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Teufelhund
02-28-2008, 01:21 PM
Hey volks!

Saw this today. Thought I'd pass it on. :icon_salut: If you goto the site, the other links show up.

:cheers:

DD

http://www.slate.com/id/2184361/?wpisrc=newsletter

drink: Wine, beer, and other potent potables.
A Taste of Honey
Is mead poised for a comeback?
By Nicholas Day
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008, at 7:02 AM ET
Judging by the prominence of honey these days, you'd think there's a run on sugar. Local, flavored honeys are now in restaurant kitchens. Foodies are mail-ordering artisanal raw varieties. At my local farmers market in Connecticut, the area beekeeper shows up with a table's worth of options and a glassed-in buzzing hive. This resurgence is in spite of the recent colony collapse disorder, which decimated many beehives. But even more unexpected is the rise of honey for an ancient use: alcohol, in a drink known as mead.

You might know mead from Beowulf—it's what the characters got soused on. Mead is so old-school that its advocates claim it as the world's first alcoholic beverage. (Their line of thinking goes like this: Rain-diluted honey attracted wild yeasts. The fermented liquid then attracted a human, who drank it and felt less unhappy.) But the recent interest in fermented honey has morphed it from an esoteric item that only a few bearded Dungeons & Dragons players indulged in to a small yet legitimate commercial enterprise. There are now more than 100 meaderies in the United States, like Rabbit's Foot Meadery and Mountain Meadows Mead. For the ambitious, there are DIY mead-making books, complete with archaic spellings (see The Compleat Meadmaker). Is mead, last popular around King Arthur's table, poised for a comeback?

The home-brewing community is largely responsible for putting mead on the map. Mead-making culture is a direct descendant of beer geekdom, in part because Charles Papazian, whose The Complete Joy of Homebrewing is the book that launched a thousand brewpub loans, is also a mead evangelist. In fact, the home-brewing community can be credited with many significant changes to the American drinking landscape. Without the nerdy obsessiveness of early hobbyists, we'd all still be crushing corn-fed lagers against our foreheads. Instead, we're drinking double IPAs and imperial stouts. The many new mead-makers in America are almost all lapsed home brewers who smelled the honey.

In some ways, it's not surprising to see mead taking off like this: The last few decades have given rise to many small-scale, artisan food products. In the alcoholic arena alone, there are now craft spirits, craft sake, and craft bitters. Anyone at a farmers market has seen that antique varieties of melons or apples are in vogue; many small farmers now raise and sell almost-extinct animal breeds, like Tamworth pigs and Narragansett turkeys.

For farmers market foodies, mead, as an alcoholic libation, has a conceptual advantage over beer: Mead possesses what winemakers call terroir, the French term for how something—wine, cheese, honey—conjures up the landscape around it. That's because an artisanal mead is still, at least in part, an agricultural product. With its floral and herbal aromas, a good mead vividly communicates a sense of place—think a field of orange blossoms or rosemary bushes—in a way that's impossible for beer. Wine writer Matt Kramer calls this feeling "somewhereness" and, in the new hyper-local-food America, it is an attractive selling point. Don't just "eat your view"; get blitzed off it.

Mead-maker David Myers of Colorado's Redstone Meadery said, "Mead is something that comes around like clockwork every 2,000 to 3,000 years." But despite its seemingly sudden upswing, mead isn't likely to reattain its crazy medieval popularity. Unlike once-forgotten, now-prized goods like heirloom tomatoes, mead won't even make the foodie mainstream. That's partly because it has a horrible image problem—currency with the Society for Creative Anachronism is not exactly a signifier of great commercial promise. Got Mead's blogger goes by the nickname Meadwench, and the topics covered on the blog include questions from readers trying to figure out what the historically correct drinking cup is. Fans like these won't boost mead into the 21st century. Even mead-makers complain about Renaissance fairs, where the drink is treated, inevitably, as an anachronism.

While it's theoretically possible for mead to escape its poor company, it has a more fundamental problem. Although there seems to be a mead flavor for every palate—orange blossom, buckwheat honey, blended with berry purees, infused with juniper berries, champagne-carbonated, still—they all suffer from the same structural problem: Honey has little natural acidity. That may sound appealing, but acidity—the spine of a good wine—is what keeps flavors bright and focused, and what marries wine with food. Mead-makers recognize this flaw, so to give it an acidic boost, they add citric acid. That helps, but it's not enough. Most meads still sit somewhat awkwardly alongside dinner. Unlike the best beer and wine pairings, they neither sharply highlight foods nor blend with them into something equally interesting. Ultimately, they make for reluctant partners at the table.

Strange enough to be intriguing, but too strange to be at home on the dinner table, mead is a stubborn paradox. I like mead conceptually—the lore, the eccentricities. I even occasionally like a bottle. But no mead has ever earned its way into my alcoholic rotation. The other night, I had a glass of Redstone's Mountain Honey Mead, a widely distributed brand, and its initial burst of flavor went flat all too soon. It was an odd fit with what I'd planned for dinner (your basic roast chicken) and dessert (a black-and-white custard). Of course, the rapturous aroma was intoxicating, and I spent a few moments inhaling it. But the taste that followed was neither more nor less than limpid, liquid honey. If Winnie-the-Pooh ever took to the bottle, this is exactly what he'd want.

butterlily5
03-03-2008, 01:53 AM
Could we have just a few more requirements to being a "journalist," please? Something like LOOK IT UP IN THE DICTIONARY?!? I was confused about the spelling of 'Compleat' myself, Ken's book not being the first I've seen with that in the title. So, I looked it up.

According to The Free Dictionary by Farlex:
"1. Of or characterized by a highly developed or wide-ranging skill or proficiency. 2. Being an outstanding example of a kind; quintessential."

As opposed to Merriam-Webster's "Complete:" 1 a: having all necessary parts, elements, or steps

A little different, eh, but I didn't notice any reference to "archaic." :icon_study:

NvrWrkn
03-03-2008, 08:11 PM
Not exactly a great review a Redstone's mead there...

Oh well...the last thing we all need is a bunch of yuppie geeks with no appreciation for the work involved to start upping the prices of honey and the associated equipment so they can try and outdoo the yuppie next door.

Much like they did to cigars, only there they just ruined the pricing structure since the only oneupmanship they could pull off was to buy the next more expensive cigar then their neighbor.

To those here that have a mead related business, sorry for the opinon, to those who actually buy honey to make and appreciate their own, I guess the news is good for us :)

butterlily5
03-03-2008, 09:53 PM
Here, here!! :cheers:

ken_schramm
03-04-2008, 09:34 PM
I made a few comments, not least of them about Mr. Day's failure to catch an homage that should be fairly obvious to anyone who is a serious journalist or student of the history of how-to literature, even literature as a whole. See http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/thread/929575.aspx

Archaic? Perhaps, but in a respectful and deliberate way.

A serious question to Nicholas: would you respect me for making generalizations about wine after buying one random bottle of wine at the grocery store and trying it with one meal of my own (uninformed) choice? Would that be fair? Would it be valuable as a contribution to the national discussion and mentality about wine?

NvrWrkn
03-04-2008, 11:29 PM
After looking at the actual article as it's posted on the site, I wonder, does the guy get paid to write or is he just doing it to earn some "stick" time?

As I read the entire post, it seems as though they've run out of something to write about so they thought they'd post some prose about something they obviously don't know enough about to post more than a one time use opinion of.

The entire piece almost comes off in a very polite way of saying, mead is the simpleton cousin to wine meant for those who spend their off time wearing armour, holding jousting tournaments and wishing they could have been a knight at king arthur's kitchen table.

The history of the drink aside, the guy really should have spent some more time with those who are the most well versed in the endeavor who have spent a good portion of their personal time learning yeasts, fermentation kinetics and just overall collecting and putting into use the myriad of recipes and techniques they've shared through the years.

