Friday, February 8, 2013

You Gonna to Stop and Smell the Roses?

I continue my three act beverage tour for Valentine's Day in the second installment this week. I'll be honest right away and say that this week didn't go as planned (this being posted on Friday instead of Wednesday to start) and the post had its own twist even before that because the drink I am sharing isn't ready!

Most guys at least consider getting their significant other flowers on Valentine's Day. Some actually follow through and well, I wish everyone involved well no matter what.  I've bought my share of flowers for my wife, but this year I also incorporated flowers into by home fermentation projects. I made a rose petal wine.

I was inspired to do this by my friend in winemaking Alan from Montana. He and I ferment offbeat wines and love doing it. We've both made fruit wines, strawberry in particular, fruit/grape blends,  and wines made from flowers, plants and herbs aren't at all strange to us! I had Alan's rose petal wine in 2012 and it blew my mind. A rose colored wine with huge rose aromatics, the few sips I had were sweet with good tannic structure. I knew I would eventually try my own hand at this wine.

The wine is pretty simple to make, dried rose petals (organic, untreated) are steeped in hot water to release color, aromas, flavors and tannins. The hot water is strained and combined with sugar and acid to create a simple rose-infused batch of sugar water. The fermentation went slowly and smoothly and the aromatics and flavors stayed strong through completion.

And that's about as far as we have gotten. There is a considerable amount of trapped gas in the wine and I am trying to not intervene so I don't destroy this delicate wine. I did however have a small amount of overflow that I stored in the fridge so I can give you an early taste.

Sweetened, iced, rose tea. That is what it tastes like. I captured and retained enough tannins for it to be very tea-like in texture.  When it is clear I expect the color to be dark reddish purple. The nose is flowers all the way.  This wine is a delightful sipper which can easily put you and your significant other in a romantic mood.

Since this wine isn't done yet, it will be interesting to see exactly where I end up. If I had to guess I would say that I will end up sweetening this wine just a tad. It has plenty of acid and tannin so I doubt I'll need to do anything there. I plan to make a small batch of a mead blend with it, something that might be one of my big "offbeat" winners!



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