Spring 2021 Featured Wines
The snow is melting and springtime is on the horizon.
We're here to help accommodate the new season! What we offer here at Talon Wine Brands is an abundance of local selections. With over 30 varieties to choose from, we have superpower wines for every time of year. Lighter and sweeter varieties are the stars of spring, and we have traditional grape, botanical, and honey wines that fit beautifully into this seasonality.
Our recommendations this season: white and rosé grape varieties for their refreshing and lighter body, botanical wines that match the fruits currently in season, and honey wines that are lightly sweet. Contact us or stop in to really dig deep into the wines that perform the best with each dish or setting. We are more than happy to offer descriptions and flavor profiles to help you in your decisions!
Must Try this Spring
St. Kathryn Cellars Sweet Scarlet is dark, rich, smooth, and moderately sweet. It exudes delicious berry aromas & flavors. It is 50% blackberry, 50% Merlot wines. One of our top sellers. A wonderful treat anytime.
Our 2020 vintage of Talon Wingspan Rosé is a Bordeaux style blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. This is a dry wine with a subtle tannic structure and expansive aromas. Fresh berry flavors provide a lively, refreshing finish. Pair with a wide range of cuisine.
The Meadery Medium Sweet Honey Wine is a traditional style mead with aromas of vanilla and beeswax. it has a crisp, clean, and balanced flavor with hints of clover, spearmint, and anise. It's great with a wide variety of grilled meats and richer cheeses such as goat and brie cheese.
Sangria, with a twist! This new creation gives extra life to a classic recipe. Using our Apple Blossom wine, this sangria is light and not overly sweet. Offer up this recipe to friends - they'll love it!
Yoga at the Winery
It doesn't get better than wine AND yoga! We have teamed up with certified yoga instructor Natalia, owner of Your Journey Yoga LLC, who has crafted a fun 30- minute yoga flow class for all yogi levels. This class will be offered at our Talon Winery location. A happy hour will follow the class where you can enjoy a glass of wine included in the ticket price. We cannot wait to share this experience with you! The first event date is coming up quickly, so snag a ticket before they are gone!
March - 20th
April - 10th, 24th
May - 8th, 22nd (outside)
*WINE CLUB MEMBER DISCOUNTS DO APPLY TO THESE EVENTS
Purchase Tickets and find details using the link below:
Wine Club Colorado
Are you wine obsessed? There are many wineries throughout Colorado, but the Palisade Wineries are a must-visit for any wine lover! Situated in small-town Palisade, the rural and down-home atmosphere here boasts a reputation almost as beautiful as the scenery. Flavorful and unique wines call this place home, which makes it a popular destination for Colorado wine tasting. Wine Club Colorado - brought to you by Talon Wine Brands - brings the flavor and experience of the Palisade Wineries right to your home.
Talon Wine Brands offers a variety of wines that appeal to every taste and occasion. Do you consider yourself a wine connoisseur? Or are you new to the wine scene? A large part of the beauty and intrigue that comes with wine is all the different flavors, aromas, and types. The exploration that goes along with wine tasting definitely adds to the fun and experience.
Anyone with a passion for wine can appreciate a quality wine club. Whether your interest in wine is as a hobbyist or dedicated enough for specialty wine cellars, knowing where to sample new wines, meet like-minded people, and soak up some wine culture can be invigorating.
Come Explore With Us
The experience of Colorado wine tasting is part of the allure that allows it to be as popular as it is today. Read what people are saying about our wines here. Talon offers three unique brands that encompass different flavors, aromas, and types of wines. Wine Club Colorado allows you to access all the flavors from one convenient place.
Talon Winery offer a classic yet unique style. Fermented from high-quality grapes, the climate here on the Western Slope brings out a distinctive flavor.
St. Katheryn's Cellars
St. Katheryn Cellars offers an abundance of sweet and intriguing flavored wines for any occasion. These wines offer an experience within themselves. Enjoy them chilled, or on ice anytime!
Meadery of the Rockies
Looking for something different? Meadery of the Rockies offers honey wines! Tested and perfected over time, these wines offer a unique and sweet experience.
Wine Club Colorado through Talon Wine Brands allows us to bring our high-quality local wines directly to you on a consistent basis. Members enjoy many benefits including:
Discounts ranging from 15% to 25%
Free or discounted admission to special events
Discounts on merchandise
Flexibility in type and quantity of wine
Access to our secure and convenient online store
Which Wine is Right for Me?