Site's like this "slate" thing appears to be only cater to one type of person, and that's the guy or gal who knows nothing about the subjects found there, but wants to read all the latest buzzwords currently found in the respective discussions so they too can appear knowledgable about a subject they really know nothing about just to prop up their egos against those who quote the same babble they read on the same blog.

It's not the sharing of knowlege and experience to better the subject in the long run, it's what can I rattle off to my friends tomorrow at work that they haven't already heard so I can feel better about myself. I feel better just being a part of a community of people that care about the subject and are interested in helping others become accomplished at that subject for the betterment of the subject. Nothing more.

O... and getting a decent buzz now and then doesn't hurt.

vahan
03-05-2008, 05:29 PM
I concur!

I used to be a "wine snob" when I was young and immature with the illusion that I was sophisticated. I eventually discovered beer and homebrewing and realized that beer is a better match with most foods than wine (esp cheese, desserts, spicy food, and of course pizza).

then I made the next step into discovering mead and now am hopelessly obsessed with mead and with honey as well. I don't even use refined sugar any more, I have 4-5 different varieties for different types of tea, coffee, and eating with a spoon.

I love this site and I am also thankful for Ken's book--they have both taught me a lot.

I'm also kinda glad mead is not as popluar, it does make it hard to get in some places, but there is more for those of us who really appreciate it (and make it ourselves)!

vahan

butterlily5
03-05-2008, 10:15 PM
vahan is a man after my own heart!

My husband and I have tried to be wine snobs for a while now (he even asked me to marry him in a Napa valley vineyard!), but it simply hasn't happened. I've come to realize I like the fun of wine tasting rather than the wine itself. Well, then my husband got me into the idea of making mead, and starting w/ Ken's book, I got 2 full batches under my belt before I'd ever even had any! :tard:
No one around here sells mead except for one "big box store" which carries one well-known and much lamented (I found out later) mead and one mead-flavored white wine. eh. :-\
I've found out in the short time I've done this, that I seem to be a natural at it, because I haven't brewed a single thing yet that's been bad. I know it'll happen, probably when I start over-thinking things (in the Navy, we call that "nuking it").
I absolutely love this site! I've learned so much here, and the people here are so incredibly nice!! And open, and giving! Thanks, Vicky & Oskaar, for giving us mortals such a great gift! :notworthy: :cheers:

vahan
03-06-2008, 09:37 AM
butterlily!

We are similar! I proposed to my wife at the Golden Gate Bridge! She went to school in San Francisco and we spent much time in Napa. We took a wine tasting class together. We're both doctors, and drinking fine wine is something that doctors are "supposed" to do.

Now, I rarely puchase wine! Anyone can afford the best beers in the world, but not so with wine.

My wife is a patient supporter of my beer and mead making (I had 20 gallons of beer carbonating in our bedroom at one point) and she is also a willing consumer of both!

I also don't like golfing or snooty country clubs (except to go sledding on in the winter), but that's another story ;D

I have read Ken's book so many times the pages are getting worn....

vahan

NvrWrkn
03-07-2008, 12:09 AM
I for one can honestly say that it is possible to enjoy golf and mead without comingling the two! Actually I find spending a minimum of 4 hours on a nice piece of property mixed with a relaxed sport, a cart to carry you around and a beer cart if you can find one to be a great way to waste a day off!

For me, mead or wine comes later in the day when I don't have the anger to go back out and play any more or just feel like winding down from where I started.

Doctor golf is only for those that enjoy spending their chosen time off playing politics... just one angle... not gospel :)

Launcelot
03-07-2008, 04:15 PM
Many years ago I found myself dropping out of pre-med, ended up with a dual major business and journalism. I never really took the financial hit and tried writing full time, but I have dabbled over the years and been happy to feed the addiction.

I rarely ever make many negative comments about other peoples work, usually containing myself to a simple comment on whether I liked something or didn't.

Journalistic writing however is the art of handing off information, with the singular intent of allowing the reader to make educated judgments. There are ethics and so forth and often these are missed out on entirely, but in essence when you ignore the ethics and pursue the story, you stop being a journalist.

Critics are not journalists for the most part, far too often they are slinging their opinion as if it were stone tablet gospel carried down off a mountain. The original goal of a food critics addition was to *not* have a critics section, back in ancient times it was a review segment wherein you would see commentary about clear and obvious things (cleanliness, colour/lighting in the restaraunt, whether the food was served speedily and if it was in essence worth what you paid for it) Over time it moved from the realm of the informative, to the realm of the critic, where people were aiming more at finding reasons to complain as opposed to just relaying information.

Which leads us forward to today, and my hatred of critics.

There are a few notable exceptions, with that said let's examine what critics do. They criticize, and in lieu of an informed judgment, they simply complain. As this article has shown, often the complaints are misinformed or actually simply ignorant. Which in some circles is screamingly apparent. However there are at this point in time entire communities that are in essence espousing that ignorant opinion and calling it gospel. High in this list of communities are the realms of modern art and wines. I have actually heard someone having an apertif complain that it was ridiculously sickly sweet, and how it overwhelmed the salmon they were eating. I asked them what they preferred in a desert wine and they asked me what the question meant.

I later on heard (this is in a "fine" restaraunt in LA) the waiter arguing with the wine steward that although it was white, it was not a dinner wine, the waiter then went on to point out that the SG on the wine had to easily be close to 1.05, The wine steward asked what SG was. I thought the entire back and forth was hilarious. I then ordered a red wine because evidently the morons in the wine community have managed to figure out dry reds. But anything outside of that realm often causes bafflement and confusion.

I have heard someone here state that in wine competitions if it isn't an acidy dry red it won't win a show, I agree, because there is a large portion of the wine "community" which has decided that there are only certain good things. And if you don't happen to agree with them, you are an asshole.

Personally, I bloody hate wine. I generally won't touch the stuff unless the social circumstances require it. I have happily ordered beer whenever feasible, and when all else fails, I drink water first. Why? because it is all so much spoiled grape juice in my opinion. Notice, I am excluding pretty much everything from the realm of wine that isn't made simply from grapes. I have become so irritated by the wine community (again, I am *not* referring to the folks who make it, and appreciate the process of discovery, I am instead referring to the people who stand around looking for a reason to complain) When everyone became a critic, I had to step aside or spend the rest of my life pointlessly arguing with the idiots who just want to sound good.

Now, there are a number of people that point out my Irish heritage as the reason for my shortcomings in my palette. Yes, I am Irish. Yes, I was born on the bonney shores of Dingle Bay. Yep, I have an accent. So not only do I not like pretty much anything french, I also prefer beer over wine. Why? because the folks who drink beer tend to be a little less arrogant about their beverage of choice. I have also found that if you happen to example really like just lager, the folks who prefer stout do not endlessly disclaim that you are an uneducated savage, instead they happily discuss the differences, and often will point out that there are middle grounds between the two.

Then there are the little pocket communities. I have enjoyed mead for a long while, I have sampled some truly scary versions (I have a bunch of friends who make beer, and WHAAAAHHHH they think a mead means that there was a bee in the room when you were making the beer) all the way out to a batch that I am pretty sure was pure spirit with a touch of honey, I have found them all enjoyable on some level (with the sole exception of my own creation involving pineapple juice that is just frightening).

I have seen here a few folks that are obviously expert level in what they do standing side by virtual side with folks that literally watched a movie and became interested, all of them on some level staring at a primary fermenter and wondering how the latest experiment is going to turn out, and often times doing whatever they can to aid and assist each others projects no matter how odd or weird and pretty much not even worrying about whether they agree with the project. Why? because none of you are critics, instead you are enthusiasts.

Sorry for being so windy, but it is a bit of a heady topic.

