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wildoates
09-07-2010, 08:11 PM
Yep, I'm doing it again, and if you're local enough, you're invited (copied right out of Facebook :)):

If you're a wine lover who has heard of mead but never tried it, now's the time to see what this ancient and elusive beverage has to offer. We'll get together in the early afternoon, sample (and judge) mead throughout the day, and eat a potluck dinner in the evening.

Here's what you need to bring: An appetizer for us to nibble between tastings. A dish for the potluck dinner. And most importantly, a bottle of mead for us to sample and judge.

I suppose you could just go over to Bevmo and pick up a bottle of Chaucers, but I'd much rather you patronize one of the many small meaderies we have in this country. We have two here in Northern California (that I know of) that offer outstanding meads:

Heidrun Meadery (http://www.heidrunmeadery.com/): We had a bottle of their sparkling mead over Christmas and it puts the best champagne I've ever had to shame.

Rabbit's Foot Meadery: (http://www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com/) Not too far from here in Sunnyvale, friendly folks, outstanding mead.

And not so local but still good:

http://www.bnektar.com/r: hailing from Michigan, they have just released a Bourbon Barrel mead that sounds interesting (and lots of other stuff as well!)

Fox Hill (http://www.foxhillmead.com/): we had a bottle of their buckwheat, and if you like that strong smell and flavor, they do a very good job with it. I'd like to try some of their other meads, too


Redstone Meader (http://www.redstonemeadery.com)y: I love their bottles. If anyone brings this to share, I get to keep the bottle! I haven't tried any of Redstone's mead, but I've heard they're very nice.

There are many other meaderies that you can find with a simple internet search, please feel free to add them in the comments, and thank you for patronizing American craftsmen/women. Or, if you make your own mead, bring some of yours, and the American craftsman/woman we support will be you!

Whatever mead you choose, please give it the hobo treatment, that is, completely cover the entire bottle with a paper bag so we can't tell what is inside the bottle. Tape up the top of the bag around the top of the bottle, leaving only enough room to pull the cork and pour. When you arrive, we'll number the bottles so we can have a more or less random, blind tasting. We'll have score sheets, and everyone will rate the meads just like they do at the Mazer Cup (http://www.meadfest.com/)...okay, maybe not JUST like it, as most of us aren't experienced judges. But we'll pretend we are, and score every mead with this scoring sheet (http://www.bjcp.org/docs/SCP_MeadScoreSheet.pdf). We'll add up all the points and see which mead is the best--hopefully there'll be prizes, if we get our butts in gear to assemble some. :)

Around 6 PM or so, we'll lay out the potluck and give our livers the chance to metabolize the alcohol in the mead over good food and good talk.

NOTE about the whole drinking and driving thing: we'll be sampling alcohol all afternoon, and we expect that each of you will be smart about not driving if you've had too much. If necessary you can crash on our floor (bring your camping gear!) or we'll be glad to shuttle you to and from one of two hotels that are nearby (Holiday Inn Express or Hilton Garden Inn, links below).

In the comments, please let us know a) what your appetizer will be, b) what your potluck dish will be, c) any other meadery links, d) if you'll want to crash at our place, or e) if you'll want us to shuttle you from one of the hotels (reservations are on you!). Also, if you have any questions, put them in the comments--I can't be expected to think of EVERYTHING!

Another note on Who I Invited: I am inviting those who have either expressed an interest in my mead or those that I know especially enjoy wine. If you know of someone that would also like to enjoy a mead tasting, by all means invite them--I'm not trying to leave anyone out.

Holiday Inn Express Elk Grove (http://www.hiexpress.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/egvca?&sitrackingid=38031171&sicreative=4309861304&dp=true&sicontent=0&siclientid=1962&cm_guid=1-_-100000000000170757059-_-4309861304&cm_mmc=Google-PS-HolidayInnExpress-_-G+B-AmericasWest-_-CA-Elk+Grove-_-holiday+inn+express+elk+grove%7C-%7C100000000000170757059&creative=4309861304)

Hilton Garden Inn (http://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/hotels/index.jhtml;jsessionid=YLB2CNSJZ2A4YCSGBJC3EWQ?cty hocn=SMFEGGI)

epetkus
09-07-2010, 09:09 PM
Dang!!!

