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Mimicking a Cabernet

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Registered Member
Dec 11, 2011
So, my wine of choice is a Cabernet Sauvingnon, and I was wondering if there is anything in the mead world that might approach this style? A dry mead, decent ABV, that has bold and sometimes even spicy flavors? Any thoughts?


Registered Member
Jun 8, 2009
Calgary AB Canada
You could do a cab-pyment, that's about as close as you could possibley get since that actually is going to be mostly the wine you're wanting to mimic. ;)

Dark berry mels, blueberry, elderberry, etc can be very similar to a red wine, especially if using RC212 yeast in my experience. As far as really nailing what you're looking for the only real answer is going to be to start with either a pyment or a dark berry melomel and just start experimenting and tweaking over time.


Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
Ithaca, NY
In addition to simply adding Cab Sauv grapes, you could take a traditional mead and add in the flavors that you enjoy. For example you might add basil, nutmeg and hot chiles for an earthy spice character. The closer you want your mead to be to the wine, the more likely it is that you'll need to add grapes, but you can have a lot of fun toying with flavors if you're willing to push the boundaries of what defines your intended flavor profile.

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
If you don't want to do a pyment, a big berry melomel can come close to a cabernet. Wayneb's "Filleul de la Nuit" brewlog in the Patron's area is a recipe which you might want to look at. If you use 4+ pound of berries per gallon, you'll get something with a full body, especially if you are using elderberries which will give the tannins needed. To get the aroma and flavor, currants are needed. I think blueberry or blackberry can be used for the rest - I'd keep raspberry out (too much tutti-fruitti with raspberry). Using a "spicier" honey might get you even a little closer to a cab than using orange blossom. So yes, you can produce something that will resemble a cabernet.


Registered Member
Jul 24, 2011
Sacramento, CA
I'd keep raspberry out (too much tutti-fruitti with raspberry).
You might consider black raspberries. Oskaar has a post about this.

Honestly I'd stick with the black raspberries rather than the red. Red are very aromatic and perfume-y. They're great in their own mix with other red fruits, but I think they detract from a darker mead with heavier, more tannic and deeper flavored fruits. I'd suggest looking for some black mulberries, black cherries and more blackberries to cover your red raspberry addition.

Hope that helps,


I am Meadlemania
GotMead Patron
Sep 9, 2010
near a lake
My rattlesnakefarm berries seem to have had a lot of tannin. That batch went very dry, but still with a deep dark raspberry flavor.


Registered Member
Sep 29, 2010
Twin Cities
When I think about cabernets, firm tannins and oak presence come to mind. The New World cabs are more fruity, the old world cabs are more tannic. You may be interested in some of the many ways to add tannins and oak to your mead.
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