--Launce

wayneb
03-07-2008, 06:01 PM
Launce,

That was delightfully refreshing! ;)

However, not everyone involved in the wine community is a critic by your definition. I regularly sip wine with friends and acquaintances who are merely interested in discovery of new things and comparing notes on tasting. We simply enjoy the myriad of flavors, and the mild buzz.

But I do agree with you -- much of the so-called "expert" opinion on wines out there these days is simply crap written by uninformed fools who are looking to pump up their own fragile egos at the expense of hard working, honest, wine producers. The majority of the wine buying public are too clueless to differentiate between useful information and that sort of excrement. I certainly hope that the same fate never befalls mead fans. But I suspect that this little niche community of mead producers and enthusiasts is (at least at this point in time) too perceptive as a group to fall into that trap.

:cheers:

Oskaar
03-09-2008, 12:32 AM
Launce,

I understand your frustration with certain individuals who are wine afficionados that turn their noses up at anything that is not touted by Parker. However, there are plenty of folks both in the beer and mead community that are every bit as biased against beverages outside their particular preferred alcoholic beverage. The bottom line is that there are closed minded people in every aspect of the alcoholic beverage industry. So while I know that there are people who will slam mead and prefer wine, I see the same thing in reverse from mead afficionados; and I see beer snobs slamming mead at competitions; I see cider snobs slamming beer, I see mead snobs slamming wine in posts here all the time. Personally, I think it's far more constructive to learn to appreciate the aspects of each in order to form bridges and get everyone on the same page. Otherwise, mead will never grow to anything other than a curiosity.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Launcelot
03-09-2008, 02:17 AM
Sorry for the upset, but I intended to make a strong separation between critics and enthusiasts. There are a number of folks I have met that are ::smirks:: Wineys... Who are clear and open minded, there are unfortunately inumerable folks all over that just want to be critics.

My personal preferences are clear, but they are just that, my preference. I don't expect anyone else to agree with it, just like I don't have to like what they pour down their gullets, I keep a fairly decent collection of wines on hand for my guests, and I have gone to length to learn a bit so when I am stocking the larder here I at least have something vaguely palatable.

--L

webmaster
03-09-2008, 03:08 AM
No worries, Launce. I saw what you were intending. But to you, and the others out there, we *want* to educate people on what mead is, and how to tell a good one from a bad one. We *want* to help commercial meadmakers make a better mead. Creating more and better mead means more to drink, more to buy, and will help *expand* the honey market, by encouraging beekeepers to expand the bee population, a much-needed thing.

Personally, I like wine, beer, mead, cordials, liquor and pretty much most other things with alcohol in them (though I have style preferences in all). I've made a bit of a learning experience out of it, which is how I got interested in making mead in the first place. Eventually, that lead me to making wine, beer and cordials, all of which I've dabbled in. Plus, I mix 'ready made' concoctions as well.

In between the real job, running Gotmead and making meads, I'm currently studying food and wine writing, as well as teaching myself how to taste meads, wines and beers (Oskaar, I may finally get my BJCP in beer just to learn, LOL), to educate my palate for the judgings I get invited to, as well as to learn more about what is good or bad in a wine or mead (or beer). The more I learn, the better my meads will be.

I've taken scotch tasting seminars, to learn about the differences. All this because I'm a curious sort. *Love* my Glenmorangie 10 yr Port Cask aged.....

It hasn't made me an expert, a critic or a snob. It *has* expanded my horizons and helped point me in the directions to learn more. I don't hate wine or wine drinkers. I sort of feel sorry for the 'snobs' that they're missing out on the best thing about learning about wine, i.e. the *experience* of it. They're all so involved with the 'next best thing', they forget that the joy is in the journey.......

::shrug:: Life is a learning experience. Mine happens to be centered around learning more about the making and drinking of mead right now, but to do that, I'm discovering that the easiest path happens to be through learning about making and drinking wine, because there is so much info out there. As I learn, I'll be translating it over to my mead experiences and using it to help folks here.

And the fringe benefits are great, I figure I'll be able to make better decisions on my wine choices while eating out, and will be better equipped to stock my (hopefully soon to be done) wine cellar room with wines I enjoy and that my friends will enjoy. To heck with collecting for the sake of collecting, I just want a cellar that will always produce something I want to drink, no matter *what* is is......

Vicky - up late testing the new forum software....

wildaho
03-09-2008, 06:33 AM
I've taken scotch tasting seminars, to learn about the differences. All this because I'm a curious sort. *Love* my Glenmorangie 10 yr Port Cask aged.....

::snip::

And the fringe benefits are great, I figure I'll be able to make better decisions on my wine choices while eating out, and will be better equipped to stock my (hopefully soon to be done) wine cellar room with wines I enjoy and that my friends will enjoy. To heck with collecting for the sake of collecting, I just want a cellar that will always produce something I want to drink, no matter *what* is is......

Vicky - up late testing the new forum software....


But have you tried the 18 year old Glen Morangie? I would whore myself for that one, seriously. And the 25 year old is even better... Glen Morangie is my favorite scotch. My favorite whisky, period!

And I love your point on your potential cellar. It should be things that YOU enjoy, not something to impress other people (even though I've got almost 300 different beers up to 15 years old and a dozen different meads in mine -- I've never bothered with wines). I wouldn't age them if I didn't enjoy them or think that they will improve.

webmaster
03-09-2008, 11:09 AM
But have you tried the 18 year old Glen Morangie? I would whore myself for that one, seriously. And the 25 year old is even better... Glen Morangie is my favorite scotch. My favorite whisky, period!

And I love your point on your potential cellar. It should be things that YOU enjoy, not something to impress other people (even though I've got almost 300 different beers up to 15 years old and a dozen different meads in mine -- I've never bothered with wines). I wouldn't age them if I didn't enjoy them or think that they will improve.


Oh yeah. I can't usually afford to *buy* them, but I've had generous friends share their with me. Yeah, I'd sell my body for those....LOL

Oskaar
03-09-2008, 11:45 AM
Heh heh heh

Oskaar <------- Has a bottle of 1971 Glen Morangie on his bar. It is just that awesome

Launce,

No worries dude, you didn't upset me, I'm just pressing out my experience with snobbery in all the fermented beverage branches.

Cheers,

Oskaar

webmaster
03-09-2008, 12:52 PM
*You* are *so* gonna get smacked next time I see you :pottytrain2:

Launce, don't listen to him, LOL. He is *such* a wine snob...ask him a wine question, but don't do it unless you've got some time, he'll give you chapter and verse......::grinning, ducking & running::

::sigh:: Now I'm gonna have to use the grocery budget to get me another bottle of Glen......

Launcelot
03-09-2008, 06:14 PM
I have been accused of being an anti-wine snob, oh no, I have a *decent* selection, and as soon as the remodel is done, I will have a lovely conversion under my stairs that is intended for bulk aging and to hold a cellar.

If anyone ever wants to have a lovely little experience with the varieties of rum however, I have the collection for it. I don't have a selection of aged beers, probably because beer doesn't last that long around my place. (not that I drink that much, but every weekend, all summer long it is Bbq and giving the ladies off from cooking me and my bud take over both nights and grill/Bbq like madmen.)

Past all that I have no problem with it, I have some experience with wine, for a few years I worked as a waiter in a decent restaurant, I never developed a like for wine, but I did learn a bit about the process of tasting.

All things said, currently I am working on building up a larder of mead, my first show mead is on oak until later today, and I have to say, while I prefer things that are not this dry, it has gotten rave reviews.

For now however, I will wander back off to my man cave and keep myself quiet for the nonce.

--L

webmaster
03-09-2008, 06:49 PM
I'm into some wines, and freely admit that my tastes run to country wines. I'm pretty sure that Oskaar just sighs and shakes his head sadly when we're talking about wine, LOL. He comes from a family that has been making wine for generations, so its in his blood.

