Sunday, February 18, 2007

Celtic Wine

One of the things I failed to mention in my profile, is my love for a good glass of wine. I am really fond of McMannis wines, anything not Chardonnay. I also make my own wine when I have the time. Probably the most unusual is Jalapeno wine. I also make a Apple/Citrus and Mead. Yep, got a glass on the table right now.

Wonderful stuff, mead is, needs to be two years old to be really good. The problem is, it never makes it to two years. It is Golden, sweet, and delicious. I have to work on my technique.

The first mead I experienced was at the Cliffs of Moore, in Ireland. We had been in the ungentle hands of the airlines for fifteen hours, and awake for another eight hours getting to the airport. We stopped a little ways from our first nights reservation, for breakfast, when we got back to the car I told the love of my life, “I can’t go any more, I have to close my eyes.” I did for fifteen or so minuets, and then we went to the Cliffs of Moore. There is a long walk up hill to the old structure that appears to be the strong hold of a medieval lord, actually it’s an old tea house. There is a gift house and parking lot sale on the grounds. While in the gift shop I found some Bunratty Mead, made at Bunratty Castle. I bought a small bottle, hardly a half glass. I took a taste, and thought my love might like it. She took a taste, and I had to peel her little fingers off my bottle. We kept a bottle on hand for a night cap the rest of the trip.

I got interested and did a little research. My bud that lived on my place out in the country was going to make his own wine, and started by drinking twenty or so gallons of wine for the jugs.He never made wine that I know of, but he kept a buzz for months. All is well that ends well. I kid you not, I have the jugs for my own use.

Mead is made from honey and a special yeast. The thing I need is a cellar that will keep the temperature around 55f to keep the wine stable while it matures. I don’t like sulfites, so I generally add alcohol to kill the yeast, trust me on this, the freshly bottled stuff will kick your tiny little butt!. Unfortunately if there is sugar left in the wine it may still ferment and produce CO2. Believe me, a bottle of honey wine ejected on to the floor doesn’t win you any friends except ants.

I have several five gallon wine jugs, carboys, that I use to make 35 pounds of honey into twenty five bottles of wine. It only takes six weeks to turn out a batch. There is a lot to know and considerable chemical change to make grape juice or honey into wine. This summer I may have to build a cellar in the back yard and put a few hundred bottles down.

Everyone needs a hobby!

1 comment:

Flo said...

Oh my, I think I like your hobby. Hubby has talked about doing the grape thing one day, but mead sounds delicious. I like sweet wine.

If he ever gets serious about it, we may bug you for some advice. I'm just not sure if 25 bottles would be enough to hold me 6 weeks until the next batch is ready. ;-)