Makes me wish I lived nearby! ;D

Maybe we start up a Fl/South East version of this! 8)

Eric

triarchy
09-07-2010, 09:11 PM
Hmph, my wife and I lived in Folsom for 15 years. I made my first mead there. Now that we have moved to Wisconsin, you throw an awesome sounding party. Perfect! :p Seriously, it sounds great. Kudos to you for going thru all the trouble to host it. I hope it is a smashing success.

wayneb
09-07-2010, 09:51 PM
Aww, Jeeze, Jenn! I wish I could be there!! Sounds like fun!!!

wildoates
09-07-2010, 09:52 PM
Too bad this country is sooo big. :)

skunkboy
09-07-2010, 10:14 PM
Maybe Elk Grove Illinois, but California is a but too far... :-(

Hope you guys get to enjoy some good mead, though... ;-)

akueck
09-07-2010, 11:40 PM
Whooo! I know we've picked up a few more locals since the last tasting. I hope they can make it too. Assuming I have extra when I rack the cacao mead, I'll bring a not-in-a-barrel sample of that with me, and a set of heat/no-heat meads (12 oz bottles unfortunately), and we'll see what else I can dig out of the closet. I think I have a bottle of 2007 oaked cyser somewhere... Oh! I am pretty sure I have a bottle of the cherry cyser; that stuff will floor you, and you might think it tastes ok too. And if it's ready by then, I'll try to remember to bring a bottle of the lambic. No, it's not mead, but if you can't tell I like to share. If you'd let me, I'd bring other beers too.

You've got me wondering about that sparkling mead now too. I've had some pretty nice sparklers from Carneros, one of them is perhaps the best bottle of wine I've ever had (1996 Le Reve, it's in close contention with a Far Niente Chardonnay but how do you compare those two?). You're making someone bring a bottle of the bubbly mead, right? ;)

wildoates
10-09-2010, 06:51 PM
We could all get completely toasted just with what Aaron brings!

akueck
10-19-2010, 12:51 AM
So we're considering day-tripping it up to the mead tasting. Any other Oakland folks (or other East Bay) up for a drive? We'd probably leave around 10:30-11am, and return around 9-10pm. Car seats five, currently 2 definite and 1 tentative already going. :)

Jenn--want us to bring fun cheeses again? And I still want to know if someone is assigned the sparkly mead, because we'll be forced to bring one otherwise. :o

AToE
10-19-2010, 01:21 AM
I'm so jealous, I throw "meadings" here and I'm the only one bringing mead!

Brad Dahlhofer
10-19-2010, 10:32 AM
http://www.bnektar.com/ hailing from Michigan, they have just released a Bourbon Barrel mead that sounds interesting (and lots of other stuff as well!)



Hey, the link to my site doesn't work. ;)

wildoates
10-19-2010, 08:37 PM
Hey, the link to my site doesn't work. ;)

I'm trying really hard to get people to buy more of your nektar, Brad. Honest. For the last tasting I tried to get someone to fork out the moolah for the HoD, but nobody did.
:eek:

Aaron, cheeses sound great! And nobody has specifically told me they're bringing a sparkling mead, so if you have one, do bring it. We can sample it last.

AToE, on the invite it says that people have to bring a bottle of mead...it's like the admittance fee.

Heh.

AToE
10-19-2010, 09:09 PM
AToE, on the invite it says that people have to bring a bottle of mead...it's like the admittance fee.

Heh.

There's simply non to be had here. There's a few meaderies in the province, but their wares are hard to get your hands on unless you manage to track them down at a farmers market or at their farms. The only mead available in stores is some australian spiced mead that I hated... sad sad sad.

I'm going to join the local brew club in hopes of finding more mead makers.

wildoates
10-19-2010, 09:28 PM
The very definition of "bummer!"

wildoates
10-24-2010, 01:10 PM
I just want to remind everyone of the last mead tasting's results:


First Place was B.Nektar's Wildberry Pyment
Second Place was Rabbit's Foot's Sweet Mead
Third Place was B.Nektar's Pomegranate Margarita (which, sadly indeed, is no longer available).

Brad Dahlhofer
10-24-2010, 02:03 PM
I just want to remind everyone of the last mead tasting's results:


First Place was B.Nektar's Wildberry Pyment
Second Place was Rabbit's Foot's Sweet Mead
Third Place was B.Nektar's Pomegranate Margarita (which, sadly indeed, is no longer available).


I wish I could fly out just for this party. I've been collecting a ton of commercial meads during my travels around the east coast. Mostly small meaderies that are only available regionally. I'll have to open them up when we have the big B. Nektar Mead Archive Party. ;)

wildoates
10-24-2010, 03:08 PM
I wish you could, Brad...if you ever do come out to California (please please please let B.Nektar be available in CA), let me know and I'll schedule another one. :)

I love some of the FB comments about the event--I had several friends who didn't come because they thought mead was some sort of beer thingie that Vikings drank a long time ago, right? When they heard how much fun it was and how good mead was, they vowed to make sure they made it to the next one. :)

Brad Dahlhofer
10-24-2010, 08:14 PM
I wish you could, Brad...if you ever do come out to California (please please please let B.Nektar be available in CA), let me know and I'll schedule another one. :)

That won't take too long. By the end of November, we'll have launched 8 new states in 12 months. I don't think it will take long before we're in CA.