exuberant yet dry and savory, and, at 7 percent alcohol, deliciously easy to drink.

The bottle-fermented wine, packaged like Champagne in a cork-topped bottle, is more contemplative. The 2017 was deeper, subtler, lightly savory and quietly complex. It, too, was about 7 percent alcohol, near the upper limit for blueberry wines. The two bottles made me wonder, why has this never been done before?

For as long as humans have cultivated fruit, they have made some form of fruit wine. Fermentation is really just another form of preservation, after all, creating a tasty and intoxicating alternative to jams, pickles and other sometimes desperate efforts to conserve every last bit of summer’s abundance.

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