Mead Lover's Digest #0229 Wed 20 October 1993


Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Coordinator



a disturbing non-mead (Dick Dunn)
Grape Season! (COYOTE)


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Subject: a disturbing non-mead
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 19 Oct 93 02:38:44 MDT (Tue)

Poking around in a nearby large liquor store (OK, what do *you* do on a
dreary afternoon shopping trip?:), I found a new bottle that triggered my
brain's background "grep -i 'mead'" process. The label proclaimed "MEADE"
in very large dark letters, so I was optimistic.

Further investigation of the label revealed the following:

* The name "Bunratty" sits in medium-yellow-on-light-yellow above MEADE –
this is the producer's name
* The word MEADE is followed by a tiny TM (trademark) symbol
* Below MEADE, again in the barely contrasting yellow-on-yellow, is the
word "brand". In other words, "Meade" is a brand name, not a descrip-
tion of what it is.
* In fact, it is grape wine with added honey and herbs


This bothers me, especially since the back label goes into the history of
mead, the honey-moon, etc. It seems intended to mislead. After all, we
know that "mead" is a beverage of fermented honey, possibly with other
things added. Fermented grape juice is called "wine", and even with the
added honey, this would barely be a pyment. It's as if I trademarked the
word "Beere" for a fermented drink flavored with malt and hops.

(One of the reasons this seems dicey to me is that good honey is expensive.
Using a relatively ordinary white grape juice to ferment, then adding a bit
of honey to flavor, is certainly going to reduce costs compared to using a
honey base.)

I haven't tried it–the stingy part of me won't part with the ten bucks to
a product I don't trust at the outset. But what do other folks think
about this? (Has anyone tried it.) It seems like a very style-over-sub-
stance approach.

Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.


Subject: Grape Season!
From: COYOTE <>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1993 11:24:45 -0600 (MDT)

I've made several (read- quite a few) different meads and wines.
But now I want to make my first attempt at a real grape wine.

I've picked grapes from next door (large purple skin, green guts and
seeds. Kinda tart.) and a friends (white grapes. Sweet).
I don't know what varieties they are. But I'm gonna blend them (and
maybe some others too) and give it a go. I have the white ones in
a freezer now, and just picked a bucket or the purple ones. I don't
have all the sstems out yet.

Now- what is the best thing to do with these buggers:

1. Mash them with a conical fruit juicer- manual
2. I have an electric juicer- great for peaches, but don't
want to put seed through it, nor is it needed I'd guess.
3. Get a 2×4 or baseball bat busy and mush them to a pulp.


I know I'll have to take spec. grav. and acid readings before I know
what I'm working with. One book says adjust the to 1.095.
Acid depends on the type of wine- depends on the type of grape…????
so I'll shoot for about 60%. I suppose I'll see how much juice I get,
then decide how much wine I'm making. I could supplement with sugar
and or honey if needed. I do plan to make a "false wine"- mead from
the skins and pulp.
oh… 4. Use a seive/mesh style colander and "smush" them through.

Question: Is really…How should I deal with the grapes?

Any help e-mail or posts would be appreciated.

John (The Coyote) Wyllie


End of Mead Lover's Digest #229