I know I'm giving him a hard time, but to be completely honest, a lot of what I know about wine is directly attributable to him being patient enough with my questions. And he's used his wine knowledge to show me some mead techniques that are *very* cool and help the process *immensely*. He's posted a lot of it in the patron sections.

I'm just a hick from the backwoods of Michigan, now living in the boonies in North Carolina. I'm just a peasant, I'm afraid, LOL.

What sort of rums are you into? My hubby and I both love rum, and are always on the lookout for our next favorite. Our regular rum is usually Mount Gay Sugar Cane. We've a friend who is into Sailor Jerry. I don't like it as much, it is way too strong for me.

ken_schramm
03-10-2008, 09:45 PM
I like good mead, good wine, good Scotch, good Bourbon - I'm even fond of good gin. I don't see any reason to dismiss any of the better things life has to offer. My daughter and I just got back from Germany, and the beers were spectacular. I wish we could have brought home more.

More than anything, I am extremely fond of the learning process. When I have learned all there is to know about finding better foods and drinks, it will be time to die. I don't foresee that happening any time soon. Until then, I am keeping an open mind and an open mouth.

KDS

Launcelot
03-10-2008, 09:57 PM
I love the process of learning, but I will say, while I enjoyed the process of figuring out what I was tasting exactly, the whole wine community left me cold, and even in enjoying the tasting process, I would taste wine for the experience, but drinking it regularly has literally zero appeal.

--L

webmaster
03-10-2008, 10:31 PM
Ah, but there are so *many* wines to try! Don't fall into the same trap that Mr. Day did and let the entire beverage fall from your life just because you haven't found the right one(s) yet. Example: Up until a few years ago, I would've *never* drunk a merlot, because all the ones I tried were *nasty* to me. So I avoided them, and told anyone who asked that they just didn't interest me. Then my friends Elizabeth and David had us to visit them in their place in Montana.

They happen to be 'wine explorers' (those who seek out various kinds of wine with an eye to see what turns up), and like merlots in particular. When they find a new wine, they try it and take notes in a notebook they keep in the kitchen for that purpose, so they'll be able to track back and find the ones they liked to buy again (good idea, I've adopted it). Anyway, they had this merlot, and they and my husband tackled it with gusto, being that they all like them. I demurred, citing my oft repeated 'I don't like merlot' line. They insisted. So, I gave in and tried it. It was *fantastic*. Full bodied, well balanced, and dry without seeming dry. It left me wanting more. There were so many flavors going on in it, I wanted to keep drinking it just to keep experiencing the various tastes it presented.

Needless to say, I've changed my tune about wine from my stance of 'yeah, whatever, make me a rum & coke please' attitude of my younger years. Now I'm learning that I *adore* tawny ports, and that there are chardonnays I love, and ones I hate (I like Aussie chards better than California, on the average). I've learned that most of the French wines I've had leave me cold, but that German wines are quite nice (for me), and I *really* like icewine. I'm not fond of merlots in general, but there are a couple I've had that are really good.

Don't pay any attention to the wine 'community'. Like any group, they've their share of nose-in-the-air purists, and in the wine world, they tend to be a bit loud about it. I ignore them completely, and let my nose and my taste buds tell me what to buy. Let 'em keep their fancy (and often nasty) wines that are 'cool' because Wine Spectator said so. I'll take the ones I *like*, nevermind what they say!

When I go home to visit my family in northern Michigan in June, I usually make a stop at this eclectic little shop on Lake Michigan that carries all manner of wines, beers and liquors. I've found nifty local cherry wines (it *is* cherry country), meads, wines with names I can't pronounce and styles I know nothing about, and liqueurs made from all sorts of interesting things. I always end up getting several bottles of various and sundry, and still have a bottle of this cherry port I can't get enough of......

Meanwhile, I've had my former negative attitude towards beer turned around by my beer-nut friends. Found that I'm pretty cool with Belgians, and ginger wheat is yummy. I don't care for stouts and porters, but love a good brown ale. I'm nuts for fruited wheat beers, and indifferent about Scottish ale.

I'm with Ken. Much of the fun in life is the experience and the journey, and when there is nothing left to learn, its time to lay down and let them bury me......

Vicky - who bought a bottle of 'two buck Chuck' from Trader Joes to see what all the fuss was about (and landed another tawny port for my hubby and I to enjoy while I was at it)

skunkboy
03-10-2008, 10:47 PM
If you like ice wine a lot, you should keep your eyes out for Botrytis style wine. A sweet dessert wine created
with the help of a fungus which dries out the grapes, instead of having them frozen.

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/author/sweetnoble.shtml

webmaster
03-10-2008, 11:01 PM
I've heard about this, read an article a while back about it, but haven't tried it yet. I'll have to hunt down a bottle...

Launcelot
03-10-2008, 11:06 PM
I don't have any problem with the exploration, and while if I ever find a wine that I want a full glass of I will happily include it in my standing cabinet, to date with hundreds of samples, not one has sparked enough interest to actually pour an entire glass.

Mead however has managed to more than capture my attention, so far the only one I have tasted that I really didn't like was my own pineapple concoction... and I have put that up with a note to try it again in a couple of years.

I will keep on looking and tasting and enjoying life. I started down this path with the intention of enjoying the process. Which so far has been going rather well.

Oh, and for the Record... Ken, it's all your fault... I saw your book on the shelf at a local bookstore (I live in the tri-valley, the "other" california wine country) and without buying it whipped out a batch a few weeks later. Then I went back and bought the book.

--L

webmaster
03-10-2008, 11:36 PM
LOL, yeah, Ken has been the instigator of quite a few new addicts to meadmaking........(stop rolling your eyes, Ken).

Butterlily, we went wildly off-topic here, but if you'd like to try a good selection of commercial meads, check out http://www.honeywine.com. Julia Herz runs it, and she's got a great selection of meads there and can ship to more than half the US states.

In particular I recommend the Mountain Meadows products (CA) and the Sky River meads (CO). Both are made by folks with a true dedication to creating a great mead, and they've both won medals with their wares. My particular favorite is Mountain Meadows Spice Nectar, a metheglin made with a mountain wildflower honey that has a spicy nature, and enhanced with cinnamon and other yummy flavors. I snag this whenever I can find it. Sky River has a traditional mead that they offer in dry, medium and sweet, and is a great example of how to make a good traditional.

If you want different, try Makana Meadery's chile mead. It's a palate killer (*hot!!!*), so don't plan on drinking anything else after it, but is a really excellent mead (of course, you gotta like peppers. This will make you sweat!). Garth Cambray, the owner of Makana (see an article about him on the front page of Gotmead) is actually doing his doctoral thesis on fermentation.

UprightJoe
03-10-2008, 11:50 PM
I love scotch, irish whisky, and bourbon. They're really my first love. Wine and mead are a distant second with beer pulling up 3rd. If it were legal to distill in this country, I'd be visiting www.gotwhisky.com right now :)

I'll have to give Glenmorangie another go - I wasn't super impressed by it the last time I tried it. Of course, I probably wasn't drinking the 18 or 25. I was probably drinking whatever their younger bottle is (12-year I assume). I've got a 21 year Glenlivet in the liquor cabinet that is mighty nice. I was also super impressed by a 15 year Dalwhine I tried recently. I'll be picking up a bottle of that the next time I see it. I don't know how that one eluded me in the past. I've had Dalwhine at least twice that I can think of and I don't remember it tasting remotely like what I just had. I wonder if I was getting screwed by the bar where I drank it.

I used to drink the Macallen 25 by the glass on special occasions when we still had a scotch and cigar bar in town. I remember thinking how outrageous it was that it cost $250 per bottle. Now I'd kill for it at that price. I haven't had the pleasure of a snort of that stuff in years now. Hopefully the price comes down again to where I can afford it again someday.