Wine Club Colorado offers so many choices you might be asking yourself - which wine is right for me? The great thing about the variety we offer is that we can tailor wine to each mood or occasion.
Wine can be classified into several different categories: white, red, rose, dessert or sweet wine, and sparkling wine. Each has its own time, place, and palette in which they are served best. You can also learn more about perfect pairings and how to make the most out of your wine experience at our blog.
White wines are generally best served chilled. Like red wines, white wine has a wide range of flavor. These wines can be sweet or dry. A big difference between the two types is production. White wines are produced in a cooler environment in order to preserve the fruit flavor. White wines are generally lighter in flavor. Because of this, wine lovers often prefer to enjoy during the summer months. Of the 34 wines available on our website, Wine Club Colorado offers your choice of 8 different whites (try our Wingspan White wine).
Red wines are generally served at room temperature. Many wine lovers boast that reds are best during the colder months. Depending on how they're made, red wines can be sweet or dry. The sophistication that accompanies red wine makes it an attractive choice. From sweet and light, to bold and oaky, red wines offer a range of flavor. This range is achieved in the production process. Tannins are the reason for this range. Tannins are plant polyphenols that give the wine structure or body. Generally, these tannins soften with age. This is why wine can become better with age. Of the 34 wines available on our website, Wine Club Colorado offers your choice of 9 different reds (try our Cabernet Sauvignon wine).
Rose is the pink wine. A common misconception is that it is a crossover between white and red wines. While pink grapes don't exist, winemakers are able to achieve the pink color through a process called macreation. This process allows the skin from the grapes to soak in the juice for a short period of time. Rose wines are similar to white wine in that it is best enjoyed in the warmer months. It can be served room temperature or chilled (try our Wingspan Rose wine).
Sweet wines are a category all their own. They can encompass the other categories of wine; however, they're made in a way that brings out the natural sweetness. Do you have a sweet tooth? They are also called dessert wines because they pair well with sweets (hence the name). Often these types of wines have a lower alcohol content because they have more sugar. This is something to keep in mind when selecting wine for special occasions (try our Sweet Honey wine).
Sparkling wines differ in carbon dioxide content which gives them a fizzy texture. These bubbly drinks can be fun to celebrate with! Like the other wine types, you can find a dry or sweet sparkling wine. This gives you even more options to choose from. Although it can be easily confused with champagne, sparkling wines are not always considered champagne.
Colorado Wine Tasting
As you can no doubt tell, a great part of Western Colorado is the Palisade Wineries! The exploration and variety offered make it an experience like no other. Add flavor and sophistication to any special occasion or liven up any day with some of the Colorado wines that are offered. Try them all! With Wine Club Colorado, you have the option of 4, 6, or 12 bottles a year. Personalize your subscription with what will fit your taste and budget. Talon Wine Brands offers a diverse collection of Colorado wines with flavors that are truly unique. You can learn more about our history here. We can't wait to hear which is your favorite!
Escape for a Romantic Getaway in Colorado's Wine Country
Talon Wine Brands has partnered with the Wine Country Inn to offer an amazing discounted package for those looking to sip and sample wine in Palisade Colorado. The Wine Country Inn is nestled in amongst the vineyards at the base of the Bookcliffs just down the road from our winery tasting room.
Call the Wine Country Inn to book! (970)464-5777
Perfect for Valentine's Day!
What Makes Wine Healthy
You hear time and again that wine, particularly red wine, is healthy for you when consumed in moderation. But what makes wine healthy, exactly? Is it the fact that it is made from fruit, rather than grains? And what are the health benefits of drinking wine? In this article we’ll uncover just what makes this beverage a healthier choice when it comes to alcoholic drinks. But before we begin, it’s important that we answer this key question: how much wine is good for you?
How Much Wine Should You Drink?
As with any alcoholic beverage, one should enjoy wine in a moderate manner. But what constitutes as “moderate consumption?” The answer will vary, as factors such as gender, age, overall health, and alcohol content of the beverage, etc., can determine what is healthy, not harmful, alcohol consumption. A study by respected database PubMed Central found that the optimal daily consumption to enjoy the health benefits of wine is 1 glass per day for women, and 2 glasses per day for men; in their dietary outlines, the US Department of Health and Human Services also backs these same stats.
