Posted on: 24 October 2014Share
Mead, also known as honey wine or honey beer, is one of easiest types of wine for a beginning winemaker to make. It is a forgiving wine, that still turns out great even if you do not have the expensive wine-making equipment. If you and your recently betrothed have little fermenting experience but still want to present your homemade wine to your friends and family on your special day, mead is an excellent choice.
Why Make Wine For Your Wedding
Drinking alcohol to celebrate life events is a longstanding tradition throughout the world. However, making your own wine has several benefits over buying wine. First, it gives you and your partner a fun project to complete throughout your engagement. Watching the clouds settle as your wine ferments is a great way to create a joint achievement before the big day. Secondly, sharing a wine you made yourself with friends and family is a very intimate experience.
Selecting Your Recipe
There are hundreds of recipes for mead available on the internet, and it can be difficult to decide on. The best way to narrow down your options is based on the time you have until your wedding. There are several quick recipes available that are drinkable within a week. Although these are not the best meads, they are perfectly palatable. If you select a quick recipe you will want one that includes a fruit juice or spices, such as cloves and cinnamon, for a more robust flavor.
If you have more time, you should select a recipe that ferments for six months to a year. These meads tend to be sweeter and maintain a slight honey flavor.
If you want a sparkling wine for your wedding, you should select a recipe that includes a double fermentation. The first fermentation will provide the alcohol content and the second fermentation will create the bubbles in your wine.
How Much Wine to Make
Making your own honey wine can actually be costly, compared to buying commercial wine. You should make enough for each of your guests to have one glass of your special brew, and then consider purchasing wine for the rest of the festivities. You will also want to save a bottle for your first anniversary and for further down the road. Mead tends to get sweeter as it ages, so it is a great wine to drink on your 25th or 50th wedding anniversary.
Bottling and Finishing Touches
When it comes to bottling your mead, you have several choices. You can buy empty wine bottles, or you can ask your friends and family to collect their empty bottles for you to use. This widens the scope of the project to include your entire wedding party.
Whether your bottles are recycled or new, you should make sure to wash them thoroughly and cork them with new corks. If you are making bubbling mead, you should only use champagne glass as regular wine bottles can burst under pressure.
When you are ready to label your bottles, you should purchase professional bottle labels from sites like http://www.nwlabel.com. Trying to cut corners and print your labels on regular sticker paper will result in labels that do not lay on the glass correctly, bubble with time, or peel off when the bottles sweat. You should search for weatherproof labels that will allow your wine to be chilled before serving and still maintain their shape and images.
Making wine can be a fun experience as a couple, and it is a great way to showcase your love on your wedding day. If you are going to make your own wine, go ahead and select a forgiving mead recipe and get started on your project as soon as possible.