Making Wild Wines and Meads

Making Wild Wines and Meads is more than just a cookbook. This book teaches you about how to ferment just about everything. It also has a very unique collection of wines and meads that can be made from ingredients you can find in your garden or local farmer’s market. Keep reading for my full review or check out my post on the carbon footprint of wine or how to choose green beer.

 Making Wild Wines and Meads


From the Publisher:

There’s no end to the great-tasting wines you can make using ingredients (but not grapes!) from your farmer’s market, supermarket, or even your own backyard. You’ll find easy, step by step wine making instructions plus memorable recipes.
  • Title:  Making Wild Wines and Meads
  • Subtitle: 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & More
  • Author: Pattie Vargas, Rich Gulling
  • ISBN:  978-1580171823
  • Publisher:  Storey Publishing
  • Pages: 176 (paperback)

Making Wild Wines and Meads Review:

My husband used to brew beer back before the kids created time and space issues. We recently decided to get back into the art of fermenting things and started with a simple mead recipe. Since it has to ferment for a long time we won’t know for a while how it is going to taste so we are doing a ton of reading in the meantime so we know what to try next!

What kinds of things can be fermented?

I never really stopped to think about the types of things that can be fermented. I knew the basic fermented beverages (beer, wine, mead, and hard cider) but that was about it. What drew me to this book was the word ‘WILD’ in the cover. We are hoping to find LOCAL sources of ingredients and thought this would be a good place to start looking for tips!
I was impressed with the number of fermenting options available in this book. I  never thought that you could ferment potatoes, marigolds or cornmeal. There are a ton of things that grow right in my garden that I can use. Snow peas, tomatoes, garlic, rhubarb and many others. There are recipes for fermenting fruits, vegetables, flowers, and an assortment of savory ingredients like ginger or garlic. Each recipe will make one gallon of finished product and includes detailed ingredient lists. The short introduction to each recipe gives you useful tips or interesting tidbits about the recipe.

Learning How to Ferment

Since not everyone has experience making fermented beverages, there is a great introduction that teaches everything from choosing equipment to deciding which strain of yeast to use for your recipe. There is also a very handy glossary at the end if you forget some of the terminology.
The one drawback that I see in the setup of this book is that the directions within each recipe are not particularly detailed. You will need to be familiar with the basics of fermenting, racking, siphoning and bottling which are all described in the first few chapterd. Don’t think you can just pick a recipe and start cooking without reading the first several chapters of the book.
Overall, Making Wild Wines and Meads is a nice book that has a very unique collection of wines and meads that can be made from ingredients you can find in your garden or local farmer’s market. Just make sure not to skip the first few chapters in your rush to get into the kitchen!



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