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Chevette Girl
12-18-2011, 07:21 PM
So I brought a small bottle of a dry second-run cherry melomel (started in '07, bottled in 2010) with me last time I went to visit my mom and stepdad... in the past they haven't really been too hot about most of the stuff I've brought over... your (admittedly very fresh) red currant "smelled like baking bread" (although the person Mom was sharing it with thought it was great), your meads are all too sweet, your kit wines are OK but everything else you make is too sweet so we're not even going to try anything anymore, here, take it all back even though you gave it to us for Xmas...

Now, I have a whole basement full of stuff like this second-run mel that I don't think is very good. There's a weird flavour to it that just might be "dry mead" in a lot of them, not a lot of fruit character in many of them (most of my second run mels are "take fruit bag from another batch, dump a kilogram of honey over it and water up to a gallon, see what happens), and I grabbed this one, figuring, hey, I'm sure this is dry so maybe they'll like it and it's only a small bottle, if I don't like it that much, it's only three small glasses, right? Well they liked it. "You can bring more of that by anytime!" liked it.

<facepalm> And here I've been holding onto it and its friends in the hopes that it gets better.

Well, at least I know what to do with all the dry stuff I don't like. Try it on them! I'm just not sure I'll be able to tell the difference between a dry mel I don't really like because I'm not that hot on dry meads, and something that I don't like because it has an actual off flavour. My hubby's not great for taste testing advice, his tastes run even sweeter than mine.

AToE, if you're ever in Ottawa, you have to come raid my wine rack. I need to know what to taste for in a decent dry mead!

AToE
12-18-2011, 10:02 PM
;D Before I even read that last line, I'd gotten to "know I know what to do with my dry..." I instantly was going to post "send them to ME!!!".

Taste is a funny thing, and often people don't like what they think/say they do. My parents were always talking about how they don't like sweet wines (they HATE anything like an icewine) so for a long time I was showing them my meads, which are pretty much all dry. They haven't liked one yet other than my blueberry mels, and only my mom liked those, and I don't think she really thought they were great or anything.

Then one day I was hanging out with them drinking some Gewurtz which they LOVED (got a great laugh when my dad was reading the description on the bottle and remarked - "odd, this is BC wine but they don't have mango or lychee in BC..." and I had to explain that all those notes are just descriptions, not ingredients! (to be fair, for years I thought this one kind of wine had some blackberries added...)). And I realized, hold on, they say they don't like sweet wine, but this is sweet and they love it... and they don't really like red wine...

So the next thing I show them will be something slightly sweet, noow that I've finally established that sweet is what they want, just not liquid sugar! :rolleyes:

AToE
12-18-2011, 10:04 PM
Oh, and to my tastes, a decent dry mead should have crispness but not be too acidic or tanninic (is that a word?), should have aged out all the "raw" tastes of yeast and alcohol, and ideally should have some perceived thickness- but that last one is difficult to acheive.

wildoates
12-19-2011, 02:18 AM
A little glycerin will take care of that mouthfeel, Alan. :)

As I've mentioned before, I've found that people often don't know what they really like, and part of it is they they perceive dry wines as preferable to a mature palate, while those with childlike tastes prefer it sweet. But most seem to like it sweet when they don't know in advance what they are tasting.

Chevette Girl
12-19-2011, 02:40 AM
I've never made any claims on having a "mature" palate... or even a particularly discerning one... I know my perception of smell is far better defined than my sense of taste and my hearing's better than my sight.

Does a wine having "legs" indicate anything other than containing alcohol?

AToE
12-19-2011, 02:47 AM
Does a wine having "legs" indicate anything other than containing alcohol?

As far as I know it's just the alcohol.

There's definitely a lot of people thinking they only like dry because it's more "refined" etc, with my parents I think it was more of a case of clarity, instead of saying they didn't like super-sweet wines, they just said "sweet".

Even a medium would probably be pushing it with them, it's got to be just a little sweet and they seem to like acidity with it.

Chevette Girl
12-19-2011, 02:53 AM
That's not surprising, acidity balances out sweet well, I even hit some of my jams and jellies and even the Turkish Delights I made with some acid blend to perk the fruit flavour up so it's not lost under all the sweetness... and generally when I've decided that something I've made is TOO SWEET, it would probably benefit from tannins or acid. There are a few things I like dry but not many... there's a perceived sweetness with red currant even when the SG's less than 1.000 and I find it quite pleasant, although I guess there's not enough of the fruit in the second runs because I want those just a little sweeter, like, half a tsp of sugar in a beer bottle, especially when carb'd.

And there's no way I'm going to drink something I dislike just to appear "refined"... (I found a button the other day that says, "Tacky ... and terribly unrefined", it practically grabbed my wallet and fished out the money to pay for itself then pinned itself to my jacket ;D)

TheAlchemist
12-19-2011, 01:00 PM
I thought "legs" were a sign of residual sugars...

Chevette Girl
12-19-2011, 01:02 PM
No, it's got to do with differential evaporation between water and alcohol, I've had completely dry wines with "legs".

