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sarend
06-29-2011, 11:37 PM
A co-worker learned I was making mead and she gave me a copy of the publication for our next county fair. Now, this is a rural county; it does not encompass a large city, so the categories are pretty rural. My co-worker thinks I should enter one of my meads. Well, I am...next year, when they are not so young.

The wine category falls under "Canning and Preserving", under a subcategory of juices, lot 11, Wine.

Have any of you entered your meads in county fairs? How did you fair vs the more mainstream wines? Did the judges appreciate your meads?


Stephen

akueck
06-30-2011, 12:06 AM
Chances are good the judges you get won't be very knowledgeable about mead. You might still get good feedback, or you might not. Go ahead and enter your meads, it is fun to see what other folks think. I wouldn't expect a lot of mead-specific constructive feedback though.

There is always the Mazer Cup next year, the world's largest mead-only competition. ;D

Oskaar
06-30-2011, 12:39 AM
Definitely enter the fair. It is always good to get feedback on what you're making. Sometimes its constructive, sometimes not. In the constructive category it can really help you make better mead. In the not so category, it can inspire you to make amazing mead to prove them wrong!

Depending on the fair and who is doing the judging (yours sounds pretty simple and straightforward) you might end up with a full blown wine, beer and mead competition like they have in California. If you have a panel of BJCP judges going over your mead, you will at least get back comments based on the category and style guidelines set forth by the BJCP.

Cheers and best of luck next year!

PS - Make sure to enter the Mazer Cup International next year as well.

AToE
06-30-2011, 01:00 AM
In the not so (constructive) category, it can inspire you to make amazing mead to prove them wrong!


Ha, that's pretty much where I'm at with my dad. Not one single mead I've ever given him has he ever taken more than a couple sips from, doesn't like them, gives no real reason why (probably just doesn't have the vocab for it he feels). One of these days I'm going to give him one he'll like, I swear!

sarend
06-30-2011, 10:37 AM
The Mazer Cup is already on my list. I am looking forward to some expert advice on how to make my mead better. Now I am looking forward to September 2012 to enter some of my meads here in AZ. Take care, All.


Stephen

wayneb
06-30-2011, 02:57 PM
Ha, that's pretty much where I'm at with my dad. Not one single mead I've ever given him has he ever taken more than a couple sips from, doesn't like them, gives no real reason why (probably just doesn't have the vocab for it he feels). One of these days I'm going to give him one he'll like, I swear!

Good luck with that! It took me over 2 dozen batches of beer before my Dad admitted that he liked one; he never did have anything good to say about any of my meads. Turns out that he lumped mead in with wine, and he decided long before I was born that he didn't like wine. There's no changing some peoples' minds. ;)

AToE
06-30-2011, 03:05 PM
Good luck with that! It took me over 2 dozen batches of beer before my Dad admitted that he liked one; he never did have anything good to say about any of my meads. Turns out that he lumped mead in with wine, and he decided long before I was born that he didn't like wine. There's no changing some peoples' minds. ;)

Part of my problem was that I'd mis-read him. He and my mom have complained about sweet wine enough times over the years that I was sure they liked wine as dry as I do - turns out they don't. Neither is a big fan of red wines unless they're very soft, and I've sampled their favourite white wines (it's funny, they're rich but they stick to the 10$ bottles! Didn't get rich by wasting cash I guess) and discovered that they're all what I would call semi sweet, with high acidity.

My mom likes my dry blueberry, dad doesn't, and neither has liked any of my other meads (at least they're honest). So next time I'm going to serve them some very smooth clean dry traditional, some off-dry (backsweetened slightly) "pink" melomel (I think it was blueberries), stuff like that. See if I can't change their minds slowly!

Loadnabox
06-30-2011, 03:43 PM
Part of my problem was that I'd mis-read him. He and my mom have complained about sweet wine enough times over the years that I was sure they liked wine as dry as I do - turns out they don't. Neither is a big fan of red wines unless they're very soft, and I've sampled their favourite white wines (it's funny, they're rich but they stick to the 10$ bottles! Didn't get rich by wasting cash I guess) and discovered that they're all what I would call semi sweet, with high acidity.

My mom likes my dry blueberry, dad doesn't, and neither has liked any of my other meads (at least they're honest). So next time I'm going to serve them some very smooth clean dry traditional, some off-dry (backsweetened slightly) "pink" melomel (I think it was blueberries), stuff like that. See if I can't change their minds slowly!

I saw a study recently that showed past the $10 mark for a bottle of wine, most "experts" in a double blind are unable to tell the difference between the $10 bottle and the $200 bottle. I'm trying to find it....

I would also try giving them a sweet mead and see if they aren't wrong. I remember reading about a meadery here in Ohio that found while most people claim to prefer dry wines, the wines with a FG of 1.020 sell four times as well proving most people aren't experienced enough to really know what they like in a wine.

Give them a sweet mead and tell them it's a semi-dry or something along those lines, see if suddenly they like it :)

AToE
06-30-2011, 07:08 PM
Well I know they dispise actual "sweet" wines like ice wine and such, even some "semi-sweet" wines are too much for them. I don't think anything over 1.010 would be a good idea for them, and in a traditional mead I think 1.010 would be way too high (doesn't have the acidity to balance that a wine does), even in a melomel that's pushing it (plus I don't really make meads that sweet, only ones that fail to ferment as expected end up higher than 1.000 with the one exception of my mocha mead).

I think a semi-sweet traditional would be good, around 1.001-1.002, or my pink melomel, which is around 1.002 probably. That kind of range, just a little sweetness, should do the trick.

YogiBearMead726
07-03-2011, 07:47 PM
I figure I should put this here instead of starting a new thread, so I apologize in advance for the hijacking...

My Russian Imperial Stout, made with a partigyle method, just took second place out of 83 stout entries at the San Diego County Fair. I didn't enter any meads (saving those for The Cup), but I can say it's a pretty good feeling to know other beer/mead lovers enjoy drinking your brew. :)

kudapucat
07-03-2011, 07:57 PM
Well done! That's a 97th Percentile brew! I'd be happy if mine were only considered above average!
You've excelled yourself.

YogiBearMead726
07-03-2011, 08:33 PM
Well done! That's a 97th Percentile brew! I'd be happy if mine were only considered above average!
You've excelled yourself.

Haha, thank you! I didn't think about it that way, but that makes it sound even better. Hurray for math! ;D

sarend
07-03-2011, 10:43 PM
I figure I should put this here instead of starting a new thread, so I apologize in advance for the hijacking...

My Russian Imperial Stout, made with a partigyle method, just took second place out of 83 stout entries at the San Diego County Fair. I didn't enter any meads (saving those for The Cup), but I can say it's a pretty good feeling to know other beer/mead lovers enjoy drinking your brew. :)


Good job. That is great. I am looking forward to next year. I should have a few batches from which to choose for my entry.

Stephen

YogiBearMead726
07-03-2011, 11:02 PM
Good job. That is great. I am looking forward to next year. I should have a few batches from which to choose for my entry.

Stephen

That's the way to do it. The people who won most of the ribbons had entered the maximum allowed entries. One guy even won first and third in the same category since there are separate sub-categories for each style.

I will say though, the comment cards weren't very insightful...but that's ok. If you don't have high expectations for the judges comments, you won't be disappointed. If anything, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the good ones. :)

Loadnabox
07-05-2011, 09:20 AM
I'm too late to enter anything locally, but after some research I have two county fairs and a state fair to enter my meads into next year :-D

The guy running the contest practically begged me to become a certified judge though. Said he's got 419 entries and only 12 judges. That's a lot of beer tasting at 35 beers/meads per judge!