Luckily bourbon and irish whisky haven't skyrocketed in price (yet). There are good bottles to be had for less than $30 if you know what to buy :).

wayneb
03-11-2008, 12:09 AM
I agree with you, Joe, about the Irish whiskeys. Fortunately pot still whiskey hasn't caught the world's fancy yet, so I can still afford them (and some are pretty darned good)! :D

But I have to admit that my first loves in fermented beverages are good quality Zins or Cabernets. I admit that I enjoy wines and meads more than any other fermented or distilled drinks, and there's an ever widening choice of styles, origins, and varieties to sample. I doubt that I'll ever taste enough that I'll run out of new things to try! ;D

My goal when I first started meadmaking was to produce meads of similar richness, balance and complexity to the better red wines that I've had, but I'm not there yet. I drink and enjoy some commercial meads, but few hold a candle to the better home produced meads that I've had.

Oskaar
03-11-2008, 12:36 AM
If you like ice wine a lot, you should keep your eyes out for Botrytis style wine. A sweet dessert wine created
with the help of a fungus which dries out the grapes, instead of having them frozen.

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/author/sweetnoble.shtml


Vicky,

Try the Grgich Hills Late Harvest Gewurztraminer or the Late Harvest Johannesburg Riesling they're both usually pretty stellar. Botrytis (noble rot) is a wonderful thing and is what really make the French Sauternes so highly prized.

Cheers,

Oskaar

akueck
03-11-2008, 01:00 AM
Vicky you should try some Auslese or "higher" (beeren auslese or trocken beren auslese) Rieslings. In the direction of icewine without the freezing. And our friend the fungus is usually involved to varying degrees. I'll have to look up the ones they gave us in wine class next time my notes are handy.

wildaho
03-11-2008, 01:55 AM
You know, back when I had my beer bar, all the people from the best distributor in town (all the best beers and most of the good wines, wines being their emphasis) always tried to convert me to wine. "You have the most incredible palate in town", they said "Why don't you specialize in wine?"

To which I replied: "I can appreciate wine but I don't enjoy it." And it's true. There is a lot I can appreciate about wine but it just doesn't do it for me in the long run. I find more complexity and variety in beer (and for a hell of a lot better price) than I do in wine.

Five and half years later (since the bar closed), the same people, when sampling a new beer or wine at my store, are trying to tell me the same thing. "You can pick out the most subtle nuance, I never noticed that until you mentioned it." Uh hem, power of suggestion maybe? I like what I like and I taste what I taste, wine or beer whatever.

Three or four people brought me their meads to try in the bar. Most of them used acid blend and it took a year or so of fermentation (they didn't know the tricks we all know here). They were enjoyable but didn't really do much for me.

My first homemade mead (a crabapple cyser) needed no acid and I was hooked. It's not wine, it's not beer; it's just *effing* delicious. So much range for subtlety and flavor! I've been hooked ever since. I haven't given up on beer, I've just got a beverage that I think I like even more now.

Don't get me wrong! I said earlier that I would whore myself for the 18 year old Glen Morangie and I mean that (Oskaar, what are you doing tonight big fella?). I went through a whiskey/whisky phase there for a while and I still enjoy a proper one.

While the GM is still my favorite Scotch, I do appreciate the Irish's and Bourbons now. Pot Stilled is not the way to go Wayne. Single malts kick ass on Irish like they do on Scotches. For day to day, I like Bushmill's, a blend of single malt and pot still. And their single malt is supreme. Jameson's (too sweet to my taste) is a blend of pot still mixed with grain alchohol. We should do a seperate thread on the vagaries between brands.

Bourbons are the same way. If I have to, I'll drink Jim Beam. But give me a Bookers any day! Now that's a bourbon! So caramelly and rich. A Maker's Mark is okay and so is a Bakers but give me a Bookers any day!

And with all my whiskeys, just a single ice cube please. A little bit of water "opens" up the whiskey but too much will drown it out.

Okay, enough rambling for now...

Summersolstice
03-11-2008, 07:26 AM
I'm pretty sure that Oskaar just sighs and shakes his head sadly when we're talking about wine, LOL. He comes from a family that has been making wine for generations, so its in his blood.

Oskaar makes a Zinfandel to die for. Funny, but when I attend the after hours parties at Meadfest (after a long evening of sampling some of the best commercial meads available) it's always that Zin I ask for!


What sort of rums are you into? My hubby and I both love rum, and are always on the lookout for our next favorite. Our regular rum is usually Mount Gay Sugar Cane. We've a friend who is into Sailor Jerry. I don't like it as much, it is way too strong for me.


Vicky, I don't think you can get it on the East Coast but next time you're in California you might try to find a bottle of Tanduay Rhum. I only have a couple of bottles left so I've been rationing it! Yes, it may be a sin to not drink it neat but I like mine with mango juice. http://www.tanduay.com/tdycentennial.htm

Angus
03-11-2008, 07:52 AM
I am learning more all the time about the wines that I prefer. Not dry, fruity, good body. Ice Wine is wonderful, but so expensive! Because I have never really liked wine, up until recently, I do not read the critics, or follow the trends. Instead, I tend to taste wines that friends have and see what I like. John Cleese put it perfectly when he said the best wine in the world is the one you like.

As for Whiskey, not at all!! For some reason I just do not like the taste. Bourbon, Scotch, all the same to me. Now I do not mean they taste the same. Just that I do not like any of them. In fact, I like very few distilled drinks. Except for Rum. Now there is a drink that I can obsess over. In fact, if there is anything that can compete with my love of beer, it is Rum. Current favorite, Ron Zacapa Centenario 23. Truly, the best Rum in the world (in my opinion).

Angus

UprightJoe
03-11-2008, 09:56 AM
And with all my whiskeys, just a single ice cube please. A little bit of water "opens" up the whiskey but too much will drown it out.

Based on the looks I generally get from bartenders and waiters, I thought I was the only one who drank my whiskey this way. :) There are a few that I'll drink without any ice - mostly the darker, richer, more caramely (Is that a word?) whiskeys. I like 95% of my whiskey with one ice cube though.

My everyday whiskey recently has been Tulamore Dew. I can't really get into Jameson's either. My mother-in-law always makes Manhattans with Jim Beam and I have to admit, I've grown to like them a lot. I generally don't drink it straight though. Most recently I've been drinking Basil Hayden and Woodford Reserve in the bourbon realm though I've been trying a new bourbon almost weekly this year. Either my local liquor stores are increasing their selections or a lot of new products are hitting the market. This week, I'll be trying the 10 year, single barrel, Eagle Rare from the Buffalo Trace guys. I tried Buffalo Trace a couple of weeks ago - it's not bad but it tasted really grassy to me. I liked it but I don't see myself drinking it very often.

A buddy of mine is working on getting us a bottle of the 20 or 23 year Pappy Van Winkle. I can't wait to try that. It's virtually impossible to find around here but I think he found somebody willing to special order it for us.

wayneb
03-11-2008, 01:04 PM
While the GM is still my favorite Scotch, I do appreciate the Irish's and Bourbons now. Pot Stilled is not the way to go Wayne. Single malts kick ass on Irish like they do on Scotches. For day to day, I like Bushmill's, a blend of single malt and pot still. And their single malt is supreme. Jameson's (too sweet to my taste) is a blend of pot still mixed with grain alchohol. We should do a seperate thread on the vagaries between brands.

Okay, enough rambling for now...


But with only three commercial distillers licensed for export out of Ireland these days, how do you get your hands on a proper selection of single-malts from there? I enjoyed some of the Irish single malts that I tried when I was in Ireland (back in the 80's -- too long a time ago), but I've never seen any of them on the shelves at my local Liquor stores.

