Mead Wine Made From Honey in New Jersey



Hank Zeller the grapes unwrapped I live in Maplewood New Jersey which is densely populated Essex County half hour west of New York City a lot of times my friends and neighbors will say where's the closest wine where I can go visit thinking it's an hour away two hours away maybe even farther and I say it's five minutes away and that winery is mellow vino here in the Millburn Plaza Mall in Union New Jersey Noah vino is Amy Torino Aveeno meaning honey wine and it's located back there behind the Walgreens we're going to take a little ride around the building and go see what's happening back there not new we're not here in the middle of a mountain range or in sprawling fields yeah there's some trees around here but they're in people's backyards this is a an urban or in this case suburban winery and and that's nothing new these days you know even major wine producing regions now the closer cities have have a whole bunch of wineries now that are housed in old kitchens warehouses food production facilities beverage production facilities so so what they've done here is actually I think really cool they've taken space it was an old kitchen space for taboc Nicks which was it which was an old kind of kosher food producer and and he's turned it into a really beautiful tasting room and also a production facility and in just a couple years time his needs are actually winning awards they're being distributed now throughout whole metropolitan area people come in here for a very lively and very very vibrant tasting room scene that goes on so we're going to go inside and take a look at it so we're inside we came in through the really nice tasting room we're in the production facility I'm here with Sergio Mattel who is the owner craft producer of needs of Miller vino meatery here Sergio thanks for having us in my pleasure it's been over a couple years since I first met you and I knocked on the door and and you are still creating this space it was before we even opened and you were you were nice enough to bring me in and actually give me a couple samples the stuff they were working on at that time and that was probably and it's amazing with what you've done just in those couple of months before you opened up and in those couple years since then you've won numerous awards you've made how many different kinds of needs now 37 with another 10 being released by the end of this year yeah that's not bad not bad couple years worth of work how many awards anyone 34 international awards in not bad for two years work no okay yeah we're gonna do next year we'll see okay we might not need to enter any more paint this through family wine making them personal beer making can't tell me about it yeah we grew up north Newark my brother and I are first generation and our family born here in the US and we grew up every year of my grandfather making wine in the back shed of the house you know and you know that kind of like carried on into my adulthood where I started making wine myself and found my way into brewing beer which I kind of fell in love with beer because beer is just there's a lot more creativity involved with beer brewing craft beer so I fell in love with that and the science behind brewing and that's how I kind of like discovered me for the first time essentially since meat is pretty much it's it's much more of a craft beverage than anything else so it's closely tied to the craft beer scene from the time you made your first me to the time you open the door how long was that love while we filled our tanks for the first time with our first batch March of 2014 we opened their doors for business September of 2014 okay yeah yeah and finally made your first batch to come Oh first batch at home first batch at home was I would say two years prior to that essentially amazing two years to get to get the concept of getting the place open and you hit the ground running I said how is need like wine so yeah Mead is like wine essentially it's it's produced essentially the same way as wine is produced instead of starting with grape juice we're starting with the mixture of honey and water so it's fermented with wine yeast for the most part you could ferment Mead with beer yeast as well but for the most part meat is fermented with wine yeast at similar fermentation temperatures similar techniques and for the most part most Meads drink like wine as well how is it like beer beer it's it's it's a meat as a craft beverage so you know I always like to say Mead is kind of like the wine for the craft beer drinker that are not integrate wine or fruit wines because the creativity is just wide open you currently have 18 different needs right now available through distribution channels and also on premises only we don't have time to taste 18 but I'd love to taste one tell me tell me one that you picked out of the of the 18 that we're going to try right now so this one is called midnight jack this is one of our more creative labels that was really fitting for it essentially what we did was we fermented a ton of really nice wildflower honey with a blend of four different dark berry juices so essentially the four berries that are in here are black currant blackberry black cherry and black raspberry Wow so it's a really deep rich stain the glass media as I say this is this is a shirt stainer yes is it stainer yeah I mean it smells smells fantastic yeah make you see it's it's rich it's probably it's is viscous yeah you're right it really has got a nice weight to it hmm wow you know that's uh that's that's nice that that's a wine you know that that R'lyeh is say that the its this is our most wine like need the funny thing is this is the sweetest meat we make but because the acidity and the sharpness and exact all that fruit it really balances out and that's like and this isn't a dessert line but any stretch but that's the key to to a really great dessert line is you need to have acidity Wow this is this is really good folksy run down here get some of this stuff is like jammy chewy easy drinking at the same time if somebody likes like a big California red wine right you know a big sort of big mouthful of fruit they be thrilled with this you know and I would and you say this is one the sweetest that you make yeah I would I would put this with a savory dinner there's not put this absolutely easily these types of needs especially are they always make me salivate after I even have them you know just the flavor of the meat just it's so full flavored it's 14% of all it drinks like maybe 10 11 yeah there's nothing clawing in there but yeah the flavor just is so long-lasting and soulful a bird that you just keep wow that's a great point you really there's a really long finish on this too so that that's and to me the finish is really a great sign of quality in anything that's produced whether it's a beverage or whether it's a food item when it stays with you for a long time it stays with you in a good way yeah that to me shows that it was incredibly well-crafted so that's that's really fantastic yeah do a great job that's sure Joe thanks I know I know this is a busy time you're you've got power to lined up here ready to go out you've got bottles ready to get filled appreciate you taking some time now to to have us come in and talk with you yes as I often say during during my shows I love what I do and I've wanted it coming spent some time with him for a couple of a couple years now because I said I've been impressed from the beginning how he was setting everything up and again what he's achieved and he's just in a couple of years time so so again one more time buzz buzz thanks for having us come in I'm hanging Zeller for the grapes unwrapped join us next time

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