AToE
12-20-2011, 02:36 AM
I've got a bunch of traditionals (all my yeast tests from way back) that finished sweet (1.004 to 1.008 if I remember right) - I'm going to try hitting them all pretty hard with tannin and see if I can make them into something I really enjoy. Traditional meads are more challenging than wines or beers for me to enjoy even a little sweet because I find that acid additions ruin the "mead" vibe for me, so I'm really hoping tannin will be the saviour.

Chevette Girl
12-20-2011, 04:43 AM
I haven't actually tasted any traditional meads I've made since I found out why it's not recommended to introduce acidity into the initial must, either have been making a lot of mels and meths or show meads (boil/no-boil test) that just won't finish...

Smarrikåka
12-20-2011, 09:50 AM
I think it was more of a case of clarity.

One thing I've noticed is that non-brewers/meadmakers or people rarely tasting homebrews, will be much more sensetive to yeasty notes than people that are used to tasting something fermenting.

AToE
12-20-2011, 06:49 PM
One thing I've noticed is that non-brewers/meadmakers or people rarely tasting homebrews, will be much more sensetive to yeasty notes than people that are used to tasting something fermenting.

Not sure if you took the word "clarity" wrong there (I meant it as in "clarity of communication" not "clarity of the mead") or if you just wanted to add that comment on - but I agree entirely. Us who are used to homebrew (especially used to tasting yeasty homebrew...) have sort of learned to taste around that taste, but people who are new to it will just instantly recognise it as some form of "yuck/cheap", evensometimes in meads/beers where that character is intentional.

Soyala_Amaya
12-20-2011, 07:02 PM
I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I love mead, mead is awesome. Dry, sweet, mel, meth, there's something about the honey notes that delights my tongue!

I've had one bottle of commercial wine that I've enjoyed, ever. It was a blueberry wine, and I've even tried other blueberry wines. It was really that one tiny winery's style of Blue's Brother's Blueberry Wine.

I dunno, I don't understand it somedays when I hear people talk about how mead should taste like a white wine. Mead doesn't taste like wine to me, it tastes like mead. I do know I like fruity notes, I'm a much bigger fan of a cherry or orange mead than my lemon ginger, but the lemon ginger is still awesome.

But, this has probably kept me from trying many wines for years now. I've disliked almost every one of them, having someone put one in my face and say "Oh, but you'll love THIS one!" annoys the pisser out of me. My sisters want me to come to their house for a wine tasting and I just turn them down. Maybe there is another wine out there that I'll like...but it seems like too much effort drinking stuff I don't to even try when I have a basement full of mead now. :)

(I also don't like beer, but that's a side note.)

chams
12-20-2011, 07:29 PM
I've never made any claims on having a "mature" palate... or even a particularly discerning one... I know my perception of smell is far better defined than my sense of taste and my hearing's better than my sight.

Does a wine having "legs" indicate anything other than containing alcohol?

I believe "legs" refers too how the liquid slowly flows back down the side after swirling. I may be wrong. :)
http://wine.about.com/od/winebasic1/a/winelegs.htm
Perhaps that is what you meant about alcohol CG.

Lawpaw
12-20-2011, 11:56 PM
One thing I've noticed is that non-brewers/meadmakers or people rarely tasting homebrews, will be much more sensetive to yeasty notes than people that are used to tasting something fermenting.

I've noticed the opposite effect. The $3Chuck Nouveau now tastes to me like too young homebrew. Everyone seems to love that stuff because it's yeasty.

Smarrikåka
12-21-2011, 03:56 AM
The $3Chuck Nouveau now tastes to me like too young homebrew. Everyone seems to love that stuff because it's yeasty.

Are you sure it's not the price they love? :)

And Alan, thanks for clarifying. It's all very clear now. :)

skunkboy
12-21-2011, 10:24 PM
Well, the price is a certainly an advantage, yes. Though it does make good cooking wine for those of us who spend most of our drinks money on honey... ;-)

Chevette Girl
12-31-2011, 06:36 PM
I believe "legs" refers too how the liquid slowly flows back down the side after swirling. I may be wrong. :)
http://wine.about.com/od/winebasic1/a/winelegs.htm
Perhaps that is what you meant about alcohol CG.

The formation of "legs" happens from differential evaporation of the water and the ethanol... and I had a wine this weekend that was weak enough not to have any. It was unlabelled and made by a friend of a friend of my in-laws but it was quite clearly a sweet cherry wine because it actually tasted like cough syrup! I've never tasted that before but am happy to confirm the veracity of the claims I've seen around here, even though my own cherry wine tastes like nothing at all... :D

wildoates
01-04-2012, 12:16 AM
Legs has to do with he cleanliness of the glass as well, I think.

Chevette Girl
01-04-2012, 02:37 AM
I'd imagine it won't form as well on a rough surface like a dirty or etched glass... or maybe it would form better. I'll have to investigate that sometime :p must remember next time I use my ceramic mead mug.