The common elderberry has been used to make wine for many years. Elderberries make a rich, flavorful wine, but they have also been added to other wines to add color and complexity. In the past, there have been scandals when commercial wineries added elderberries to their grape wines to enhance their color and flavor.
The elderberry has a long history for food, drink and medicinal purposes. Elderberry jam or jelly, flavored drinks, and of course wine are a few of its known uses. Early Indian tribes used elderberries in teas and other beverages.
Unripe berries, the stems and leaves of the plant are somewhat toxic and can cause nausea when eaten. Our wine is made only from ripened berries. Good news is that recent research shows the elderberry builds up the immune system and directly inhibits the influenza virus.