Just as important however, is knowing how much alcohol a beverage contains, known as alcohol by volume (ABV). Wine is typically 12% ABV per 5 fl. oz glass, whereas as beer is usually 5% ABV in a standard 12 fl. oz beer glass; these figures vary from drink to drink. Given that wine is usually consumed from smaller glasses than those for beer, too often folks can end drinking more servings than is healthy. It’s best to stick to the recommendations stated above, and to enjoy your wine slowly: be sure to savor it. Now that you know how much wine to drink for your health, let’s look at what makes wine healthy.
What is In Red Wine that is Good for You?
As wine is made is from grapes, the beverage contains a key ingredient: antioxidants. Antioxidants, which are commonly found in fruits, are molecules that fight off free radicals---compounds that can cause physical harm and damage, leading to disease or cancer. Dark skinned grapes contain higher amounts of antioxidants than lighter varieties, which makes red wine usually more healthy than white wine. For example, the skin of dark grapes contains high amounts of resveratrol, an antioxidant known for its health benefits.
Since wine is made from fruit, the beverage is also inherently healthier in what it doesn’t contain, which is high amounts of carbs. Beer, which is made from grains, hops, barley and yeast, contains anywhere from 10 to 20+ grams of carbs in a 12 oz glass. Compare that to wine, which averages at only 2 grams of carbs in a standard sized wine glass.
What Are The Physical Benefits of Drinking Red Wine?
Regarding the physical benefits of drinking red wine, several studies have shown that moderate consumption of red wine is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stemming from the antioxidants found in wine. The connection between how antioxidants help with heart health isn’t exactly clear, but it is believed that the antioxidant polyphenol, found in wine, is beneficial to blood vessel linings within your heart, by reducing inflammation and the likelihood of clotting.
The consumption of red wine is also linked to increased levels of HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, while lowering LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. This is believed to stem from resveratrol, which is also shown to help reduce blood pressure. As for impact on blood sugar levels, studies strongly suggest that resveratrol can also decrease high glucose levels in diabetics.
The Benefits of Red Wine on Mental Health
While red wine is known for being heart healthy, less well known is the connection between red wine and improved mental health. Studies suggest that moderate red wine consumption can help decrease the risk of depression and anxiety. This stems from resveratrol, which blocks and controls an enzyme responsible for stress reactions in the brain. Scientists are so intrigued by this connection that resveratrol is being considered as a new alternative to drugs prescribed to those suffering from mental health disorders. That being said, too much wine or any alcohol can cause serious detrimental effects on mental health, undoing any health benefits to be had.
Wine’s Distinct Aesthetic
Wine’s appeal extends well beyond its health benefits. The beverage undeniably possesses its own unique aesthetic: that of being a distinguished drink. No matter your background or beverage of choice, wine is perceived as being classy. This distinction stems in part from wine being enjoyed by royalty and the nobility for many centuries. It also stems from visual appeal, of dark red liquid in a wine glass: have a wine glass in hand, and suddenly you feel quite sophisticated.
Wine’s unique aesthetic also comes from how it is made. There is something so visually appealing about vineyards: it makes sense that “wine country,” no matter where on the globe, has its own appeal. And of course, there’s the fun of “pigéage;” that’s the French term that refers to grape stomping, the traditional method of crushing grapes with your feet.
Wine is Good For the Soul
Aside from the health benefits of wine, drinking wine is a great social and mental outlet: wine is good for the soul! The consumption of wine stretches back thousands of years, and the beverage has quite a storied history: the Bible contains plenty of references to wine, many of them praising the drink as a blessing. “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments,” a verse from 1 Timothy claims: it seems that those living thousands of years ago were in the know about wine’s health benefits.
Fast forwarding two millennia later, and you have songs such as “Red, Red Wine,” and fun shirts proclaiming, “On Cloud Wine” and “Wine Not.” From wine tastings to vineyard tours, wine has a culture all its own. No matter if you’re a wine connoisseur or have yet to try the drink, you now know how wine can improve your physical and mental wellbeing when enjoyed responsibly.
Wines of Colorado
Talon Wine Brands is located, and produces all our wines locally, in Palisade, Colorado. We serve wines of Colorado to Grand Junction, Palisade, Fruita, and all over the Western Slope of Colorado. We also serve Colorado Springs along with Colorado’s Front Range, and ship nationally. It’s our goal to share the joy of Colorado’s finest vineyards and winemakers with everyone we can reach.
