Winecraft: Honeysuckle Mead (Metheglin)

On hot summer days, the fragrance of honeysuckle fills the air, reminding me that it’s time to get out in the midday heat – when the blooms are at their peak – and harvest enough for wine. While I made wine, I also decided to try making a honeysuckle mead (metheglin). I’m pleased to say that it came out so good, I’m planning to make it every season!

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Bilbemel Update: Blueberry Mead (Melomel)

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So this was my first foray into the world of wild-fermented mead, and despite using raw honey and adding fruit to try to facilitate the ferment, after four days, there was no detectable activity. Puzzling. Not to worry, though…as a winemaker, I have plenty of yeast on hand, so I added a little slurry from a previously-made berry wine’s lees. I keep the slurry in the refrigerator to extend its life, so it took a while to come up to room temperature in the primary fermentor; when it did, though, it looked the way I expected: bubbly.

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Wine Chronicles: Blueberry Mead (Melomel)

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So are you saying to yourself “what, pray tell, is a melomel”? Melomel is mead (a type of wine made from honey) plus fruit – and, more specifically, blueberry mead is a “bilbemel”. We’re big mead fans: Sky River Meadery (http://www.skyriverbrewing.com) in Washington state produces some exceptionally fine mead that tastes like bright, fresh honey – with a delicious fruity note, similar to the fragrance of a juicy concord grape – in a glass. It’s crisp, slightly sweet, and it captures the essence of perfect summer days and industrious bees collecting wild pollen. In short, it’s spectacular. We have yet to find a comparable mead available locally, so we’re taking mead-making into our own hands. Continue reading “Wine Chronicles: Blueberry Mead (Melomel)”