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Sasper
08-21-2009, 12:08 PM
I recall reading somewhere that country wines generally peak in a year and start their decline shortly after that. Why is this different for mead? And also when do specific styles like traditionals, melomels, metheglins etc. generally peak? Thanks.

wayneb
08-21-2009, 12:31 PM
OOH... I don't know that there is such a widely applicable "rule of thumb" for meads. In general, good "wine strength" (i.e. 10-14% ABV) meads will age similarly to good white wines, peaking at about the same time, but in my experience they both hold their peaks and maintain their drinkability, for longer intervals.

In my experience, traditionals will keep for many years, and they will get generally "better" over the course of the first 1-5 years. They hold for an indeterminate while after that.

Melomels are all over the map. Depending on the antioxidant properties of the particular fruit used (as well as on the handling and bottling technique employed by the meadmaker), they can do anything from peak in 3-6 months, to 3-6 years.

Metheglyns are even harder to forecast, since some herbs and spices start to lose presence in a matter of months, while others can get apparently stronger with age.

Sasper
08-21-2009, 03:28 PM
and the antiseptic properties of some spices would keep them even longer right? What is about the fruit that gives it a shorter shelf life? I've decided to bulk age everything at least a year but just wanted to make sure I wouldn't be missing the peak by doing so. Thanks.

wayneb
08-21-2009, 03:54 PM
The aromatic and flavor components of some fruit seem to be less stable than others, or than those contained in honey alone. Notorious for short shelf-life are strawberry melomels, which don't seem to hang in much past a year or two.

Sasper
08-21-2009, 04:00 PM
Strange how that works, I guess its good though melomels to drink while everything else takes its time.