We are committed to providing our customers with not only the best wine possible, but also the best customer service possible. Today’s world has seen the ways of excellent customer service fall off. Technology has made many aspects of life more convenient, but sometimes feel less authentic. We want to change that. In everything we do, we feel it’s vitally important to make our guests feel like a valued human being.
At Talon Wine Brands, all our wine comes with top-level communication. We want to make sure you get your orders effectively, accurately, completely, timely, and with the best professional touch, whether you’re coming in to our Palisade winery locations at Talon, St. Kathryn, or Meadery of the Rockies. Wine tasting (normally available) at any of our locations. Or purchasing our wines in Colorado Springs at any of the top liquor stores. You can also shop with us online.
Regardless of how you find us, we want you to have the best experience possible. We want you to feel like you’re part of our family. A family you choose.
Talon Wine Brands represents the best Palisade wineries, home to all three of our award-winning wine brands. Our selection through all three brands is unmatched. Whether you like classical wines, fruit wines, or honey wines, we have you covered. No matter which wine we’re serving you, in person, or online, we want to share the JOY of wine with you!
Talon Winery is all about traditional grape wines. It features many award-winning wines, and is made almost exclusively from grapes grown in Palisade, Colorado. Despite Colorado’s Western Slope being dry and technically high desert, the soil is mineral-rich. Here are just some of the wines Talon offers:
St. Kathryn Cellars
Our St. Kathryn Cellars wines are fruit and botanical wines. Delicious, and fun. The reason these wines are so delightful, and have themselves won numerous awards, is that they are also crafted with extremely high quality. For instance, we ferment the actual juice of the fruit being infused into our St. Kathryn wines. When you drink St. Kathryn, you drink top quality wine with 100% fermented fruit juice. Flavors include:
Meadery of the Rockies
If you’d like to try something new and delicious, yet ancient, you need to try Meadery of the Rockies. Almost all of our meads – honey wines – use 100% raw, pure orange blossom honey. We are also Colorado’s original Meadery, and wear our title with pride. Our honey wines have won numerous awards over the years, for many different mead types. Here are some of our favorite honey wines:
*Note: Join our Wine Club to enjoy premier releases to get our latest releases, four times per year! Wine Club members also gain numerous additional benefits.
Best Grand Junction Wineries and Beyond
It’s our goal to be among the very best Grand Junction wineries, and beyond. We believe – because we are working so hard to do it – that we are becoming the best winery in the state of Colorado. Maybe the future will take us even further.
We bring this up to share with you just a little of what makes us tick, behind the scenes. When you purchase wine from us, we want you to know that you’re supporting an organization with a mission. You’re actually supporting a cause. You’re helping Talon Wine Brands become Colorado’s premier winery, helping us provide more and better jobs and opportunities to Grand Junction and surrounding areas. You’re helping families live better lives.
Which is really what we believe life and business are all about. We take so much care to provide top-notch customer service, with integrity and care, because we want our work hours to make peoples’ lives better. We strive to speak the language of others, and hold ourselves accountable to the promises we make, to make working with us extremely easy.
Talon is focused on solutions, over problems, and continuous improvement. We always try to use challenging situations (welcome to life on earth) as opportunities to grow, develop, and improve, as both individuals, and as a company.
Wine Is A Constant Reminder
We believe, as Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Wine is a constant reminder that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” The nuances of each wine, how it speaks to us of a place and a time, or reminds us of the fruit from which it’s made, is special and wonderful.
We’re very passionate about wine, tasting, sharing, and enjoying. With friends, family, and all our clients and customers. Without you all, we’d have no purpose. No one to share the wonderful joys and art of winemaking.
We want to build long-lasting relationships with all our clients, so that we can keep sharing and enjoying wine and life together all our days. We want our business and interactions with all our customers to be fun, and a win-win, in all cases. You, as our customers, are our number one priority. Without you, we wouldn’t get the privilege of doing what we love to do so much, each day.
Talon Wine Brands is here to provide excellent products and exceptional service. Come join us in person or online, and let us share with you our warm, generous spirit of hospitality, education & entertainment. It’s why we’re here.
Check out our online products, and recipes.
Read up on our Blog.
Take a look at our Trade Resources.
