Thursday, May 10, 2012

Libations in the Sunshine

Last May it was very snowy and rainy. In fact, last year there was no spring to speak of. Winter dropped us precipitously into summer in the second week of June. Since it has been two years since last spring I am especially appreciating it now. Walking about town is like walking through one big garden. The streets are lined with lilacs and their accompanying heady fragrance fills the air. Our own yard is heavy on the spring-flower side of things so right now is about about as good as it gets flower-wise.

Promise of apples to come
It was a perfect time to invite the neighbors over to try the Stephan Way Chardonnay. We gathered in the back yard and toasted the ultimate local wine experience; and here in mountains no less. The wine was a hit. We are all hoping for another bumper crop so I can give it another go with a few hard lessons under my belt.

Our talented neighbor, Scott, made the apropos wine barrel tables. He can transform wine barrels into all kinds of amazing things. He arrived at our wine tasting party bearing the gravity-defying gift below. 

In addition to actually sitting down and enjoying the proverbial fruits of previous wine-making labors, we've opened a couple bottles of last year's mead recently to enjoy in the spring sunshine. The cherry mead made with cherries from another neighbors magical tree is a lovely thing to behold; bright and clear and cherry red. The taste of mead varies wildly from one batch to the next depending on the ingredients and proportions used. This one is on the dry side; an acquired taste and one that I have. I am thankful that both wine and mead are free from gluten and a decadence I can still partake in.

I've recently started two new batches of mead; a vanilla cardamon, and a cranberry ginger. Last year's cranberry mead was my favorite of 2011's five batches. I won't share how to make it here unless I receive a special request. But just know that it is not too difficult. If you want to make your own honey wine, you can do so without too much fuss.

Cheers and enjoy!


  1. Thanks for the photos. I feel like some of those flowers are my grandchildren too. So glad the Stephen Way wine tasting celebration was a success. Talk about drinking locally!