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WikdWaze
08-03-2004, 03:16 AM
How do you get those cool mushroom corks? I want to put my mead in corked bottles and I really think the mushroomed corks give a bottle that old-world look that suits mead so perfectly. I've searched online and can only find regular corks or "T" corks with plastic tops that don't really fit the old-world image I'm after. I know they'll need to be wired for a sparkling mead, and I plan to use wax to seal them.

dogglebe
08-03-2004, 07:39 AM
Mushroom corks require a special corker. Try a homebrew or winemaking shop.


Phil

Oskaar
08-05-2004, 02:24 PM
A couple of links to champagne corks, twist tools, wire baskets, champagne foil and champagne corkers.

http://www.jelinek.com/champagn.htm

http://www.homebrewit.com/aisle/1051

They're a bit pricey, but they look really nice as gifts, and during the holiday's they're festive if you have a sparkling mead.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

WikdWaze
08-05-2004, 04:17 PM
Dang cork costs almost as much as a bottle. Still a lot cheaper than a grolsch bottle. Shame it has to be so expensive to be styley 8) Somehow it seems wrong to put all the time and energy into making a quality product just to pour it into a used Bud bottle and cap it. Then again, maybe I'm just being pretentious.

Oskaar
08-09-2004, 03:01 AM
Don't forget you'll need your own labels too!

Oskaar

WikdWaze
08-09-2004, 03:20 AM
Don't forget you'll need your own labels too!

Oskaar

Crayon doesn't work on glass? ::)

Oskaar
08-09-2004, 03:41 AM
You may also want to give some consideration to alternative methods of capping. There is a tremendous turn in the wine industry toward screw caps. There are a number of winemakers in California that have made the move, and many more are beginning limited releases for feasibility studies.

Here are a couple of links for your eloquent perusal:

http://www.thewinemerchantinc.com/educational/CorkVsScrewCap.html

http://www.alteich.com/tidbits/t050104.htm

http://www.rhphillips.com

Also check out the fun with labels section in this part of the forum for some label ideas.

Oskaar

WikdWaze
08-09-2004, 11:49 AM
I saw those links in another of your posts, quite intriguing. I'm guessing they'd still require special equipment to put the crimp in the bottom for tamper-resistance. Might be cheaper than corks. It'd still have a "period" look when I covered it with wax anyhow.

Oskaar
08-09-2004, 12:54 PM
Here are some more links to articles on screwcaps:

http://www.wineoftheweek.com/screwcaps/history.html

http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Daily/News/0,1145,2548,00.html

and some manufacturer's sites:

http://www.apmglobal.com/vint.htm

http://www.vino-lok.de/inhalt.htm

http://www.auscap.net/auscap.html

http://www.pea.pechiney.com/Ag/2-Produits/homeProduits.html

It's interesting to see how many wineries are trending toward the screwcaps. I stopped in to my local wineshop and spoke to the owners today about screwtops.

From their perspective they would love it if all the manufacturers moved toward screwcaps because they average out about one bottle per case that is cork tainted and that really hits them hard in the pocketbook on returns/complaints.

It looks like Alcoa manufactures both the bottles and the screwcaps. I'll post links to vendors as soon as I can find them.

Oskaar

WikdWaze
08-09-2004, 02:52 PM
I've checked out every one of those links, and most of the links on the pages they sent me to. I am thoroughly convinced to go with a screwcap bottle. I can't find a single retail supplier, though. One company would make custom, proprietary bottles, but I'm betting they don't do 100 at a time ::)

Oskaar
08-10-2004, 06:00 AM
So far this is the only link to a bottle seller with screwcaps that I could find.

http://www.ebottles.com/showbottles.asp?familyid=1149

Oskaar

WikdWaze
08-10-2004, 03:59 PM
Is it possible that a whiskey bottle would handle carbonation?

I've had zero luck finding a screwcap supplier, at least at the retail level.

WikdWaze
08-10-2004, 04:07 PM
So far this is the only link to a bottle seller with screwcaps that I could find.

http://www.ebottles.com/showbottles.asp?familyid=1149

Oskaar
Not too much more expensive than regular bottles. Cheaper than grolsch bottles too. Doesn't say if they'll handle carbonation, or did I miss it?