Contact Us Today!
Lavender is a household plant, used in hundreds of household and daily items. It’s used in lotions, bath salts, cleaning compounds, pressed into essential oils, and generally sought after for its soothing smell and feel. Aside from being a nice smelling, purple flowered plant, though, what exactly is lavender? How does you grow and harvest it? Read on to find out more about this versatile and universally beloved plant.
What is Lavender?
Lavender is actually (and probably surprisingly) an herb within the mint family. Hence, its distinctive scent. Lavender is believed to be native to Europe, the Mediterranean (where it most commonly grows today), and the Middle East, and has been used by humans for thousands of years for its purported medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The English name lavender originates from the French lavandre – which itself stems from the Latin lavare – which means to wash. This may refer to how aromatic herbs such as lavender were used in washing clothes in ancient times.
How to Grow Lavender
The plant grows as a perennial when exposed to constant, full sunshine. Well drained, slightly alkaline soil best suits lavender. If you decide to grow lavender, you can grow it from the seeds. But, note that germination takes several months. A faster way to grow the herb is to use lavender cuttings (lavender stems can regrow roots, like many leaf-bearing plants).
Regardless of whether you grow lavender from seeds, cuttings, or from repotting a new lavender plant purchased from the store, be sure to find a sunny spot, and water the plant consistently until it is nicely settled in the soil. Lavender may require watering once a week or more until the roots mature. After that, you can space out watering to every two or three weeks. Once the purple buds form, however, you can resume your more frequent weekly or twice-weekly watering until harvest.
How to Plant Lavender
Lavender is best potted or placed when the plant is young, and in the springtime. For roots to grow deep, at least slightly warm dirt is needed. Avoid planting in overly rich soil, as lavender best thrives in drier, rockier soil. Wet soil or marshy areas can spell disaster for lavender, as root rot can occur. However, as mentioned above, be sure to water two to three times a week post planting, until the plant is firmly rooted in the dirt.
How to Prune Lavender
Pruning, or removing dead stems and plant material, is crucial as it encourages new plant growth. Lavender is best pruned when flowering is over, which means pruning can occur anytime from late autumn to early spring. To prune, cut 1/3 down the plant’s stem. The older the plant, the more you can cut. But be sure not to cut all the way down to the wood.
How to Harvest Lavender
Keep in mind this handy advice when it comes to harvesting lavender: early spring, early bloom, early morning. Harvest in the early spring when the flowers are just starting to bloom, and in the morning, when the flowers are more open. If you harvest too late in the season, the blooms will not only be dry and faded, but their aroma will not be as strong. To harvest, all you need to do is snip the stems just above the leaves, a few inches below the flowers; pruning shears or plain scissors work. Tie the stems together and hang them upside down to prevent the flowers and leaves from flopping over.
How to Dry Lavender
Full sun is key to growing lavender. But when it comes to drying harvested lavender (in part to avoid mold or mildow), a sheltered, low-humidity area is best. Why? A shaded spot helps retain the color of the flowers. For virtually any purpose you have in mind for the lavender, whether using it for something or just keeping it to look at, the deep purple hue of well-preserved lavender is best.
Be sure not to tie the stems too tightly, and to separate large bunches of lavender into smaller bouquets; this allows air circulation among the blooms, and prevents mold. Drying time varies, depending on the climate where the plant is harvested, but normally takes a few weeks to a month. When lavender is completely dry, it will snap cleanly at the stem, rather than bend. You can also dry lavender upright in a vase with no water, but note that the lavender bunches will not dry as straight, as the tops will fall toward the side.
Lavender’s Many Uses
Lavender has been used for millennia to treat and soothe a variety of ailments, ranging from soreness, wounds, acne, insomnia, and anxiety. It can be used topically, or via aromatherapy. The scent of lavender often induces feelings of calm and focus, making lavender oil one of the most well-known essential oils. Studies have also shown that lavender also has anti-bacterial properties, and can be used in cleaning around the home. Lavender is even used in some of the world’s top wines.
Can You Cook with Lavender?
Whether fresh or dried, lavender can be safely used in cooking. Lavender tends to have a pleasant and slightly bitter taste, so use sparingly. Culinary lavender, or Lavandula angustifolia, is the best lavender type to use when cooking. It can be used in marinades, rubs or salads, and even baking to add an elegant, soft flair to any dish.