Pot still labels like Connemara are still better than the blended excrement, such as baseline Jameson's, Tullamore Phew, and Bushmill's bland, that most folks mistake for Irish whiskey -- and I can get some locally. (I will update with a note here that I have not tried Bushmill's single malts. The Black is a tolerable blend, but if I should spend the extra $$ for a 12 or 16 year old Bushmill's malt IYO, I'll give 'em a shot sometime.)

Oskaar
03-11-2008, 02:49 PM
Hmmm, thought I had a better picture of my bar out there, but this will have to do for now until I have time to get a better shot. If you look hard you'll find the Glen Morangie bottle, but I can't see the label, there's Booker's and Knob Creek as well, Maker's and some Bushmill bland, etc.

See here (http://www.cyberclan.net/brew/BarDown.jpg)

Cheers,

Oskaar

wayneb
03-11-2008, 03:02 PM
Nice spread! Another reason to drive down to Anaheim when I'm next in LA! :drunken_smilie:

Oskaar
03-11-2008, 03:46 PM
Oskaar makes a Zinfandel to die for. Funny, but when I attend the after hours parties at Meadfest (after a long evening of sampling some of the best commercial meads available) it's always that Zin I ask for!

Aw shucks, thanks for the shout out SS! :wave:

Missed you this year dude! I did see you on the Thunderhead website though! Your fanbase is expanding past me! Congrats again on the very fine Pyment that won gold this year at the HMMC!! Trevor was totally stoked for you.

Oskaar

wildaho
03-11-2008, 05:28 PM
But with only three commercial distillers licensed for export out of Ireland these days, how do you get your hands on a proper selection of single-malts from there? I enjoyed some of the Irish single malts that I tried when I was in Ireland (back in the 80's -- too long a time ago), but I've never seen any of them on the shelves at my local Liquor stores.

Pot still labels like Connemara are still better than the blended excrement, such as baseline Jameson's, Tullamore Phew, and Bushmill's bland, that most folks mistake for Irish whiskey -- and I can get some locally. (I will update with a note here that I have not tried Bushmill's single malts. The Black is a tolerable blend, but if I should spend the extra $$ for a 12 or 16 year old Bushmill's malt IYO, I'll give 'em a shot sometime.)


I found the Bushmills 10 and 16 year old single malts in my local liquor store about a month ago. The 10 was $35/fifth and the 16 was I think $47. I opted for the 10 (green label) and was verrrrrrry pleased!

Lew Bryson had a great interview with the distiller from Bushmill on his STAG blog a while back. He goes into the differences between malt whisky, pot distilled and grain spirits and how the different distillers go about building the different types. Bryson also recently interviewed the distiller from Jamesons but hasn't got that one posted yet.

wayneb
03-11-2008, 05:48 PM
Hmmm... I'll have to look for those Bushmill single malts then! Have you ever tried the Connemara? Although it is a pot still mix, it has a nice smoky, peaty note that reminds me of some Scotch single malts that I've tried.

I wish I had the time and budget to sample more Scotch single malts -- my exposure is limited to maybe a half dozen or so, but my favorite of the ones I've sampled so far has to be the first that I ever had, a 15 year-old Laphroaig that I first tasted back in 1982. Yeah - I like them dark, intense and complex! :D

butterlily5
03-13-2008, 03:47 PM
Sorry it's late, but Thanks, Vicky!
I will difinitely look into that, and the meaderies you mentioned; If I can, I'll try to go directly to the meadery.

As for the rest of this thread, I was at my LHBS this weekend, gabbing (can't get away from there, don't know why....) and some guy mentioned he had read this article, and I had to apologize to him. I'm a decent parrot, so I'm glad I had been following this thread (and the others) about the article, and myself and my LHBS guy assured him that the author did more to show his ignorance on the subject than to inform others. And I let him know that, although there's a severe vacuum of good meads in the area (I've only been able to find Chaucer's so far), I urged him to do a google search for meaderies and find one he can get to. So here's hoping for another convert!

You guys lost me a while back with the whiskey line. I used to be a much heavier drinker than I am now (any good squid has to be!), and with all the wine tasting my self and my wonderful husband have done, my true appreciation was brought around by a Pieroth wine distributer housed next door to my husband's office (he's since gone), and boy, that's some amazing stuff! My husband fell in love with their 2004 Freinsheimer Rosenbuhl Eiswein-Pfalz (aka icewine) which I'm under the impression is no longer widely available. I've come to find that anything Reisling is my wine of choice.

As for liquors, I'm a Tequila girl myself. Haven't found one I don't like yet. But, I don't drink much at all of anything any more. I drink vodka when I'm sick, that's the most in one sitting I do. Sad. Can't wait till my meads are done! :D

webmaster
03-13-2008, 04:25 PM
You are entirely welcome, Butterlily. I wouldn't worry about apologizing to folks for Day's lack of research, just send them here. If they spend a few minutes on GM, they'll realize that there's more to mead than the ramblings of one person who didn't research his subject first. Shame, that. GM benefited from it, we got an upsurge in traffic for a few days, and hopefully a few more people learned something about mead. But Day did himself and the readership of Slate a disservice.

Send your friend here to look for meaderies:
http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_sobi&catid=91&Itemid=44

::shaking head:: Amazing what you can find on the *website* (website, what website you say?). Y'know, that place called Gotmead.com? LOL....... :icon_salut:

wayneb
03-13-2008, 05:21 PM
::shaking head:: Amazing what you can find on the *website* (website, what website you say?). Y'know, that place called Gotmead.com? LOL....... :icon_salut:



Oh! You're talking about all that stuff on the pages surrounding the forum!! ;D

Uh-oh!! Now I've done it... :help:

:laughing7:

ken_schramm
03-19-2008, 08:33 PM
So if you haven't been following Phil Dunlap's "Ink Pen," you gotta get on board with this week's strips. He's riffing on the article in "Slate." He even alluded to the comment on Roquefort in my reply in the discussion forum in this strip (http://www.gocomics.com/inkpen/2008/03/18/?campid=0&ssns=9&). This is great. I don't know if I'm supposed to be flattered, but I am.

It doesn't matter if he's making fun of mead. Or me. He's talking about it, and that's all that matters.

I've never been alluded to in a United Press Syndicated comic before. Sorry, but I think that's cool.

Ken

Launcelot
03-19-2008, 08:41 PM
Ok, at the next gathering, book two chairs for Ken... He ego will be riding shotgun..

Sorry brother, I had to say it...

In any case, yeah, we actually have a thread going elsewhere where you were quoted and it was commented that it was very obviously a reference to ya.

Good on ya brother, you are all famous and stuff.

--L

webmaster
03-19-2008, 09:00 PM
I am *so* cracking up here!!! That strip is a hoot. He may be funning on mead, but I *love* that he's talking about, and not just for one strip, but *3* so far.......

I also think its interesting that he alludes to your response to the article, Ken, rather than the article itself. Shows how much of his ignorance Day displayed that the responses are what is informative, not the article itself......again, way to go, Ken!

(Funny, you've never brought out the furs and Viking helmet tho.....I though that was Glens' thing) :tongue3:

ken_schramm
03-19-2008, 09:32 PM
Ok, at the next gathering, book two chairs for Ken... He ego will be riding shotgun...(snip)

Good on ya brother, you are all famous and stuff.


No worries here, mate. My ego is regularly kept in check by the typical interchange on the plane as I fly to another mead speaking appearance:

Guy next to me: "Business or pleasure?"

Me: "I'm going to give a presentation. I wrote a book on Mead."

Guy next to me: "You wrote a book on Meat? Like Steaks and stuff?"

Me: "No, Mead. It's Honey Wine..."

The flight attendants are indifferent and unimpressed, and sell more Bud Light. The conversation shifts to sports.

Ken

webmaster
03-19-2008, 10:54 PM
LOL....yeah, I think I'm going to have to make a t-shirt about that......