Oskaar
08-11-2004, 12:26 AM
Honestly at this point in your place I would consider American Sparkling Wine bottles, and using a simple capper to cap them like you would a beer bottle. I've done it quite a bit and haven't had any leaks.

I have some friends who have bottles of stuff they made and capped that are about 7 or 8 years old. The capper is cheap, the caps are cheap, and the bottles are not prohibitively expensive. You can expect about 25 bottles per 5 gallon batch (that's like equivalent to two cases of wine plus one bottle dude!) You can also get those 22 ounce beer bottles and put your mead in them using the same bottle capper. Life is good!

Oskaar

Norskersword
08-12-2004, 10:25 PM
You may also want to give some consideration to alternative methods of capping. There is a tremendous turn in the wine industry toward screw caps.

I've read a little on corks and apparantly only the traditional corks are prone to causing "corked wine". Apparantly alot of wineries have also started to use synthetic corks or "neocorks". Where do you stand on these?

On a side note, I've been thinking about trying some wine lately. What wines would you recommend a newbie like me try?

Jmattioli
08-12-2004, 10:47 PM
Speaking of screw caps. I found them avialable in Cincinnati, OH which is just across the river from me. A place called Listermanns. They also have a web site but I have not checked it. I picked up a case of bottles for 11.95 and the screw caps were .35 each but are much cheaper in bulk.

Oskaar
08-12-2004, 11:10 PM
Hi Norsk,

Corks from the bark of the Cork Oak tree would be the corks that cause a wine to be corked. Synthetic corks are still being evaluated by many wineries for long term effects on bottle aging along with any "off-tastes" that they may produce.

For a starter wine I would suggest that you figure out what direction your tastes lie. That is, do you like something dry and heavy, sweet and fruity, spicey, plump and jammy or somewhere between those.

If you like your meads semi-sweet to sweet I'd suggest something like a Chenin Blanc, Gewurtztraminer, White Riesling, Grey Riesling or Johannesburg Riesling.

If you like your meads dry you might try a Chardonnay, Fume Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Chenin Blanc or a White Bordeaux or Burgundy.

As far as reds go you really have to try them. I would suggest a good jammy Zinfandel with some lamb or beef, maybe pasta to begin with. By jammy I mean the wine tastes of black, plump and ripe fruit like plums, blackberries, currants, etc. It will have a distinct zing or spiciness to it (not a hot spiciness) that is unique to Zinfandel wines. There will be hints of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel, and there will be distinct dryness in the front of your mouth and in between your teeth and gums in the front of your mouth.

Cabernets are all over the map but can range from "suck the moisture out of your mouth dry" to pleasantly and velvety smooth. It must be said that this is true of many red wines.

For Reds, some names to look for are:

Zinfandel: Cosentino Vinyards - Cigar Zin, The Zin;
Tobin James Vinyards - Ballistic, James Gang; Elyse Vinyards - Morisoli, Howell Mountain; Zoom - Alexander Valley 86 Yr Old Vines, San Francisco Bay 108 Yr Old Vines; Rosenblum; Spelletich - Tim and Edie.

Cabernet: Henry's Drive 2002, Hanna Vinyards 2001, Claudius 2001 , Three Theives (in a one liter jug with a screw cap GREAT WINE GREAT VALUE), Five Vintners 2001, Marquis Phillips 2001, Bommarito 2001

Also take a look at Shiraz, Pino Noir and Merlot, these three tend not to be "big killer reds" like the Zinfandel and Cabernet do.

Oskaar

Norskersword
08-12-2004, 11:20 PM
Thanks a bunch for the crash course on wine, Oskaar. This is exactly what I needed. I'm going to print your whole post and take it shopping. ;)

Oskaar
08-13-2004, 04:51 AM
Happy to help. I neglected to say that in red and white wines the dry feeling in the front of your mouth is directly attributable to tannins/tannic acid. Sound familiar??

Oskaar