[Sca-cooks] non-grape period wines

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Thu Oct 15 22:43:18 PDT 2009

Adamantius replied to me with:

On Oct 14, 2009, at 7:11 PM, Mark S. Harris wrote:
<<< While I have a few non-grape wine recipes, it appears that most
period wines, as today?, were made from grapes. Although some, like
pears and apples, get their own name. We tend to say apple cider or
perry, not apple wine or pear wine.  I do have recipes for dandelion
wine and a few other non-grape wines. Does anyone know of other
references to or recipes for non-grape wine? >>>

< I expect there are some, but one thing you may find is that not all
fruits are satisfactorily (you just know this word will end up in the
monthly statistics post, right?) fermentable without added sugar.
Unless, of course, one is speaking of fully ripe quinces. >

Okay, but even if you still had to add sugar (or honey) to a fruit  
juice to get it to ferment, wouldn't it still be considered a "wine"?  
I think it would be interesting to know what other fruits were  
fermented into beverages in period. Perhaps for some you wouldn't need  
to add sugar, sweet cherries, but for other similar fruits, sour  
cherries, you would have to add sugar or honey.

< And, since sugar becomes more accessible, less expensive and less
likely to be viewed as a pharmaceutical (monthly stats again!) the
later in period we get, this is perhaps a reason to see more of this
type of thing in later and post-period sources. >

Yes, but we have more recipes for most items later in period than we  
do for earlier in period.

<<< And then, of course, there's the gap in exposure for most SCAdians
between English and non-English, untranslated sources. >>>

Yes. But more and more material is being translated all the time,  
sometimes by folks on this list. I think it would be nice to make some  
of these non-grape wine recipes available to the SCA brewers. Just as  
there are a number of different Sekanjabin-like recipes available, but  
the mint based one introduced by Cariadoc has become the dominant one  
in the SCA, I think it would be nice to see the non-mint drinks get  
used more and perhaps the non-grape wines be done more as well.

The mint-based drink may be the most popular because mint is easily  
available, or the directions are the easiest to follow, or it was  
introduced by someone well known in the Society, the original recipes  
and/or redactions are easy to find or perhaps because it tastes better  
than the alternatives.

I/We can't do much about much of that. But we can make recipes and  
redactions for Sekanjabin-like and non-fruit wines available.  And if  
the popularity of the mint-based drink is because it tastes better  
than the similar alternatives, well at least we'll know that.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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