How is Lavender Essential Oil Made?
The increasingly popular essential oil is created using distillation. In a nutshell, flowering stems and tops are “steam stripped,” or put into a vessel where steam then passes through, vaporizing the essential oils. The steam, now carrying droplets of essential oil, is then piped out of the vessel and into water. Lavender oil is less dense than water, and therefore floats on top. The overall process of extracting lavender oil by distillation has remained the same over the centuries, though changes in equipment have made extraction more efficient.
Note: in most cases, lavender oil should not be consumed. However, it can be applied topically to the skin and scalp if you are not sensitive to the scent. You can also dilute lavender essential oil with water or other carrier oils to ease the scent and potency, as needed. If you haven’t purchased one yet, an essential oil diffuser is an especially great way to enjoy the soothing scent of lavender.
Mead is one of the most delicious, wonderful things you will ever experience. But what exactly is mead, you ask? Many are familiar with the word, and know that it is a type of alcoholic beverage, one that brings to mind the Medieval and Renaissance ages…but that’s about it. Read on to learn all about mead!
What is Mead?
Visitors to wineries often ask, “What is mead?” Mead is basically honey wine: water and honey are fermented together by yeast, and one can add spices, grains, hops, or fruit. The result is a beverage that is somewhere between wine and beer. Mead tends to be stronger than beer, usually having an ABV of 5-20%. One of the world’s oldest liquors, the consumption of mead dates back more than 4,000 years ago, and was common the world over: Asia, Europe, Africa and Central America all had variations of mead. It was a beverage enjoyed by all classes, from peasants, to merchants, to royalty. Interest in mead declined over the last few centuries, but is now finding popularity once again in the 21st century.
The Resurgence of Mead
It’s no secret that craft beers and breweries continue to enjoy enormous growth and popularity, but mead is enjoying a moment as well. Twenty years ago, mead was viewed as nothing more than a niche beverage, with just a few dozen meaderies in the US. Fast forward to the present, and there are now more than 500 US meaderies, and counting. From 2011 to 2014 alone, US mead sales exploded by 130%, according to the American Mead Maker’s Association. Such a statistic deserves a toast! And you know what to pour for this toast.
Types of Mead
There are several dozen types of meads, but generally speaking mead is divided into two categories: unflavored and flavored. Unflavored is mead at its most basic ingredients: honey, water, and yeast. And unflavored mead yields three distinct flavor types: sweet mead, dry mead, and semi-sweet or semi-dry mead.
Flavored mead is made with additional ingredients, and each type of ingredient added comes with a unique name. Melomel is made with fruits. Metheglin is made with herbs and spice. And braggot is mead mixed with beer. Just was with craft beers, one can get very creative when it comes to brewing mead.
What Does Mead Taste Like?
The most basic answer is that mead tastes somewhat like sherry, with a noticeable honey taste. But the truth is that all mead does not taste the same. In fact, there are many varied tastes of even unflavored mead. This stems from the fact that the type of honey used can greatly affect how mead will taste. This is turn is rooted in the environment, and diet of the honeybees being used to produce the honey. Traditionally, clover, acacia, and orange blossom honey types are used to make mead. But one can also use wildflower, buckberry and blackberry honeys to produce distinct tasting meads. And of course, additional ingredients such as spices, fruits, and hops can alter the mead to range from sweet, to sparkling, to dry.
How To Brew Mead
For anyone who wants to brew their own mead, it’s important to note that there’s not really a “right” taste to end with. Since each type of honey is different, and ingredients added vary, it’s more of an art form you create. But how to brew mead, you ask?
Techniques and tools vary from person to person and Meadery to Meadery, but here is the general process. You’ll need Grade A honey, purified water, and yeast, of course. All equipment used – a large pot for boiling, glass carboys (large bottles), and thermometer – will need to be thoroughly sanitized. Why? Even the tiniest bit of bacteria can completely ruin a batch of mead. To sanitize, you can scrub with hot, boiled water. Once everything is sanitized, water is boiled in a large pot. As the water reaches boiling point, honey is added, as are any other ingredients, such as spices or fruit.