"Mead, its like, honey wine, ya know?" or maybe just a picture of glass of mead and a picture of a cow inside a circle with a line through it......

My conversations tend to go more like:

Other person: Where are you going?
Me: To judge at a commercial mead competition.
Them: Meat?
Me: No, mead. With a 'd'. It's a honey wine.
Them: Oh, like that viking thing. Is it like beer?
Me: No, it's a wine made with honey instead of grapes....
Them: (in triumph) Like Beowulf! (or Thirteenth Warrior or whatever periodish flick they saw with mead in it)
Me: Um, yeah. Like that.

Vicky - "Mead, its that Beowulf thing" (t-shirt coming soon :icon_pirat:)

Launcelot
03-20-2008, 12:13 AM
Ok, I have to say, of all the things I have done in life... I never expected making mead to be one that got me a lot of attention.

So, couple days ago, I met this nice lass, she's a chef... I was like "cool, she cooks".

We had a longish conversation over drinks, and discussed wines and beers, and I mention I make mead...

Yeah, conversation went much like the previous ones, then she asked what it tasted like... AH HAH! Second date scored.

Second date...

I give her some of my finest...

Evidently I did something right, she is completely hooked...

Oskaar, Ken... Folks, you two get a free meal on me next time we bump into one another... Ken for kicking off the actual process of thinking through how to do it... Oskaar for coming up with the reminder that I need to stick to traditional ones first.. because a oaked show mead just managed to score more points than I ever thought it would ::laughing::

--L

gbobeck
03-20-2008, 02:54 AM
LOL....yeah, I think I'm going to have to make a t-shirt about that......

"Mead, its like, honey wine, ya know?" or maybe just a picture of glass of mead and a picture of a cow inside a circle with a line through it......


Lol. For some odd reason, this is the first thing which came to mind...
http://picasaweb.google.com/gbobeck/Mead/photo#5179702901903602850

CBiebel
03-20-2008, 03:49 AM
I've had similar experiences in the liquor store where I work. One time I asked one of the beer saleswomen if she had ever tried mead. She started laughing. I asked her why, and she said, "Have I ever tried meat?"

I had to explain that I had said "mead" with a "d."

Then I asked one of the wine salesmen if he had heard of mead. He said, "Oh yeah! We sell that. The company is called Bunratty..."

The funniest part was when my bosses asked me what mead tasted like, and I said, "Well, it doesn't really taste like anything else. It tastes like mead." (I kind of explained it using Sake. People ask what Sake tastes like, but it has its own taste, so you say, "It tastes like Sake....")

Well, we ended up going to their house for a party and I brought a bottle of Redstone Mountain Honeywine. I gave them a sample and asked them what it tasted like. They said it wasn't like anything they've had before. Like I said, mead tastes like mead... ;)

BTW, I once had my neighbor (a regular wine drinker) try some mead "blind" (I just poured it and said "Try this and tell me what you think it is"). She guessed Gewurztraminer (assuming it was a wine). I guess I converted her a bit because she ended up buying a bottle of the Redstone Mountain Honeywine for her niece for Christmas. She says she's waiting to taste my homemade stuff when it's ready.

CBiebel
03-20-2008, 03:59 AM
Oskaar for coming up with the reminder that I need to stick to traditional ones first.. because a oaked show mead just managed to score more points than I ever thought it would ::laughing::

--L


Well, I have to comment on this one. My nephew got us hooked and we've only done traditional meads with him (although I did a couple of JAOs). When I've presented some other mead styles (like the Redstone Vanilla/Cinnamon Meth) to my sister-in-law, her reaction was always "Why mess with a good thing? Nick's traditional mead is so much better than the this stuff..."

wayneb
03-20-2008, 11:38 AM
Absolutely the only way to get people to know what you're talking about is to offer them a taste or two of some of your own. I've won over the whole office to mead as a special occasion drink. I brought a few bottles of my stuff to our Halloween party last year, and I was asked to bring more for Christmas, and now I'm on the hook to bring a case down for every office party. Once people try it, most can't get enough of the stuff. :drunken_smilie:

gbobeck
03-21-2008, 03:10 AM
Absolutely the only way to get people to know what you're talking about is to offer them a taste or two of some of your own. I've won over the whole office to mead as a special occasion drink. I brought a few bottles of my stuff to our Halloween party last year, and I was asked to bring more for Christmas, and now I'm on the hook to bring a case down for every office party. Once people try it, most can't get enough of the stuff. :drunken_smilie:


I agree. I was able to convert a few people in my research lab by offering a sample of my own. The professor I work for is considering taking up home brewing because of it, and one of my fellow lab workers shocked me by saying that mead was the first wine he actually liked.

Launcelot
03-21-2008, 03:58 PM
I had one person look at a glass and say "I don't like white wine" I explained it wasn't wine...

It took a little nudging, but now I have to crack a bottle at every visit...

Good thing I have the habit of big batches...

So, Oskaar, if I have to start storing in the un-temp controlled garage for bulk aging, is that a problem?

::grins::

--L

webmaster
03-21-2008, 04:12 PM
Wayne, like all alcoholic beverages, temperature changes affect the taste of the drink. Leaving mead (or wine/beer/liquour/etc.) in an uncontrolled environment risks the mead. I store mine in my basement, which stays between 68-72 year-round.

I wouldn't recommend bulk aging in a non-controlled environment, especially if you expect it to get warmer than cellar temps for any length of time.

Vicky - who paid (and then regretted it) for a glass of what turned out to be a really crappy riesling last night when attending a Mannheim Steamroller performance

wayneb
03-21-2008, 06:46 PM
Wayne, like all alcoholic beverages, temperature changes affect the taste of the drink.


I know that.... :laughing7:

webmaster
03-21-2008, 10:11 PM
Sorry....I really have to learn to read slower..... :BangHead:...Launce....I meant Launce....really. I read your response, then his, then, well, you saw. LOL. Hey, whaddya want, I'm a blonde....

On another note, take a look at the Ink Pens' ongoing mead strip:
http://www.gocomics.com/inkpen/2008/03/21/

I know he's capping on our favorite drink, but I've been getting some laughs from the series......

wayneb
03-22-2008, 01:17 AM
Sorry....I really have to learn to read slower..... :BangHead:...Launce....I meant Launce....really. I read your response, then his, then, well, you saw. LOL. Hey, whaddya want, I'm a blonde....

On another note, take a look at the Ink Pens' ongoing mead strip:
http://www.gocomics.com/inkpen/2008/03/21/

I know he's capping on our favorite drink, but I've been getting some laughs from the series......


ROTFL!!!

No worries. It's kinda like the way I type after I've had a few glasses of our favorite beverage!! I've gone back over some of those postings... :tard:

webmaster
03-22-2008, 11:33 AM
I had no excuse, I posted that *before* I racked (and tasted) the JAO and the meadowfoam mead yesterday :tongue3:.

After plowing through tax paperwork today, I'm going to verify that I've enough blueberries, then make Oskaars'
Blueberry Melomel (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=412&topic=6517.msg53634#msg53634)....

I gotta say, since he bugged me into trying the methods he has listed out for his meads in the Patron sections, I have had amazing results. I made an orange blossom traditional and a meadowfoam traditional, and am really impressed with their progress. The orange blossom got pitched mid-January, and is in secondary, and is clean and brilliant with a crisp flavor. The meadowfoam got pitched just after the mead competition in February, and fermented out clean as a whistle, and retained a *lot* of the yummy vanilla character of the meadowfoam. I haven't decided if I'm going to bring that vanilla up some with a bean or two, but both are *seriously* drinkable right now.

