In what feels like forever ago, we sat down with Ken Hardcastle from Hermit Woods Winery to discuss his efforts in making mead into table wine. One of Hermit Woods’ goals is to replace your traditional red and white wines with suitable melomels that serve the same role. Having tasted his wares, I’d say he has created exactly what he wanted. Tune into the episode to learn how!
For those that don’t know much about Hermit Woods, it’s the third meadery in New Hampshire, and likely least well known. Most have heard of Moonlight Meadery, then Sap House Meadery, and Hermit Woods is a distant third. This episode should level the playing field.
Mead in this Episode
Allen: Red Scare (Hermit Woods)
The Hardcastle Blending Method
Ferment your fruits and meads individually. Ken has 84 different aging vessels for storing his wines! Oh, the envy!
Get a beaker of each mead you want to blend (did we mention Ken came from a science background?). Have a precise pipette system for extracting from each beaker into your tasting glass.
Taste each mead individually. Do some seem like they’ll blend well with others? Take notes on what you think will blend well.
Create a few sample blends. Note what is working and what isn’t. Keep good notes on what went into each mead.
In a few days, come back and repeat the above steps. Are the original blends still working well? Did you find a better blend?
When you are down to a few blends that you think will work, take samples to a trusted friend and have them try it. What is their favorite? Have them mix the meads into a blind tasting for you. Ensure your favorite holds through the blind tasting.
When you finalize your blend, blend with bulk sizes. Let the mead stabilize, and pour away! Good luck!