Cool water is then added to the mixture, to create the right environment for yeast. It can’t be too hot or too cold; use a clean thermometer to ensure the mix is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeast is stirred in, then the liquid is placed in whatever is used to promote fermentation, oftentimes a carboy (a rigid, often large glass container), which is then sealed off. An airlock allows air to escape during fermentation, which usually takes about a month. Place the fermenting mead in a dark, cool spot, such as a closet, as it helps with fermentation. Once fermented, the liquid is bottled via a siphon, with a sanitized hydrometer used to check the ABV (alcohol by volume). And voila! Now you have mead.
How To Store Mead
Store mead just as you would store wine: bottles on the side, in a cool, dark area. A wine cellar is perfect, but a kitchen pantry or cupboard works as well. Avoid any areas that have direct sunlight or heat.
What is Mead’s Shelf Life?
When unopened, mead is renowned for its lengthy shelf life, ranging from several years to even decades. The general rule is the darker the mead, the longer the shelf life. In other words, the higher the alcohol content, the longer the liquor will last. For example, unopened classic mead can last for 5 years, while unopened lighter meads usually last 1-2 years. Once opened, however, mead’s shelf-life decreases, especially for lighter meads. It is usually recommended to consume lighter mead within 24 hours of opening. Do keep in mind that shelf life will vary from mead to mead, depending on its contents. Mead can be refrigerated, but avoid freezing it, as this will affect the flavor (and possibly the container in which it’s stored).
Is Mead Gluten Free?
Is Mead gluten free? It’s a great question, and the answer is that Mead is generally gluten free so long as only the basic ingredients (honey, water, and yeast) are used. However, certain additional ingredients may be not be gluten free, such as barley malt, which is used to make a specific mead called braggot. Check the label, or ask the meadery or brewery if the mead you want to try is gluten free. If you’re creating your own Mead, you’ll always know what you're getting!
Talon Palisade Winery
We are pleased to announce three of our wines (Talon Wingspan Red, Wingspan White, and St. Kathryn White Sangria) can now be sampled and sipped at the newly re-branded Palisade Cafe and Wine Bar. The Palisade Cafe offers nightly dinner specials that feature food and wine pairings. Owner John Sabal, and house sommelier, says, "As a full-service wine bar, our patrons can now learn more about Colorado wines in one location unlike anywhere else. We’re excited to be a year-round Colorado wine enjoyment center.” We are grateful to be alongside our other local winery peers at this local hotspot. Visit the Palisade Cafe and Wine Bar at 113 W 3rd St.
Newly Released: The Falconer
The much anticipated new 2016 vintage of The Falconer has been released and is showing promising reception from our customers. Only 99 cases were made of this reserve blend, making it truly an exclusive, one of a kind red blend. Head Winemaker Hillary Eales says, "This vintage of Falconer has a unique toasted chocolate aroma that honestly surprised and delighted me as it came out in the wine. It's smooth enough to drink now, yet tannic enough to cellar." The Falconer is a proprietary blend of premium, Old World “black” grapes originating in Portugal, and the Pyrenees of Southern France. Its deep, rich color and dry flavors of black cherries, cocoa, and coffee with an undercurrent of oak make it enjoyable now and for many years to come. With cases being sold at a time, we know we have made a uniquely premier product. Give us a call today to find out how you can get your hands on this unique vintage: 970-464-1300.
Caprese Bites with Pinot Grigio.
This time of year calls for refreshing, light pairings that will work perfectly for your next outdoor get-together. One of the biggest challenges as a consumer of wine is finding a food and wine pairing that will work well together. That’s why we offer them to you here! It's our job to not only provide you with the highest quality wine, but to make sure you have the right wine for the occasion.
We recommend Talon Pinot Grigio with these easy to make Caprese Bites. Both are light and refreshing. When finding pairings, it’s important to keep the flavors either similar or opposite (spicy and sweet).
Cherry Chip Cheese Ball or Dip
This recipe highlights our Meadery of the Rockies Cherry Honey Wine. It’s a delicious, sweet Cheese Ball filled with Maraschino Cherries and mini Chocolate Chips.
Behind the Scenes Look: Featuring Wholesale Assistant Natalia
Our Wholesale Assistant Natalia helps us keep our relationships strong with our local wine providers. If you are local, you may even recognize her! Her weeks get pretty busy working for us here at Talon Wine Brands, as we are one of the only wineries that locally distributes our own wine here in the Grand Valley (Outside of the valley we use a distributor, such as Breakthru Beverage). She stocks the wine, delivers it, and takes orders just to name a few of her responsibilities.