I think that the JAO is the most *frustrating* mead I've ever made. God, I *so* wanted to stir it with the rest of my batches!!! I had to hide it so I could just let it sit and not fiddle with it! However, it has dropped clear, and I racked it onto about 3/4 gallon of honey diluted with water (lost some volume to the fruit/etc.) and the pithy nature has gone already, and it has a nice round mouthfeel and is just past medium-sweet. (The guy I'm making it for likes sweet meads).

After that I'm going to make Oskaars' Cherry Cyser (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=412&topic=4504.msg37395#msg37395) (thank you Trader Joes!!!) and a second batch of the Blueberry Mel. And I'm waiting for strawberry season to do a *big* batch of that fantastic strawberry melomel (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=412&topic=6073.0) that took Gold at the International Mead Competition this year....

Vicky - trudging downstairs to tackle tax paperwork, I've delayed long enough.....

Launcelot
03-22-2008, 08:40 PM
You know, when I read that, I saw Wayne's name, and it translated in me head...

::laughing::

So, after a little round of pay the tax man, I am completely bloody broke until payday... At which point I am ordering honey, putting new tires on the car, and hopefully getting my new "Carnivore Special" off the ground and into primary.

Ok, so long story short... I need to build an enclosure in the garage and do my bulk aging there once the weather turns...

--L

wayneb
03-23-2008, 02:11 PM
Yup - I agree with ya, Vicky!! Oskaar deserves a huge amount of credit for bringing me up to the current state of the art, and making my meads better for it! He, Ken and Hightest have given me the jumpstart that I needed to change decades of ingrained habits, and I am glad I did so!!

But although I appreciate and utilize the advances in technique that I've learned from those guys, I'll still keep coming up with my own recipes. We've got to preserve a little "genetic diversity" in the hobby, after all!! :laughing7:

osluder
01-03-2009, 05:18 PM
What sort of rums are you into? My hubby and I both love rum, and are always on the lookout for our next favorite. Our regular rum is usually Mount Gay Sugar Cane.

I'm a big fan of Bajan (Barbadian) rums myself. My personal favorite for day-to-day drinking when I can get it is Cockspur, but Mount Gay Eclipse or Sugar Cane are more readily available to me. The Mount Gay Extra Old (17 yo!) is outstanding if you can find it. I happened upon a bottle of Cockspur 12 on a recent trip to Ottawa.

I also like

Appleton Estate Extra (Jamaica; 12 yo)
Ron del Barrilito (Puerto Rico; 6-10 yo)



I like mine with mango juice.

I love rum with orange juice myself. Started drinking it in 1990 when I worked in Barbados for a few months and it's still my favorite mixed drink. I think I'll have one now! ;D

-- Olen

crisp
10-11-2010, 05:00 AM
I'm a big fan of Bajan (Barbadian) rums myself. My personal favorite for day-to-day drinking when I can get it is Cockspur, but Mount Gay Eclipse or Sugar Cane are more readily available to me. The Mount Gay Extra Old (17 yo!) is outstanding if you can find it. I happened upon a bottle of Cockspur 12 on a recent trip to Ottawa.

I also like

Appleton Estate Extra (Jamaica; 12 yo)
Ron del Barrilito (Puerto Rico; 6-10 yo)




I love rum with orange juice myself. Started drinking it in 1990 when I worked in Barbados for a few months and it's still my favorite mixed drink. I think I'll have one now! ;D

-- Olen

AH! that brings back some memories!

HoneyQueen
12-13-2010, 01:24 AM
Hello Mr. Schramm and Mistress Vicky and Oskaar and everyone-I am 'new' but I want to say-I got my nerve up and made a Mead! I am so excited! It is a Heavy and Sweet Mead-but it will knock you flat after one tall glass. Here is how I made it-BTW thanks for letting me post right away-I promise to totally respect all my elders in the mead -making lifestyle and the Newbies just learning like me. (I looked for and found Mr. Schramms excellent book-very wonderful! Thank you!)

Ok-'How I made my first Mead:

BACKSTORY-One of my sons heard about the 'Honeybee Hive Collapse' awhile back and unbejknowst to me-he invested his paycheck and bought up Honey as fast as he could. Several Moons Later-he thought I knew about it-but then realized that since I didn't 'prowl' or investigate my children's rooms.-I had no clue..He rewarded Mama for helping him when he had a job gap-by giving me ALL the HONEY when he moved away for his new job! Wow! I was excited! Enough honey to be a serious brewer-beer is interesting too-BTW-just luck I got going with Mead due to an excess of honey-I'd neverhad it but once and wasn't real hot on it-honestly-but mine is really just like I like my drinks-heavy weight and sweet.

So-IN SUM-I began plotting immediately-"make Mead-Make Mead" but HOW? Start Internet Search-Ok ASSIGN HUBBS the 'task' for I cook and clean and work and chauffeuer family members routinely. Okay Hubbs gets me RECIPE! I am so excited I begin that very night at 10:30 P.M. (after picking Hubbs up from work late night)

Boil water-dip all utensils wash hands run back and forth to computer to read recipe-DAMN! NO ORANGES! $h*t! Substitute to buy time-ground orange peel-OLD-Vanilla and cinnamon-RAISINS (OLD too!) YEAST: RED STAR-ANCIENT! But refridgerated for years-Honey OLD too (remember I said he bought it up-and by the time I knew about it some had crystallized.) Anyway...I boiled the water I wanted to use-poured in about 1 and 1/2 pounds of honey and the H2O less than one gallon, into a clean 1 Gallon container & about a tablespoon or more or LESS Red Star Yeast-about 30 Raisins, Two bags of black tea tossed in, Vanilla, Cinnamon-one WHOLE STICK of it-a day later got hold of an orange-rinsed it and microwaved it briefly just to certain bacteria were dead on it-squished it and threw it in a day after I got everything together and a few days later threw in some more raisins-not really believing this would all really work. I used a hair-dye latex glove-poked pinprick holes in each finger and the thumb of it-capped it onto old gallon jug with hairband of elastic put it on top of my warm friedge and let it 'rest' but checked it and swished it obsessively all the time! It was READY at 3 weeks-Hubbs was BRAVE and 'tasted' it for me-(I was SCARED to!) LOL! Anyhow-I finally 'tasted' it after he didn't DIE-and then was over-joyed! I put it back and let it work for 3 months It was made the last week of August-then Drunk about one month ago or so for the fist time by the glass and now we are drinking it here and there-there are THREE Large skinny wine bottles mostly full (with glove finger tops-unpricked as seals) and three wine-cooler small neck sizes THIS was the Whole batch! It is heavy-very heavy-kicks good-mellow and sweet. YAY! I may have left out an ingredient-but no steps that I can think of. So now-I made a new batch tonight-and added Blueberries! Based on reading the review of the OrangeBlossom/BlueBerry Winner! Mr. Schramm's Book was bought after the first attempt and I feel blessed to have found this book and this SITE-Thank You-HoneyQueen!

HoneyQueen
12-28-2010, 11:11 PM
Miss Rowe is quoted in this article! I just found it tonight and enjoyed it
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L.A, NATION
Mead, drink of vikings, comes out of the Dark Ages
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ALLEN G. BREED

AP National Writer

December 28, 2010, 10:12 a.m.
E-mail Print Text Size sns-ap-us-mead-renaissance
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Mead, that drink of viking saga and medieval verse, is making a comeback. But this ain't your ancestors' honey wine.

ALLEN G. BREED

AP National Writer

December 28, 2010, 10:12

I cannot link it my software is 'glitchey' sorry! But it is a wonderful read!

ken_schramm
01-15-2011, 04:22 PM
Hey Honey Queen;

Thanks for the kind remarks, and welcome to the hobby. Resistance is futile - let the mead flow over you, and enjoy the float down the stream of life.

I hope the book provides you with the start you need. Mr. Schramm is my Dad. I'm Ken, and you should not be deferential unless you have actually seen my garage.